From 21. June – 23. June, 2012 the Network of European Cinema Studies (NECS) conference took place in Lisbon, hosted by the New University of Lisbon and the University of Coimbra. This year’s theme: “Time Networks: Screen Media and Memory“.
Our memories of the 20th and the 21st centuries are informed by the images and sounds that have recorded and/or fictionalized events during this period of time. And yet, images and sounds are elements that are in, and not simply of, the world. They affect us and create new effects simultaneously, shaping, inviting, and proposing new ways of seeing, hearing and knowing.
From the first actualités through to contemporary 3D cinema and television, our technological and media culture, so spectral in nature, has begun to be disseminated so far and so wide, and has penetrated so deeply into our culture, that it has changed our experience of time.
In part this is because of the globalized nature of electronic networks and the transnational nature of information exchange, which allows for an unparalleled flux of images and sounds. So widespread and fundamental have these changes been that it is urgent to reflect on the aesthetic, cultural, and political consequences of our media in general, not least in terms of how they shape our understanding of time and history.
Given the new regimes of time and space that our screen-saturated and media-dominated culture has encouraged, and perhaps even created, a simple question is therefore raised: how have the diverse media practices affected the temporality of our individual and collective lives?
The 2012 NECS conference “Time Networks: Screen Media and Memory” takes place in Lisbon. It aims to address this general question, and to tackle the different issues connected with time in relation to our screen-dominated media culture. In this way, the conference will draw upon and add to the rich and scholarly discussion of diverse media practices and their connection with the concepts of memory, history, and the temporalities of everyday life.