Screen Practice - Formal and Technological Trajectories in Lens-Based Media -

The Screen Practice clsuter fosters interdisciplinary research in lens-based media, incorporating practice-based research, practice-as-research, theoretically-informed practice and theoretical work on technological transition. At the heart of the cluster is the spirit of experimentation, in both formal and technological terms, and across a range of arts disciplines. The cluster draws on the expertise of affiliated members and on strong connections already established with academics, filmmakers, curators, galleries, film festivals, as well as other centres for artists’ film production and fine art practice.

Screen practice research is still an emerging academic area, located within film and media studies, visual arts and performance studies, and which has seen significant international growth over the last decade. Screen practice research directly addresses the traditional separation of theory and practice in academia by proposing that the relationship between audio-visual cultural artefacts and their theoretical, political and historical contexts is reciprocal and symbiotic. Coming from diverse perspectives, the researchers in this cluster approach screen practice in discrete yet complementary ways - experimental film theory, documentary form and aesthetics, fine art, installation and photography. As well as the theory-practice trajectory, there is a shared interest in technological trajectories and transitions, from photochemical (analogue) processes to high-end digital cinematography; as well as formal trajectories, from fiction to nonfiction via film, video, performance, photography, artist led fieldwork and installation.


Research Questions

  • How do specific technological processes and enquiries into artistic materials open up new spaces for reflection on the self and the environment, ethics and politics?

  • What new theoretical paradigms can be activated in understanding contemporary uses of technology? E.g. Affect Theory, New Materialism, Phenomenology, Post-humanism.

  • In what ways can ‘old’ and ‘new’ media intersect and redefine each other, and how might these new combinations be used to challenge traditional narratives of technological ‘progress’ and ‘obsolescence’?

  • How are political, psychological and ideological signifiers transmitted via the aesthetic and textural idiosyncrasies of both analogue and digital materials? By extension, how can the combination of analogue and digital artefacts open up new ways of understanding both personal and collective histories, particularly in terms of memory, trauma and identity?

  • How do new approaches to documentary theory and practice reframe questions of authorship, film language, and audience engagement? How might the documentary genre be opened up to incorporate different types of material engagements?