“The medium is message” Sound – Image – Gesture: An Illusory Interaction?

Visual arts, sound art, experimental cinema, digital art, audio games.
International Conference May 23-25 2013, Chateau de Plaisir (near Paris), France
organized by the Laboratory “Milieux, Médias, Médiations“ (I3M), Sud Toulon-Var University
In collaboration with:

  • The Institute “Arts, Créations, Théories, Esthétiques“ (UMR8218), CNRS, Paris
  • The Institute “Arts Cultures et Technologie“, Université de Montréal
  • New York University, Department of Music
  • Le Conservatoire de rayonnement communal de musique, de danse et d’art dramatique de la ville de Plaisir (The Music, Dance and Drama Conservatory of Plaisir, France).

This symposium follows up the series of events organized in 2011 by the city of Plaisir dedicated to artistic expressions based on interactions between auditory and visual dimensions. This year, the organizers wish to extend this issue to encompass recent developments in digital arts, and to broaden it by addressing the dialectic between musical and visual thinking as well as the use of such approaches in music education.

While Technology has always accompanied the history of Music, it has become one of its central forces during the second half of the 20th century, leading to drastic changes in the understanding of sound and of its relationship to visual and gestural components with numerous implications such as:

  • Emergence of new instruments fostering new aesthetics (Concrete Music, electronic, spectral, or granular music…),
  • Evolution of auditory and musical representations (interactive scores) supporting innovative compositional strategies,
  • Closer interactions with other artistic expressions (image, dance, theatre, site specific installations, environmental art…) in a framework of intermediation and poly-expressivity, Transformation of auditory reception through mediated and individualized contexts (radio, disc, internet, portable devices…).

This brief presentation of the multiple transformations of our relationships to sound fostered by technology supports the realization of technology as a complex medium that generates new paradigms in constant transformations.

During the 60’s, Mac-Luhan (to whom we pay homage with our title) has described media as extension of the senses being reconfigured in a general ecology. Our relationship to the world is affected twice by media; first by means of the new technological paradigms they impose, and secondly by the contents they convey: Media is the message and messages are a massage. This approach is supported nowadays by numerous authors including Delalande, Tiffon, Cran, Sel and Volk.

Our goal is to question influences and connections between auditory and visual thinking in a historical context (relationships between painting and music, auditory and visual language in cinema) as well in the contemporary context of the convergence of various artistic practices in the digital domain, while questioning the impact of these emerging practices on musical education.

Is a multi-modal language emerging? If so, under what conditions? What will be the contribution of these new tools to artistic education (musical, visual, or choreographic)?

Approaches from various disciplines (history, aesthetics, mediology, technology, or pedagogy) are welcome.
The three days of the conference will be respectively dedicated to one thematic axis:

1- Interaction between auditory thinking and visual thinking:

  • The issue of universals and correspondences between the arts, synesthesia, translation… – The issue of representation of auditory contents and musical structures: visual and conceptual scores, visualization of sound…
  • Evolution and definitions of practices: Intermedia, Multimedia, Hypermedia, Mixed-media, Poly-expressivity…
  • Contribution of psychology of perception
  • Films and their visual imprints of music

2- Emergence of a digital multi-modal language:

  • Digital Art
  • Multi-modalities and a-media languages
  • Relationships gesture/Image/sound
  • Real-time processing
  • New sound organologies and new musical gestures – A-musical interfaces

3- Educational effects of digital technologies on art education

  • Usage of media for the development of children and teenagers’ auditory, visual and musical creativity
  • Methods for the use of interactive media in perceptual modalities and in musical knowledge acquisition
  • Musical repertoire in conservatories’ curricula
  • Integration of musical mother tongue in art education

Submission process

Proposals for presentations and papers in French of in English can be submitted via email to both members of the organizing committee
Lenka Stransky – stranska.lenka@orange.fr
Hervé Zénouda – zenouda@univ-tln.fr

Proposals for presentations:

Please specify the thematic axis for the presentation.
3,000-6,000 characters (spaces included)
The proposal will include a presentation of the context, theoretical issue, and methodological approach as well as the following information:

  • 3 keywords
  • Authors‘ last and first name
  • Status and institution
  • electronic address

Proposals for papers

30,000-60,000 characters (spaces included)

  • 3 keywords
  • Authors‘ last and first name
  • Status and institution
  • electronic address

Evaluation process

Proposals for presentations and papers will be reviewed through a double blind process. Reviewed and validated papers will be published in a collective publication.
Non validated papers will be published online in the colloquium’s proceedings.

Important deadlines

Proposals: October 15, 2012
Acceptance of proposals: December 15, 2012
Conference: March 23-25, 2013
Revised papers for publication: September 15, 2013
Acceptance of revised papers: November 15, 2013

Scientific Committee:

Michael Beckerman (Professor, New York University)
Philippe Bootz (Associate Professor, University Paris 8 )
Jean -Yves Bosseur (Directeur de recherche, CNRS)
Nicole Brenez (Associate Professor, University Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
Pierre Couprie (Associate Professor, University Paris-Sorbonne)
Sylvie Douche (Associate Professor, H.D.R. , University Paris-Sorbonne)
Franck Dufour (Associate Professor, University of Texas at Dallas)
Michel Durampart (Professor,Sud Toulon-Var University )
Andrew Hugil (Professor, De Montfort University , UK)
Jean Piché (Professor, University de Montréal)
Danielle Pistone (Professor, University Paris -Sorbonne)
Nicolas Pélissier (Professor,Sud Toulon-Var University )
Paul Rasse (Professor,Sud Toulon-Var University )
Franck Renucci (Associate Professor, Sud Toulon-Var University)
Lenka Stranska (Docteur en Musicologie, chercheuse associée, Université Paris-Sorbonne) Vincent Tiffon (Professor, University Lille 3)
Herve Zénouda (Associate Professor,Sud Toulon-Var University )

Organizing Committee:

Lenka Stransky : Conservatoire de Rayonnement communal de la ville de Plaisir
Herve Zénouda : Sud Toulon-Var University

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