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Imagine Media! Media Borders and Intermediality

Växjö 25–28 October 2007.

What is intermediality? To answer this question, one must first ask: What is a medium, and where do we find the gaps that intermediality bridges? In a similar way, the questions What is interartiality? and What is multimodality? require that the supposedly crossed borders be described before one can proceed to the “inter” and “multi.” And how are the notions intermediality, interartiality and multimodality actually related? Are they simply varying words, used by scholars from different disciplines, but basically denoting the same phenomenon? Or are there substantial differences that justify different labels for dissimilar conceptions?

The aim of the conference was to illuminate these very basic queries in order to facilitate communication and theoretical cross-fertilization over the borders between the aesthetic disciplines, media & communication studies, linguistics etc. More specific questions that might be asked, are, for instance: What happens, from a historical and social point of view, when new media and art forms emerge and are delimited? Where do we actually find the limits and border crossings of intermediality and multimodality – in physical reality, in the world of concepts, or on the level of sense perception and cognition? Is it advisable to promote models consisting of semiotically mixed categories such as text/sound/image, or should one rather focus on the differences and relations between sense channels? Are perhaps all works of art and communicative forms essentially intermedial or multimodal? What are the theoretical and practical implications of describing something as intermedial or multimodal? What are the more precise differences and relations between notions such as mass medium, technical medium, modality, art form, and genre?