CMS Announces Spring 2008 Colloquium Schedule

CMS is proud to announce the schedule for the spring 2008 colloquium lecture series. Each lecture is open to the public, and will be recorded for eventual release as a podcast here on the CMS site.

02.07.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

David Claerbout

David Claerbout‘s work in video projection foregrounds the presence of time for the viewer, bringing together the qualities of moving and still images in an often disquieting analogue to the practices of photography and painting. His approach uses the premises of film, photography and time in order to do away with their individual monopolies as in works such as Vietnam 1967, near Duc Pho (reconstruction after Hiromishi Mine) (2001) where the projection appears to be a still image, but is, in fact, almost imperceptibly moving. More recently he focuses on the effects of time, time in narration and time on the gaze of the viewer in works such as Bordeaux Piece (2004) and White House (2006) where the continuous repeating of a story suspends the rules of classical movie telling and the expectation of the viewer in order to give way to an almost physical sensation of time and nature.

Co-sponsored by the List Visual Arts Center

02.14.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration

Tom Doherty

From 1934 to 1954 Joseph I. Breen, a media-savvy Victorian Irishman, reigned over the Production Code Administration, the Hollywood office tasked with censoring the American screen. Though little known outside the ranks of the studio system, this former journalist and public relations agent was one of the most powerful men in the motion picture industry. As enforcer of the puritanical Production Code, Breen dictated “final cut” over more movies than any other individual in the history of American cinema. His editorial decisions left a profound impact on the images and values projected by Hollywood during the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War.

02.21.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

Viral Media: How’s and Why’s

Mike Rubenstein. Natalie Lent, Shenja van der Graaf

Non-traditional and viral marketing campaigns raise questions about the content status of advertising and the authenticity of commercial art. This panel discussion will consider the challenges of engaging audiences in non-conventional ways, looking at the status of viral media and the nature of non-traditional marketing campaigns. Berkman Center Fellow and C3 Consulting Researcher Shenja van der Graaf will moderate the converation with Natalie Lent from Fanscape and Mike Rubenstein of The Barbarian Group.

Co-sponsored by the Convergence Culture Consortium

02.28.08 | 5-7 PM | Stata Center TSMC Lobby and 32-155

CMS Research Fair 2008

CMS Research Groups

On February 28, CMS will hold our annual Research Fair, a chance to highlight our latest research and bring attention to new research staff and initiatives. In addition to displays in the Stata lobby, this year’s event will include a panel discussion with current research staff, led by Henry Jenkins and William Uricchio. This discussion will consider the theoretical contributions of CMS research and the role each initiative plays in the CMS research culture. The Fair will be held on Thursday, Feb. 28th from 5-7 PM in the Stata Center TSMC lobby. The panel discussion will begin at 6 PM. Refreshments will be served.

03.06.08 | 5-7 PM | Bartos Theater

Communications Forum: Prime Time in Transition

Howard Gordon, Barbara Hall, John Romano

The prime-time series has been a central narrative form in America for the last half-century, as the Hollywood movie had been in a previous era. Are the radical transformations of television in recent years challenging this domination? How has series TV changed over the past 20 years? What does the prolonged writers’ strike signify for the future of TV fiction and the medium as a whole? Leading writer-producers Howard Gordon (24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files), Barbara Hall (Women’s Murder Club, Judging Amy, Joan of Arcadia) and John Romano (Third Watch, Party of Five, Hill Street Blues) will address these and related questions in a candid conversation illustrated by clips from significant series.

03.13.08 | 5-7 PM | Bartos Theater

Communications Forum: Global Television

Eggo Müller, Roberta Pearson, William Uricchio

A salient feature of contemporary TV has been the appearance of programs that appeal more widely across national boundaries than many earlier television shows. Examples include a range of reality shows such as Big Brother or Survivor as well as fiction series such as Ugly Betty, which undergo relatively small facelifts before being introduced to new audiences. And many American programs – e.g., Lost, Desperate Housewives – travel abroad with no alterations, as country-specific promotion and distribution strategies adjust them to their new national contexts. In this forum, distinguished media scholars Eggo Müller, Roberta Pearson and William Uricchio will discuss the origins and significance of the international distribution of television formats and programs.

03.20.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

Denis Dyack

Denis Dyack is the founder and president of Silicon Knights. In this capacity, he oversees the creation and development of games, and continues to further the growth of the company. Dyack is a noted authority on interactive software development and offers valuable insight into the process of designing next-generation games that appeal to the masses. Under Dyack’s direction, Silicon Knights has evolved into one of the top independent interactive software developers in the world. Dyack (B. Phed, H. B.Sc, M. Sc.) founded Silicon Knights in 1992 after publishing Cyber Empires in 1991. Since that time, Silicon Knights has moved from creating PC games to premiere AAA console titles, such as Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain for the original PlayStation. Working with Nintendo as a second party, Silicon Knights created the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness. Together with Nintendo, Silicon Knights worked with Konami to create another critically acclaimed game, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. Dyack and his team are currently working with Microsoft on the Too Human trilogy for the Xbox 360, and developing an exciting new game for Sega of America.

Co-sponsored by the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab

04.03.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

The Show Business High Wire Act: Walking the Tightrope Between Studio Filmmaking and Independent Production

Gregory Anderson

In the year 2008, artists and businesspersons navigate the vast divide between the world of independent filmmaking and the Hollywood studio system as the lines between the two become increasingly more blurred. As pop culture integration – the fusing of music, sports, dance, event programming, reality, and other subcultures geared toward mainstream audiences while highlighting the genre demographic – has become the lifeline for both the artistic and commercial filmmaker, where do you find the happy medium, or is there one anymore? Writer, producer, distributor, and president of Tri Destined Films, Gregory Anderson has been called a part of the “new” Oscar Micheaux movement as a trailblazer for independent film distribution. Gregory created Stomp the Yard, one of the most profitable dance films of all time, and produced, marketed, and theatrically distributed the independent film Trois, one of the Top 50 highest grossing Independent Films of its release year according to Daily Variety.

04.10.08 | 5-7 PM | Bartos Theater

Communications Forum: Our World Digitized: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Yochai Benkler, Cass Sunstein

Much discussion of our impending digital future is insular and without nuance. Skeptics talk mainly among themselves, while utopians and optimists also keep company mainly within their own tribal cultures. This forum challenges this unhelpful division, staging a conversation between Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein, two of our country’s most thoughtful and influential writers on the promise and the perils of the Internet Age.

Co-sponsored by the MIT Center for Future Civic Media

04.16.08 | 5-7 PM | 32-155 (note date and location)

Remembering Los Angeles in the Digital Age: Pat O’Neill’s The Decay of Fiction

Edward Dimenberg

Los Angeles artist and special effects virtuoso Pat O’Neill filmed The Decay of Fiction (2002) in the landmark Ambassador Hotel, once the center of Hollywood celebrity culture. His film blurs the boundaries between architectural investigation, urban documentation, and aesthetic exploration. At once a poetic homage to classical film genres, it is also a suggestive indication of how remembering the city is changing in response to new technologies. Edward Dimendberg is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, Visual Studies, and German at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity (2004), co-editor of The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (1994), and currently serves as Multimedia Editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

04.24.08 | 5-7 PM | Bartos Theater

Communications Forum: Youth and Civic Engagement

Lance Bennett, Ian V. Rowe

The current generation of young citizens is growing up in an age of unprecedented access to information. Will this change their understanding of democracy? What factors will shape their involvement in the political process?

Co-sponsored by the MIT Center for Future Civic Media

05.01.08 | 6-8 PM (note time) | Bartos Theater

Moving Through Time and Space

Chantal Akerman

The Blaffer Gallery at the Art Museum of the University of Houston, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Miami Art Central/Miami Art Museum are collaborating to organize Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space. This is internationally renowned filmmaker and video artist Chantal Akerman‘s first major museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibition will feature five multi-media video installations: her “documentary series” comprised of D’Est (From the East), Sud, From the Other Side, La Bas, and a new work commissioned especially for the exhibition. Chantal Akerman will also be conducting an artist’s residency at MIT. This lecture will be followed by the opening reception to the exhibition.

Co-sponsored by the List Visual Arts Center

05.08.08 | 5-7 PM | 2-105

Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich is the author of Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which is hailed as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a Professor in Visual Arts Department, University of California-San Diego, a Director of the Software Studies Initiative at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2), and a Visiting Reserch Professor at at Godsmith College (London) and College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (Sydney).


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