Photofilmic images in contemporary art and visual culture

Mai 2012 – 2015

Bénéficiant d’un Mandat d’Impulsion Scientifique (MIS) du Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS, le projet « Images photofilmiques dans l'art et la culture visuelle contemporains » est un projet phare du centre. L’objectif de ce projet est de comprendre l’impact des structures photo-filmiques, soit ce qui désigne des images transitoires dialectisant fixité et mouvement, dans la production, la fonction et la perception des images dans les champs de l’art contemporain et de la culture visuelle.

Supported by a Mandat d’impulsion scientifique (MIS) of the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Communauté française de Belgique (FNRS), the project aims to study the impact of photofilmic structures in the production, the function and the perception of images within contemporary art and visual culture. With Photofilmic images are meant images that are generated on the basis of both photographic and filmic processes. Consequently, they mingle different temporal, spatial and perceptional realities. In this sense, they are transitional images fluctuating between categories which were once attributed separately to photography or film, such as stasis and movement, past and presence, composition and narration. With the advent of digital technology, photofilmic images are getting increasingly widespread in recent years. Imovie, photosynth, AutoStitch and PhantaMorph for example are computer software which allow to create animated images on the basis of photographs. As such techniques are getting more and more important in different domains of image production in popular culture and the visual arts, the impact of photo-filmic images on our visual culture will have wide reaching consequences for our use, our perception and our understanding of images and thus for our view on the world given the fact that our access to that what we call reality is to a large extent mediated through images. For this reason, the project suggests a study of photofilmic images, which goes beyond well-established frontiers between the various disciplines and sectors where such images occur and where they are discussed, in order to understand how exactly images operate within our contemporary media society. This interdisciplinary approach considers different domains such as visual art, cinema, and popular culture and diverse academic disciplines such as film studies, photography theory, art history, visual culture studies, and media theory. Therefore, the following questions are fundamental: What technologies are used in which contexts and for what purpose? What for exactly have they been invented and how are they diffused and used in different contexts? How they are perceived according to these different contexts and uses?


Alexander Streitberger (UCL)
Brianne Cohen (UCL)
Jana Häckel (UCL)