Technology, Bodies, and Practices in Austrian Amateur Film


Sa, 01/07/2017 – 11:00 bis 12:45


Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, Paris, Frankreich, Raum: D33

Panel im Rahmen der NECS – Konferenz: „Sensibility and the Senses. Media – Bodies – Practices”

The panel is based on the very first results of the interdisciplinary research project “Doing Amateur Film” which focuses on aesthetic varieties and social practices in Austrian amateur film from its beginnings in the 1920s to its marginalization in the 1980s. Particularly ambitious fictional and non-fictional amateur films are considered to fathom the academic and historical-cultural significance of amateur films.

The huge number of private films published on social media platforms and on web portals has increased the interest of cultural and, more particularly, media studies in current and historical amateur films as representatives of practices of everyday life and cinematic self-concepts. The current attention to amateur films is characterized, furthermore, by new, extended archival collection practices that consider amateur films as part of the cultural heritage, as well as by the use of amateur film material in artistic productions and historical documentaries.

Based on the assumption that social practices are not only intersubjective but also interobjective and therefore also include interactions between humans and objects or artefacts, the camera and other hardware elements (tripod, format, projector, screen, sound system) of the cinematographic basic apparatus will be considered in their materiality and action guiding function. The three papers explore those practices which are provoked by amateur filmmaking and are solely feasible due to the genesis of the medium. Besides understanding film production itself as a social practice, the films provide views on other social and aesthetic practices (like travel, self-representation, recreational activity, production of family identity, utilization of visual motifs) and objects, whose specific meaning and functions will also be questioned.

Chair: Mats Björkin

Michaela Scharf (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, Vienna): Visualizations of The Self. Modes of Self-Representation in Austrian Amateur Films
Sandra Ladwig (Univerrsity of Applied Arts, Vienna): Disciplined Body or Wild Gaiety? Leisure in Austrian Amateur Films
Sarah Lauß (Univerrsity of Applied Arts, Vienna): Image Practice in Austrian Amateur Film

Respondent: Nico de Klerk (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, Vienna)

Konzeption: DOC-Team “Doing Amateur Film” (Michaela Scharf, Sandra Ladwig, Sarah Lauß)
Veranstalter: Necs – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies