Friday, 12 October 2012


Wednesday 17 October:

Location: The Egg, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays

[Salford colleagues: please bring your ID card to gain entry; I'll be around to sign visitors in at 3 and 4 for non-Salford attendees. It's the University of Salford campus at MediaCityUK; metro stop is MediaCity]

Times: first talk 3.05-3.55. Second talk 4.10-5.00.

Guest Speaker: Professor Adriana Amaral (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos)

Appropriation, “Trolling” and Detour: Brazilian Digital Trash Culture

The rise of digital culture and the popularization of social networks in Brazil over the last decade, has raised many issues concerning the different uses and appropriations of these ICTs. This discussion has been in the spotlight of many public debates in Brazilian society and contemporary mainstream media. Symbolic disputes between different generations, classes, subcultures and organized groups, have been going on through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The analysis of cultural practices of trolling and the remixing of memes that come from different sources such as the 4chan network or Brazilian media products such as Soap Operas, singers and TV News Shows may reveal political positions and discourses about how this society deals with its social classes, genders, and so on. This talk will focus on what I´m calling Brazilian digital trash that is emerging from this scene.

Adriana Amaral holds a PhD in Social Communication (2005) from PUCRS and was also a visiting scholar at Sociology Department at Boston College, USA. She is currently a Professor and Researcher at Communication Studies Graduate Program (MA/ PhD) at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS)  She’s also a CNPq researcher and is a member of ABCiber and Aoir - Association of Internet Researchers. Current research includes the areas of the consumption of music through web-based social networks in its relations to fandoms, and identities and musical scenes focusing on goth and industrial music.

Guest Speaker: Jay Murphy (independent scholar / screenwriter)

Learning from Artaud: Indigenous media ecology and the contemporary Theatre of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud’s film work: it is not just because of its crucial importance for Artaud’s own development, however evanescent its notions, its kernels of words-become-things, parallel worlds of time, use of sound as independent element that surrounds and invades the image, and as shock. It is not important just to the history of Surrealism, although The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), the sole scenario of Artaud’s that was made into film, was the first Surrealist film, before it was overshadowed in notoriety by Un Chien Andalou the next year, and then L’Age d’Or (1930). Artaud’s film work is crucial because it prefigures our conversation today on the dramatic transformation, if not death of the cinematic image. If what Deleuze called “the struggle with informatics” still tends to define the cinematic image we need to ask what Artaud’s recommendations – that film show the inner mechanics and sinews, the structure, of dream, and not use dreams as mere illustration like Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel, but rather create a “collision enacted on the eyes” – have to tell us today. In considering what we may still have to learn from Artaud and his intense, though short-lived engagement with film, that runs most strongly through the years 1927-33, we will look at Artaud’s conception of the image, the cinematic image, in brief comparison to other two other figures foundational in their fields – Aby Warburg and Sergei Eisenstein – in terms of how they define a ‘hieroglyph’ of movement. All three had their course irrevocably marked by their encounter with the “primitive,” with extant rites. In the case of Artaud, he thought he had found a living Theatre of Cruelty among the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico in 1936, that inspired his later ritual and sound works, such as To Have Done With the Judgement of God (1947-48) that for Artaud had achieved a “miniature model” of the Theatre of Cruelty. Yet even among the Tarahumaras Artaud sought what he called in his essay on Van Gogh a “direct creation” not a revival of ancient rites. Artaud remains a challenge and can still provide valuable keys in current research on the image. This paper concludes with examples from the work of filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux, and video artist Gary Hill that provocatively broach traces of Artaud or what an Artaudian cinema could look like.                                                                     

Dr. Jay Murphy is a writer whose screenplays were finalists in 2011 and 2006 for the Sundance Screenwriting Labs; they include Vesco, based on the bestselling book by Arthur Herzog. As a critic living in New York City he contributed to Parkett, Contemporary, Metropolis, Art in America, World Art, Afterimage, Third Text, and other journals. His interactive, collaborative Internet projects have been featured in the Sundance Film Festival. In 2008 he curated gallery exhibitions in New York and Edinburgh (the latter a weekend preview selection in The Guardian); in 2009 and 2011 he organised film festivals on new work from the Arab Middle East that ran in four cities in Scotland as well as the series “First Person” of seven film-makers for Inverleith House and Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh (12 November, 2011 – 22 January, 2012). He completed his doctorate on Artaud at the Centre for Modern Thought/University of Aberdeen in 2011 and has organised an international conference on “Artaud Media Theory” for Goldsmiths College in London to take place in October, 2012. His web site is found at

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