UNIVERSITY OF PADUA (PADUA, ITALY)
6-7th November 2020
The Journey Around the World Through Images: From the 19th Century to the Contemporary Age
ORIGINAL CALL FOR PAPERS
In 2018, titled Dans la peau de Thomas Pesquet, the first ever VR film shoot in space was released, giving the opportunity to the viewer to fully experience the journey of the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station. We have come a long way since the theme of the journey around the world deeply influenced the late 19th century visual cultures of photography and cinema, founding its best expression in stereoscopy and in its derived aesthetics. More than a century later, the three-dimensional illusion returned in the new communication and navigation technologies, that allow virtual immersions in real or simulated places. In a world that is more interconnected than ever before, especially after the outbreak of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the enforcing of quarantine measures on a planetary scale, virtual travelling has become more than just a popular trend. It is again, just like in the 19th century, an outlet to pent-up wanderlust. Back then, faraway places were out of reach because of technological limits; today, people are invited to stay home and experience virtual travels because of the health measures that curtail international journeys.
The simulated journey has become an object of growing scrutiny in Academia; in light of the current situation, it deserves an even increased attention. Its impact, especially on our representations of other cultures or Humanity itself, cannot be underestimated.
A NOTE ON THE ONLINE FORMAT
Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the Workshop has been an exclusively online event, managed via the videoconferencing software Zoom. The University of Padua has hosted all the Workshop sessions through its Zoom account.
CO-ORGANISER & PANEL CHAIR
Aurore YAMAGATA-MONTOYA – MIRA President & Independent researcher, Lithuania
Maxime DANESIN – MIRA Vice-President & Independent researcher, France
Marco BELLANO – University of Padua, Italy
Carlo Alberto ZOTTI MINICI – University of Padua, Italy
José Andrés SANTIAGO IGLESIAS – University of Vigo, Spain
Ana SOLER BAENA – University of Vigo, Spain
Marco PELLITTERI – MIRA Vice-President & Xi’an Jiatong – Liverpool University, China
Jacopo BONETTO – Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Padua, Italy
Paola DESSÌ – President of the DAMS Degree Courses, University of Padua, Italy
KEYNOTE SPEAKER & PANEL CHAIR
Jeremy BROOKER – President of the Magic Lantern Society
KEYNOTE SPEAKER & PANEL CHAIR
Manuel HERNÁNDEZ-PÉREZ – University of Hull, UK
Giulia LAVARONE – University of Padua, Italy
Nicolas BILCHI – Roma Tre University (Italy)
Immersed, yet Distant: Notes for an Aesthetic Theory of Immersive
Travelogue Films, from Hale’s Tours to 4D Cinema
This paper aims to highlight a few stylistic and aesthetic principles, common to the genre of the travelogue film, as employed by immersive media and devices from the Twentieth century – such as the Hale’s Tours, Todd-AO, and Cinerama – up to today’s digital systems like Virtual Reality and 4D Cinema. By doing so, I will show how the different experiences of simulated travels proffered by those media are all related to a broader aesthetic tendency in creating what I label as enveloping tactile images. Such images are programmed to surround the viewer from every side, thus increasing their spectacular dimension, but at the same time they strive to temper and weaken the haptic solicitations aroused in the viewer by the immersive apparatus itself. In this sense I posit that the spectator of immersive travelogue films is “immersed, yet distant”: he is tangled in the illusion of traversing a 360° visual space, but the position he/she occupies is nonetheless a metaphysical one, not different from that of Renaissance perspective, because even if he/she can see everything, the possibility to interact with the images is denied, in order the preserve the realistic illusion. Framing media such as tableau vivant and panoramas as archetypes of this logic, I will then show how it functions in the genre of travelogue films and analyse the stylistic techniques used to foster the viewer’s condition of non-interactive immersion in the fictional world. Finally I will hint, as a suggestion for future research, at the problems posed by such a configuration in terms of realism and narration.
Katharina GANZ; Alberto ZOTTI MINICI; Marco BELLANO – Independent researcher; University of Padua (Italy)
Daguerre’s Diorama Theaters from Past to Present Times: A Historical and Museal Perspective
The Paris and London Diorama Theaters by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) were a mid-19th century invention older than photography, which brought images of the world to those who could not afford travelling at the time. Travelling was then a privilege of the famous, the rich or the adventurous. The public of the Diorama Theatre was more likely the one described by Victor Hugo in Les Miserables. The devices allowed for a pre-cinema presentation of large-scale images – a scenic prospect almost like in theatres – with some minimal effects of pseudo-movement. Famous examples were the Swiss village of Goldau disappearing under a landslide, the remains of an English Gothic church in fog, snow and moonlight, a procession appearing out of the dark of the nave of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris, the big Edinburgh fire or the eruption of Mount Etna. The quasi-animated images had such a strong impact on the
public that ladies would occasionally cry or faint. The audience was allowed to a 90-minute journey around the globe without having to travel but only by purchasing a ticket for the Diorama Theater show, which typically consisted in watching romantic sceneries as if real. Anyone who knew only their local surroundings was, by illusion, instantly transported to places they had never seen before. Such illusion was possible thanks to a sophisticated technique in transparency painting and lighting, developed by Daguerre. He kept his technique secret until 1839. The Diorama buildings, including the paintings, burnt down within a short period, probably due to petrol lighting on stage. There remains only one original dioramic painting by Daguerre in the church of Bry-sur-Marne, where he lived and died. The talk will be divided into two sections. The first one will highlight and comment on the challenges inherent to the philological reconstruction of the Diorama; the second one will discuss how actual museal exhibitions and events that featured the reconstructed Diorama and other similar devices bridged together the media archeology of the virtual journey and the contemporary technologies of geolocalisation, augmented reality and 3D film.
Angela LONGO – Tokyo University of Arts (Japan)
Bodies in Motion and Image Recomposition in the Early 20th Century
The question of the appearance of the body is caught up in a play of overwhelming forces, and its register in artworks assumes different shapes as their representation spread towards other mediums. Firstly, following Aby Warburg thought, this article will analyze the process of the survival of bodies as potential motion in images. Warburg proposed an Iconological approach where the analysis of potential movement in the image yielded a formula for its analytic recomposition. Furthermore, he captured the transition that was happening at the beginning of the twentieth century, that is, when the body representation moved to media that allowed movement reproduction. The survival of the bodies or its capture contained an animist belief that took propulsion with the first apparatuses and optical toys that allowed movement and live-action recording. This movement allowed for the production of a simulacrum of the living body and the power to recompose it in space. In a sense, not only the circulation of moving bodies in space but also their presence in the image, with voice recording, produced a total realization of the properties of a living being. As such, the analysis will focus on how the evolution of the body representation allowed artworks to travel around the world, but also helped create and preserve different views of the world.
Anita BALACHANDRAN – Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Inde)
Experimental Voyages: Old Maps, New Animation
As a practitioner of animation, I’m often commissioned to make animated films to be screened at museums and historic sites in India. One such work is a film on Goa’s history. It includes the historic passage of the 15th and 16th century Portuguese armadas as they sailed from Lisbon to Goa to conquer it. Researching this moment, I was led online to archival images of European maps and Portuguese drawings of ships, paintings of explorers and battles, and went on to animate several of them. While the digitization of archives democratizes access to rare material traces of the past and allows practitioners to recast and reuse them, the process can engender unexpected challenges. Some of the questions I felt compelled to address were these: How might these traces – symbols of erstwhile colonial power – be reframed, challenged and read against their grain? How might these voyages be represented as anything more than a triumph of European expansion? More generally, can the colonial archive be somehow reimagined and subverted to tell more contingent and compelling stories of a complex past to a postcolonial audience? Looking beyond colonial cinemas’ representational conventions of travel across maps, this presentation explores a few instances of cartographic space animated in works by Indian filmmakers. It doing so, it reveals animation’s ability to play with the expectations of different tropes and traditions of representational material, from the cartographic, photographic, perspectival and diagrammatic to the pictorial and drawn.
Rossella MENEGAZZO – University of Milan (Italy)
The Land of the Rising Sun: Creation and Evolution of an Idealised Travel Destination, from the 18th Century Exhibitions of Woodblock Prints and Photographs to Contemporary Digital Images.
Japan continues to be perceived in the collective imagination as the Country of the Rising Sun and one of the most dreamed travel destinations by the European population and in particular by Italians. A confirmation given by the fact that tourism towards the archipelago has increased exponentially since 2016, suddenly and sadly stopped only by the outbreak of sanitary emergency in spring 2020. The idea of an idealized and fascinating Japan has been firstly created and transmitted through the woodblock prints of the ukiyo-e masters and the albums of albumen colored photographs sent to Europe to be exhibited at the International Expositions at the end of the Nineteenth and the beginning of the Twentieth centuries. These same images were also bought and brought back to Italy by travelers and entrepreneurs who went to Japan as a record of their trips, or as artworks to be added to their collections, if not to be used to illustrate the publications of their personal diaries. The most part of ukiyo-e prints and photos illustrated, with fascinating colors and similar captivating views, places of Japan which were still unknown even to the Japanese at that time, and repeated some standardized travel routes inside Japan along the sea and across the mountains. Even today part of the idealized expectations about Japan of a public that maybe will never travel oversea, we can say, continues to be conveyed through the several exhibitions of these artworks in our museums, but the enthusiasm of the foreign public and the increased awareness of the Japanese government and the media of both sides, led in these last years to a wide proposal of travel documentary television programs, as well as an augmented application of new technological narratives inside the exhibitions.
Silvana DE MAIO – Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” (Italy)
Beyond Beiō. Kume Kunitake and his Beiō Kairan Jikki, the “True Account of the Journey of Observation Through the “United States of America and Europe””
Several publications have focused on the diplomatic results achieved by the six official missions to Western countries organized in particular between 1860 and 1867 at the instigation of the Bakufu, as well as on the part they played in transferring increasing amounts of technology from Western countries. These missions at that time had no interest in Africa, but one of these was overwhelmed at the sight of the Sphynx in Egypt, and a photo of the members of the Ikeda mission to France (1864) which Antonio Beato (1835-1906), brother of Felice Beato (1832-1909), who was active at that time in Yokohama, took of them in front of it, is quite famous.The aim of my presentation is to explore the perception that Japanese missions traveling around the world during the nineteenth century had of Africa and Asia, although we have to bear in mind that the main aim of the Japanese missions was to reach and then leave “the West” behind.
To do so, I have chosen as a case study for analysis the role played by Kume Kunitake (1839-1931), who visited Western countries from 1871 to 1873 as secretary on the journey of Prince Iwakura, and his account of it, Beiō kairan jikki, published five years later, in 1878. Little interest has been shown up to now in what Kume wrote about the Iwakura mission’s journey back home from the harbor of Marseille, from which the members of the mission sailed to Japan, crossing the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. The research as a whole will analyze the Account from a new perspective, together with its images,
focusing on geographical areas that up to now have not been considered fundamental for Meiji Japan.
Aurore YAMAGATA-MONTOYA – Independent researcher (Lithuania)/MIRA
A Case Study of Images of Japan and the Iwakura Embassy in American Media (1872)
In 1872, while the Japanese official Embassy composed of several hundred officials and students travels from San Francisco to the East Coast, the American magazines publish articles about Japan for a “tourist-reader” who will most certainly never know the country other than through what is printed on a page. This paper will present two types of journeys: one real, the journey of the Iwakura Mission from Japan to the United States and Europe (1871-1873); the second one, imaginary, “wanderings” through Japan presented to the American readers in magazines. One presents a search for progress and the recognition of their nation as “civilized”, while the other tends to represent an exotic country, a pre-industrial paradise with some strange, unrelatable practices, rules and beliefs. Since January 1872 with the landing of the Embassy in San Francisco, the American newspapers have been following closely the travels,
visits and other social interactions of the members of the Embassy across the country. The magazines I considered for the case study of this paper have shown little, if any, interest in the Embassy, barely
mentioning its presence. However, Japan featured regularly within their articles, either as the main focus or as one among other cultures. For this case study based on a relatively small number of magazines
(Scribner’s Monthly, Atlantic Monthly, The North American Review, The Galaxy, the Living Age, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine) published in 1872, I will compare the representation of Japan and the Japanese they create through illustrations and words with newspapers’ articles as well as photographs and illustrations of the Iwakura Mission made during the same year. The real and simulated journeys presented meet in the American media to offer the reader an ambiguous perception of the relatively unknown country that Japan was at the time.
Celio H. BARRETO RAMOS – Seneca College of Applied Art and Technology (Canada)
That’s Not Fair!: The Yellow Peril in 3D
Relying on original research of commercially produced stereographic views, posted correspondence, edited and published photo books of the time, I will discuss how the world’s (Western) news correspondents traveled to the Manchurian battlefields of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905, expecting Japan to lose this conflict. Instead they witnessed how Japan defeated the Russian military with modern industrialized weapons and tactics, a firm handle on the power of propaganda, and a distinct penchant for censorship of the nascent photojournalistic international press.
While scores of correspondents and photographers were sent to both sides of the frontlines in China and Korea, the Japanese Military did all it could to prevent foreign photographers from covering the front lines with the open access they had been promised by the Japanese government. This frustrating state of affairs put a chokehold on the traffic of images from the Japanese side, and created a scarceness of images, which helped increase demand for what few images could be had.
Have selected a range of images from primary sources that convey the various points of view in the coverage of this first modern East-West armed conflict, in particular how it was seen by the correspondents sent in to cover it, and then by the 3D products designed to reproduce/represent the events of the war for the information/entertainment of Western audiences
Giulia LAVARONE; Marco BELLANO – University of Padua (Italy)
Animation Tourism in Europe and Italy: Travelling to the Locations of the Studio Ghibli films
Film-induced tourism, intended as travelling to places where film and TV series have been shot or set, has been extensively studied in the last two decades. For example, the term ‘media pilgrimage’ emerged in media sociology, to highlight the sacred dimension these practices may assume, while fan studies focused on the narrative of affection built upon specific places. Calling forth the relationship between film and landscape, these phenomena have been also explored in the light of film semiotics and media geography. While originating in Anglo-Saxon countries, film tourism research has recently focused on case studies in Asia, mainly South Korea and Japan. Some contributions also deal with the locations which have inspired animation films and TV series. In the past decade, the representation of landscape and the construction of the sense of place in animation benefited from an increased scholarly attention (as Pallant, 2015); however, the links between tourism and animation still appear under-explored, except for a few investigations concerning some of the Disney and Pixar productions. Japanese animation, because of its prominent use of real locations as the basis for the building of its worlds, and the tendency of its fanbases to take action (even in the form of animation-oriented tourism), is especially in need for a research of this kind. The paper will present a case study: a (preliminary) analysis of the visual products of animation-related film tourists that visited the Italian and European locations featured in the films and TV series by the world-famous animator and director Hayao Miyazaki, or by his colleagues that co-founded with him the Studio Ghibli in 1985: 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976); Castle in the Sky (1986), Porco Rosso (1992), among others. The presentation will first examine how real Italian and European landscapes have been pictorially and cinematically transfigured in the animation works. It will then provide some insights into the experiences of transnational anime tourists, mainly explored through the analysis of images and texts created and shared by tourists through social media.
Soumi MUKHERJEE – Vidyasagar University (India)
Understanding the Impact of Tourist Photography on Tourism Destination Imagery: An Interdisciplinary Phenomenon
Photography is considered to be an integral part of tourism since photography plays a pivotal role in the promotion of tourism destinations as because, tourists use the references of photographs, social media and TV commercials, websites and brochures to decide their destinations of vacations. If analysed deeply, the tourism photography besides being the marketing tool deliberately stimulates the desire to know various cultures and expands knowledge since the photographs are ambiguous in nature and work as a thread of the dimension of social status on one hand and multiculturalism on the other. The paper aims to investigate the process to analyse images to signify its role in aesthetic evaluation, visual style, cognitive responses and intentions associated with the “tourist gaze” in the present tourism research on international levels. Lastly, this paper shows that how photographs can add various perspectives and possibilities which neither the field surveys nor the interviews can offer in the tourism research.
Maxime DANESIN – Independent researcher (France)/MIRA
Venice, Key Port-of-call for French literature and Mangaesque imagination
For hundreds of years, Venice has been, both figuratively and literally, a key port-of-call for writers and artists of all kinds. At the crossroads of cultures, the former queen of the Adriatic was, and still is, the place of a literary pilgrimage. Due to this fascination, “the canals of Venice are black as ink”, as Paul Morand put it in 1971, not without making an injunction towards his compatriots to follow this tradition – “to dip one’s pen into it is more than a Frenchman’s duty, it is a duty plain and simple”. As a matter of fact, and especially since the nineteenth century, numerous French writers have been fascinated in a way or another by Venice. Whether she is portrayed stagnant, full of life, mummified or transformed through the prism of the Fantasy genre, one could argue that Venice appears in French – and even Francophone – literature as one of its rites of passage. On the other side of Eurasia, Japanese writers and artists have been no less receptive to the Venetian sirens’ call, from early visitors such as Narushima Ryūhoku (1837-1884), to the photographer Narahara Ikkō (1931-2020) and the novelist Nanami Shiono (1937-). Today, Venice is no longer just a faraway reality in Japan, a travel destination; it has also become a virtual imaginationscape – whether realistic, simulated or altered – of the Otaku culture and its mangaesque literature. This paper aims to address, through the prism of French literature’s fascination for Venice, the portrayal of “the Republic of the Lion” as a key port-of-call for mangaesque imagination.
José Andrés SANTIAGO IGLESIAS – University of Vigo (Spain)
Imagined Japan: Manganime, Media Pilgrimage & the “Cool Japan” campaign
In the last two decades, the terms ‘manga’ and ‘anime’ have become part of our everyday speech, without quotation marks, explanations or footnotes. At the same pace, a worldwide phenomenon took place: film locations from famous fiction TV dramas and blockbusters have become touristic hotspots for aficionados. Manga and anime are not oblivious to this boom. The construction and depiction of a rich and detailed world-setting is one of the foundations of the manga and anime form, coded within their DNA (Suan, 2013). A well-built world-setting allows a deeper connection between the reader/watcher and the story being told (Kelts, 2006). On top of that, the fact that Japan is indeed a real place, beyond manga and anime’s fictional locations, provides a new depth level to the stories in both mediums. In the last decade, the Japanese government —as well as regional and local councils— started to benefit from the touristic potential of manga and anime under the umbrella of «Cool Japan», the national branding campaign addressed by the government in the early 21st Century. How this phenomenon lies within Cool Japan is the major goal of this paper.
Farah POLATO; Nicola ORIO; Stefano Caselli – University of Padua (Italy); University of Malta/Ivipro Association (Malta)
Images for a Journey in the “Next Door” World
We would like to present two experiences of “journeys around the world” developed through different workshops of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Padua. Both the workshops share the notion that the “world” is not only something far away but it is also “next door”, just out of our windows. In an interconnected world, technologies break the distances making very near what is far away; at the same time technologies could also be powerful instruments for revealing the -sometime unexpected – polyphony of the proximity.
Paesaggi Sonori Italiani Covid 19 took place during the lock-down period and was prompted by the immobility imposed by the pandemic. It has been conceived for the DAMS (Music and performing arts studies) and PGT (Managing and promotion of the cultural tourism) students. The project has been coordinated by Farah Polato (Cinema Studies) and Nicola Orio (Digital Humanities) in collaboration with the Istituto Centrale per i Beni Artistici e Musicali (ICBSA) and the web platform Locate Your Sound, made by Moovioole s.r.l. According to the studies on cultural and anthropological impact of sounds (Bull, Back, 2008, 2015), students were invited to focus on the sounds of their houses and lives. In uploading them on LYS, students were asked to tell the story of the captured sounds accompanied with images. In this process, sounds reveal a “world” that we very often do not pay attention to.
Urban Histories Reloaded (from September to October 2020) is a residency for artists, game designers and programmers aimed at creating a video-game prototype focused on a specific urban area in Padua: the district 5, called “Armistizio-Savonarola”. In the past, it has been one of the main destinations of the rural migration toward the city. Later it became a working-class neighbourhood and now it is an area with a high-rate of immigrants and citizens with foreign origins. Considering their diffusion and participative dynamics, video-games ̶ in Italy artistically recognized as audiovisual works just recently (L. 2016) We would like to present two experiences of “journeys around the world” developed through different workshops of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Padua. Both the workshops share the notion that the “world” is not only something far away but it is also “next door”, just out of our windows. In an interconnected world, technologies break the distances making very near what is far away; at the same time technologies could also be powerful instruments for revealing the -sometime unexpected – polyphony of the proximity.
The workshop has been promoted by Impact srl (a spin off of the University of Padua) DBC and Ivipro, with the support of MIBAC and SIAE.
Laura CESARO – University of Padua (Italy)
Interactive Spaces: An Immersive Journey Between Archives and Technologies
This paper will investigate how more and more cultural institutions are looking at interactive solutions with a tourist impact for the promotion of the territory. In particular, in recent years, image engagement has been used to give life to multi-sensory journeys. Thanks to the interaction between vision systems, media devices and three-dimensional applications, journeys are created for the user in heterotopic spaces (Foucault). Heterotopia is grafted into the connection of images of different places and times, re-mediated (Grusin) with physical space. The images are initially selected; their re-use gives life in the first instance to thematic routes. Secondly, this proliferation of images, of which our age is the engine, in a controlled way creates a digital archive. Although Giorgio Agamben reads in the proliferation of devices a subjugation of individuals (Deleuze), the current forms of promotion of cultural journeys return to the idea of massive diffusion of the device according to Foucault. The scholar conceived the device as a system of forces whose instances of circulation are reactivated on the subject’s freedom of action. It will be noticed how, compared to the first projects, the use of invasive viewers is less. We want to proceed by analyzing the work of an international team, Karmachina (2013), made up of art director, storyteller, multimedia and graphic designer, video editor. For years, they have been developing narrative concepts for museums and cultural institutions, placing not technology or image at the center of the action, but the user. The one who moves in that digital archive who is no longer just a visitor but a user, a user and a director of the experience that moves and relates to the image. We will see some cases that create interactive journeys: from the sections of the M9 Museum and the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, up to Francigena Emotion, where guided by different characters you are discovering places and eras.
Maitane JUNGUITU DRONDA – Independent researcher (Spain)
‘Ipar Haizearen Erronka’: A Boat Trip from Basque Country to Newfoundland
The nature of animated cinema implies the creation of any realistic or fantastical characters, places and situations. Animation can be used to take characters far from their hometowns on believable journeys without big budgets used on location shooting. The Basque animated feature film ‘Ipar haizearen erronka’ (The return of the North Wind), directed in 1992 by Juanba Berasategi, illustrates how animation can represent a journey and a historic reality in a plausible way. The movie depicts a Basque whale hunting vessel travelling to the wild coast of Newfoundland, Canada in the 16th century. Basque live action movies in the 80s would recreate foreign locations with nearby settings. ‘Ipar haizearen erronka’ avoids this problem by showing America through drawings. We will analyze how the film takes the main characters on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean that also represents the traditional inward ‘hero’s journey’ by Joseph Campbell. The study also focuses on how the film depicts the most representative characteristics of the journey and how they are used as filming narrative resources. A closer look will be taken into the main vessels, the captain’s diary, the map, the historical context of the sailing of the ship, the maritime laws where sexism is abundant, the financing of the trip, and the work on board.