Conference on Film and Media
Berkeley Conference on Film and Media: Medium/Environment
Berkeley Film & Media’s 4th biennial conference seeks to bring together leading international media theorists working on questions of “environmental media” broadly conceived.
In recent years, ecological crises stemming from technological transformations under the force of global capital have fueled an “environmental” turn in the humanities and social sciences. Less attention, however, has been devoted to the question of how “medium” and “environment” have become increasingly imbricated. Our living environment--air, earth, ocean, sky--has become saturated by media technologies ranging from planetary satellites, undersea cables, surveillance cameras, and ubiquitous screens, such that our understanding of “medium” as both form and practice has come to be theorized in environmental terms. More than a set of discrete technologies, the very concept of a medium has evolved into a complex ecology with flexible boundaries, seen most readily in the context of infrastructures, systems, and networks. The plural form “media” has become denaturalized from its given distinctions, challenging us to rethink the medium of our living environment.
As part of this mutual transformation between medium and environment the cinema has undergone its own reconstitution. Shaped by the technological and aesthetic pursuit of simulated and augmented environments in the form of 3D or 4D cinema, IMAX, video games, and virtual reality, the cinematic medium has refigured our relationship to space and place, offering new ways of representing and inhabiting media environments. In response to these changes, and with the future of film and media studies in mind, the Department of Film & Media is hosting an international conference on the theme of “Medium/Environment”. The conference is interested in rethinking medium and environment as expanded terms, considering both the critical purchase and potential limits of their theoretical, historiographical, aesthetic, and political implications.
Conference participants include:
New York University