November Round Up: Web Operas, Media Activism, Psychogeography, Cinematic Melancholia and Optimism!

  1. Mini Web Operas launched online and at Glyndebourne by the Opera and the Media of the Future project
  2. Re. Framing Activism website under new editorship
  3. New project call for submissions: THE PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY OF LEWES
  4. New report by Belén Vidal on the San Sebastián Film Festival at Mediático
  5. New eBook versions of articles in SEQUENCE One Planet Melancholia

REFRAME‘s latest round up of open access publications and research website and project launches is given below.

1. Mini Web Operas launched online and at Glyndebourne by the Opera and the Media of the Future project

Two new mini web operas — joint winners of a commission by the Opera and the Media of the Future project —were launched at the inaugural OMF event at Glyndebourne (October 23-24, 2014). REFRAME has published websites devoted to both projects:

A. RUR (Rossum’s Universal Replicants) by Martin Rieser (artist) and Andrew Hugill (composer). A new genre of opera is emerging from digital culture: a new way of telling stories and generating and reaching audiences. The RUR mini-web opera provides an explosive encounter between new technologies and the long-established tradition of opera. RUR transforms the way in which operatic works are produced and consumed. Audiences are engaged in active participation through Social Media, and the roles of the collaborators in a production are changed.
     The operatic experience becomes networked, asynchronous and immersive. Built around coordinated social media delivery relating the opera- story, it is displayed as a series of live newslinks and updates: fabricated histories and news, combined as Twitter feeds, Facebook postings, blog posts and Youtube materials webcast to the audience’s mobile surfaces and social media interfaces as a media wall.
     As in Karel Capek’s visionary 1920s play, this mini-opera explores the theme of science used for profit without thought of consequences, where ‘robots’ are actually organic and physically indistinguishable replicants of human, brought up to date in a contemporary setting.  Background images are sourced from Youtube or created from online flickr images, which have been animated by the artist through morphing software.
     The music contrasts replicant with human voices. In one song, a female replicant sings a blues lament accompanied by  prepared piano. In another, a replicant chorus chants machine songs against a backdrop of rhythmical synthesiser sounds. By contrast, two extended arias are sung by a soprano and a tenor: a fervent prayer that layers up pianos and glass harmonica, and a lyrical love song with tuned percussion, strings and solo cello.
     In future incarnations the authors envisage using theatre-in-the-round through 3D technologies, embedded in a mobile application working with devices such as Occulus Rift, putting the audience in the centre of three-dimensional scenography and motion-captured avatars, enacting the opera, as in their earlier work “Secret Garden”. (Martin Rieser)

RUR (Rossum’s Universal Replicants) may be accessed here

B. YOU ARE HERE is an experimental opera by composer Miika Hyytiäinen and director Jaakko Nousiainen that connects the Glyndebourne opera house with the three opera houses in Berlin, the Staatsoper, Komische Oper and Deutsche Oper Berlin. Premiered in the premises of the Glyndebourne Opera, YOU ARE HERE is encountered in the form of visual QR code ’artworks’ that can be activated with smartphone cameras. Each code connects to an opera video filmed in Berlin, forming a bridge between the two locations and two moments in time. (Jaakko Nousiainen)

You Are Here may be accessed here

2. Re. Framing Activism website under new editorship

Dr Eleftheria Lekakis, Lecturer in Media and Communication in the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex (@eleftheriafm), has taken over the role of editor of the Re. Framing Activism website collective. Eleftheria’s research focuses on aspects of global communication which stem from the intersection of politics, economy and culture. In an earlier post at the website, she introduced her recent book on Coffee Activism. A new post has been published by Anne Kaun (Södertörn University) on the protest spaces of community archives and cultural production. And the Facebook page for the website is also being regularly updated with links to online material of interest, especially related research on media activism.

3. New project call for submissions: THE PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY OF LEWES

A new REFRAME project has launched in conjunction with the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, University of Sussex. We are seeking to publish a new collection of psychogeographical life writing or audiovisual essays.

Writers, filmmakers and artists are therefore invited to submit a prose piece of up to 750 words in length, or an audiovisual, audio or visual feature, under the rubric ‘The psychogeography of Lewes’. This includes the town of Lewes and the area defined by Lewes District Council. To find out more about the project, or about the possibilities of psychogeography as a method please visit the call for submissions webpage here at REFRAME

4. New report by Belén Vidal on the San Sebastián Film Festival at Mediático

Mediático is delighted to present a report on the 62nd International San Sebastian Film Festival (19/27 September, 2014) by Belén Vidal, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College, London. Vidal is author of Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic (Amsterdam University Press, 2012) and Heritage Film: Nation, Genre and Representation (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2012), and co-editor of The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture (with Tom Brown, Routledge, 2014) and Cinema at the Periphery (with Dina Iordanova and David Martin-Jones, Wayne State University Press, 2010). [Note: scholars and fans of the film director Icíar Bollaín, mentioned, below, might like to revisit Mediático next week for some great new resources on her work.)

5. New eBook versions of articles in SEQUENCE One Planet Melancholia

As is its brief, SEQUENCE, REFRAME‘s experimental, peer-reviewed, media, film and music studies serial publication has followed up its web publication of a number of articles with publication in other eReading formats. The new and existing formats are set out below.

SEQUENCE One: Planet Melancholia

Steven Shaviro, ‘MELANCHOLIA, or, The Romantic Anti-Sublime’, SEQUENCE, 1.1, 2012 is available in the following free eBook versions:

MOBI             EPUB            PDF            Kindle (azw3)

NEW Rupert Read,’An Allegory of a ‘Therapeutic’ Reading of a Film: Of MELANCHOLIA’, SEQUENCE 1.2 2014  is available in the following free eBook versions:

MOBI             EPUB            PDF            Kindle (azw3)

NEW Richard Grusin, ‘Post-Cinematic Atavism’, SEQUENCE, 1.3, 2014 is available in the following free eBook versions:

MOBI             EPUB            PDF            Kindle (azw3)

NEW Selmin Kara, ‘BEASTS OF THE DIGITAL WILD: Primordigital Cinema and the Question of Origins’, SEQUENCE, 1.4, 2014 is available in the following free eBook versions:

MOBI             EPUB           PDF            Kindle (azw3)

SEQUENCE Two: We Need to Talk about Maternal Melodrama

Sue Thornham’s ‘A HATRED SO INTENSE….: We Need to Talk about Kevin, Postfeminism and Women’s Cinema’, SEQUENCE, 2.1, 2013will shortly be available in the following free eBook versions:

MOBI             EPUB            PDF             Kindle (azw3)

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