Whether it is to inform us, to work, to communicate with our loved ones, to take care of our bodies or our affects, audiovisual media are now omnipresent in every aspect of our lives, shaping and producing our identities to the same extent that we produce them. At a time when images are no longer so much characterized by their technical reproducibility as by their “digital appropriability” (Gunthert, 2011), it is more urgent than ever to “build with them new relationships” (Hansen 2014: 37). Critical and reflective relationships, developed through patient reflection, that allow us to navigate these new media environments without being overwhelmed by the feeling of constantly circulating in a “supermarket of the visible” (Szendy, 2017).
We propose to conduct this reflection based on the study of artistic objects that shed light on the ideologies, discourses, imaginaries and forms of governmentality that we encounter on a daily basis in the context of our contemporary “mediarchies” (Citton, 2017). Indeed, in response to the massification of text and image production, linked in particular to the participatory web and the rise of online social networks, more and more artists are borrowing, citing and reinventing User-Generated Content (UGC) in their works. The rise of these appropriation and diversion practices seems to confirm the observation of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who wrote in 1995 about Guy Debord’s films: “There’s no need to shoot film anymore, just to repeat and stop” (Agamben, 1995).
Recycling or an ecological gesture? The term “recycling” seems to identify UGCs with digital rubbish that the artist’s creativity would elevate to the rank of art by adding symbolic and cultural credit. On the other hand, the more humanistic notion of “ecology” invites us to consider reuse as a change of environment, providing the appropriate object with new functionalities and meanings while it was condemned to oblivion by contemporary digital hyperproduction. Thinking these artistic practices in terms of media ecology allows us to consider their productions as privileged objects for the study of the media, social and political ecosystem of digital social networks. Taken as a whole, these works question us on the future of the CGUs, whose status is still largely undetermined, both documents and creations in their own right. They also invite us to question the editorialization devices of the social networks themselves, whose mechanisms are reproduced, mocked or subverted by artists.
It is around these questions, and in an interdisciplinary spirit combining artistic practice and theoretical reflection, that the research project After Social Networks is developing. The purpose and methodology of the project is research-creation in arts. Its main modalities of action are the organization of scientific and artistic events, the establishment of a participatory and freely accessible database of artistic works online, and the publication of texts, videos, interviews and other scientific resources also freely accessible online.
Gala Hernández López
CO-FOUNDER & CO-DIRECTOR
Gala Hernández is a filmmaker and PhD Candidate at Paris 8 University (ESTCA, EDESTA). She holds a BA in Filmmaking from the Superior School of Cinema and Audiovisuals of Catalonia in Barcelona, a Master in Contemporary Cinema and Audiovisual Studies (Pompeu Fabra) and the International Master in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies (IMACS) from Paris 3 University and Paris 10 University. She is currently doing a research-creation PhD about the cultural and artistic gesture of the screenshot in the post-internet era. She teaches film studies at Paris 8 University. She is the editor of the next issue of the journals Contratexto and Images Secondes. She has published video essays in Cinema Comparat/ive Cinema and Transit: cine y otros desvíos.
CO-FOUNDER & CO-DIRECTOR
Allan Deneuville holds a bachelor in philosophy from the University of Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is also graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Vincennes-Saint-Denis. He is currently PhD candidate under the supervision of Yves Citton at the Graduate School of Reasearch ArTeC, in codirection with Bertrand Gervais at University of Québec A Montréal. His doctoral thesis focuses, through the figure of “copy and paste”, on the appropriation and circulation of text in the digital age.
CO-FOUNDER & CONTRIBUTOR
I am a French researcher and filmmaker. I am currently preparing a PhD at the research-creation program SACRe at the Ecole normale supérieure de Paris (PSL University). I also teach film studies at Université Paris 8. My research takes different forms (texts, films, video installations and live performances) and explores the intersections between cinema and online media. I am particularly interested in questions related to modes of spectatorship, gestures of appropriation and mediated memory. My short film The Burrow (2015) has shown at over fifteen international film festivals and won six awards. More recent works include They Eye was in the Tomb and stared at Daney (2017), My Crush was a Superstar (2017), READING//BINGING//BENNING (2018), Flânerie 2.0 (2019) and Watching the Pain of Others (2019). They have shown at festivals and venues such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival (NL), the Festival Premiers Plans d’Angers (FR), the Ars Electronica Festival (AT), the London Essay Film Festival (UK), IMPAKT Festival (NL), the Belfast Film Festival (IE), the Austrian Film Museum (AT) and the Museum of the Moving Image (US). Since 2018 I was awarded a residency at m-cult (FI) through the European Media Art Platform (EMAP), an ‘Art of Nonfiction’ Grant from the Sundance Institute (US), a Research Grant from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (DE) and the Eurimages Lab Project Award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival (CZ).
Natacha Seweryn currently directs the avant-garde programming of the Bordeaux International Independent Film Festival (FIFIB). She has previously worked for the Premiers Plans festival in Angers, the Certain Regard at the Cannes festival, the Cinémathèque de Tanger, as well as Hors Pistes at the Centre Pompidou. She studied modern literature and cinema at the Sorbonne Nouvelle and the University of Stockholm before joining DiU – ArTec. Her research focuses on the aesthetic changes that occurred after #MeToo in French cinema, and analyses how social networks have enabled a renewal of forms in France. These analyses look at the definition of what could be a “relational aesthetic”.
After a long period spent at university (Anthropology, Conservation and Dissemination of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts), Andrée Ospina is currently pursuing research independently. Collections and collect, the staging of oneself and the relationship between humans and machines are among her favourite subjects. She is involved in various projects related to micro- and artist’s publishing, notably Pétrole Éditions, which publishes the transrevue Talweg. Under the name Éditions maison-maison, she leads an artistic practice that is both editorial and curatorial, and uses the spaces that are the page, the screen and the IRL encounter to expose her research and circulate the thoughts and images that challenge her.
Ariane Papillon is a young researcher and director, graduate of the ENS Lyon, the École Nationale Supérieure d’Audiovisuel de Toulouse and the Institut of Political Studies of Lyon. She is currently a doctoral student in Cinema and Audiovisual at Paris 8 University, under the direction of Dork Zabunyan. Her research-creation thesis is interested in cinematographic approaches (mainly documentaries) that that let the characters film themselves. She works at the intersection of an artistic desire, an artistic vision, and amateur uses of film technologies, which aim other objectives. She’s developing a participatory documentary project entitled A nos amies, which will set up a filmed correspondence between French and Tunisian young women, building on their pre-existing video practices, including by their use of social networks.
After Écal’s Foundation Year (University of Art and Design Lausanne), Johan Lanoé completed a bachelor in Film Studies at the Lumière University Lyon 2 with a one-year academic exchange in Fluminense Federal University (Rio de Janeiro). He holds a master’s degree in Film and Media Studies from Lyon 2 and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, with an exchange in Utrecht University. His masterthesis focuses on Dominic Gagnon’s “saved footage” and has been supervised by Thomas Voltzenlogel (HEAR) and Domitilla Olivieri (Utrecht University).
Alice Lenay is an artist-researcher. She is currently completing a PhD in art under the direction of Yves Citton. She is interested in the appearance of faces on the screen and the question of meeting and being together in media environments.
Ervina Kotolloshi is an associate researcher at IRET (The Institute for Research in Theatre Studies), of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 where she currently teaches the media’s use on the theatre stage. She studied performing arts at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles before defending a dissertation in theatre studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Her research examines the possible relationships between the stage and social media sites analyzing the different forms of user / spectator’s contribution before, during and after a theatre performance.
Artist and researcher. Nicolas Bailleul is a graduate of the Haute École des Arts du Rhin (Strasbourg) and holds a master’s degree in anthropological and documentary cinema (Université Paris-Nanterre). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Université Paris 8 under the supervision of Patrick Nardin in co-direction of Gwenola Wagon. Through the making of films and narrative installations, Nicolas Bailleul explores the intimacy in the era of connected networks. He is particularly interested in new amateur practices (designated or claimed as such), uses and hijacks their tools and platforms, invests / infiltrates their online/offline spaces. Nicolas documents, fictionalizes and narrates these explorations. His thesis project focuses on the (bed)room in the age of new media.