>Bordering on the Real:
>Virtual Spaces and Cyborgs in Contemporary Cinema
>Seminar at the ACLA annual conference in San Diego/San Marcos, April
>ģOur machines are disturbingly lively,
>and we ourselves frighteningly inert.ī
>Proposals are invited for a conference seminar (9-12 papers), to be held
>at the 2003 ACLA Conference. Further information about the conference is
>available at: http://lynx.csusm.edu/acla2003/
>The creative possibilities of virtual reality have had a tremendous
>impact on various artistic media, not least of which the world of
>cinema. Films such as eXistenZ, The Matrix, Minority Report, Abre los
>ojos and Vanilla Sky, RoboCop, Total Recall, Blade Runner, The Game, and
>many others, have all to a greater or lesser extent asked questions
>about the ontological structure of (perceived) reality and the
>ģrealnessī of artistic constructs. As a consequence, the classic
>dichotomy of mimesis and poiesis demands reconsideration. Hence, this
>seminar will pose questions on the issue of what one could call
>Cyborgia, which describes the increasingly common domain where the
>virtual and the real have blended into each other, erasing the strict
>border between genuine reality and the virtual reality of cyberspace.
>The participants of ģBordering on the Realī will investigate the
>location, or the absence, of the border between the real and the virtual
>as that border is represented or challenged in recent movies.
>Current seminar participants: N. Katherine Hayles and Nicholas Gessler
>(both at UCLA).
>Papers should address (but are not limited to) questions such as:
>* Where does the virtual begin on the screen?
>* How do film characters move between different levels of the real?
>* Is the border between the virtual and the real permeable?
>* What are the implications of cinematic virtuality for the ģrealnessī
>* What distinguishes the virtual from the real?
>* Which laws (of logic, gravity, biology) differ within the two realms?
>* To what extent is cinematic virtuality a commentary on the experience
>of contemporary life?
>* What impact has this new border on older borders, those of ethnicity,
>gender, sexuality, etc?
>* What visual, narrative, cinematic, and/or artistic techniques are
>employed to mark the virtual?
>* What are the implications of the virtual for the human?
>Please send 500-word, two-page abstracts by 25 September 2002.
>Proposals and enquiries should be directed either by surface mail to:
> Gerd Bayer
> Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
> Case Western Reserve University
> 10900 Euclid Avenue
> Cleveland, OH, 44106 7118
>or electronically to:
> [log in to unmask]
>Electronic submissions or active hyperlinks are welcome. Please send all
>text in the main body of the email and NOT as an attachment.
>Please note that all participants in the annual meeting must be or will
>have to become members of the ACLA. Membership forms are available at: