CfA: Pop culture in the age of its technological reproducibility (NSU)

Nordic Summer University (NSU)
Pop culture in the age of its technological reproducibility
February 28 – March 2 – Stockholm
Deadline: November 15, 2013

What are the historical changes throughout modernity when it comes to technology? And how do they influence the relation between what used to be known as “pop” and “art”? In this seminar we want to delve into changes brought about by technological developments and how technological developments or changes have consequences for the study of popmodernism.
Some fields are arguably more relevant than others:

  • Live and reproduction; liveness – here changes brought about by technologies of storage and reproduction come into play, the phonograph/ gramophone, film, photography, these technologies all remove the “object” from it’s here-and-now, in one sense lifting it out of its place in the historical stream
  • Adaptation – what happens when an object or work of art is transformed into something else? Here diverse forms of cultural recycling (discussed at the summer seminar in 2012) come into play as well, when the adaptation processes works across genres, and also, arguably, across “the great divide” of “art” and “pop.” But in this seminar we are more occupied with the technological conditions today and in the recent past, and their relevance and effect in thinking the cultural objects and artifacts.
  • Commodification – in an economy of ‘likes’ both pop and art has been subjected to a digital commodification. The digital technology encourages this – not new, but even more intense – capitalist approach to pop as well as art mainly through the highly mediated celebrity culture. But also our general sociality has been influenced by this commodification of affect and emotion.

Several questions might come up in contemplating these issues:

  • How are technologies of visuality part of reconfigurations of visual media between pop and art – from the Xerox of Andy Warhol to today’s Instagram and Tumblr (say Rihanna and Beyoncé)?
  • How is “art” quoted and recycled in “pop” by way of sampling, mash-ups, and other references? Is pop miming or cannibalizing on art or is it the technological conditions leading up to the intersections found?
  • What is the role of the digital and digitalization in these processes? In what sense is digital culture partaking in renegotiations of the former borders between “art” and “pop”?

These questions, and others, are at the core of this seminar, where technological conditions for today’s cultural artifacts will be at the forefront. In addition to discussions of the technological conditions, papers are invited that deal with the media of transmission and alterations, case-studies of reproduction, as well as works addressing the above issues.

Abstracts are invited on all possible topics on pop culture and technological change. The seminar will take place February 28 – March 2 in Stockholm, Sweden. Send abstract – 200 words – to the coordinators by November 15, 2013

Registration and fee
Participant’s fee: 300 Danish Krone (DKK)
This cost includes lunches and dinners for all participants. Moreover, NSU will organize and pay for affordable accommodation for all participants who are willing to share a double room.
Participants should apply to their institutions to have their travel cost covered. In case of an unfavorable response or if not affiliated with an institution, it is possible to apply to NSU for additional funding.

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