Fashionating Images. Audiovisual Media Studies Meet Fashion

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Over the past decades, fashion has acquired centrality in social and economic processes for its capacity to penetrate and influence both cultural production and identitarian practices. The proliferation of media objects such as fashion films, makeover TV shows, fashion blogs and vlogs has shown how prolific the encounter between fashion and audiovisual media can be. The aim of Comunicazioni Sociali. Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies‘ special issue on Fahsionating Images. Audiovisual Media Studies Meet Fashion (No. 1, January-April 2017, co-edited by Adriano D’Aloia, Marie-Aude Baronian and Marco Pedroni) is to explore this intersection and, consequently, the cross fertilization between fashion studies and media studies, with particular regard to audiovisual media, such as cinema, television, advertising and digital video. The essays interrogate how the combination of fashion and the moving-image enables us to reflect upon the ubiquitous presence of fashion in our media-saturated landscape, and at the same time upon the ubiquitous presence of media in socio-cultural practices and industrial processes such as fashion. Questioning the encounter between audiovisual media and fashion brings an elective affinity to light. If fashion is central to cinema and television and gives rise to a wide range of new genres and formats, it also impacts on the forms of representation and expression of identity and the body via personal and social media, according to the prevailing customs and tastes of our place and time. This encounter is a terrain of experimentation with new trends in the media experience – ones that rely on performativity and the enhancement of the viewer/user’s agency. After all, audiovisual media are similarly about constructing a fictional (and entertaining) world and actively and creatively inhabiting it as an essential part of the actual world.

» Table of Contents (Introduction free download)



Snapshot Culture. The Photographic Experience in the Post-Medium Age

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For the first time since the beginning of its history, exactly 50 years ago, Comunicazioni Sociali devotes a special issue to Photography: Snapshot Culture. The Photographic Experience in the Post-Medium Age (No. 1/2016, edited by Adriano D’Aloia and Francesco Parisi). For a long time, the study of photography has been a part of Art studies or a mere object of philosophical investigations. Yet, after the advent of digital technologies it progressively became central in Media and Communication studies. From the 2000s onwards, various social and technological events made photography more accessible, ubiquitous, public, cheap, democratic, immediate and shared than ever before, paving the way to a renewal of photographic experience. New objects, formats, devices, practices and uses emerged as specific traits of a ‘performative’ photographic agency. This emergence is allowed by the fact that photography, despite being one of the most ancient media, still shapes our lives, empowers our biological vision, and enhances our imaginative visual practices. The editors of this issue propose the term ‘snapshot culture’ to refer to  the combination of technological, aesthetic and practical shifts in contemporary photographic experience. Snapshot culture is characterized by a twofold dynamic: the persistence of the original traits of the photographic experience as it emerged and developed, coupled with the modulation of new opportunities offered by technological improvements and social changes. Indeed, the digitalization of photographic aesthetics and related media practices provides an ideal case for studying some of the most challenging developments in visual media aesthetics within the broader landscape of the post-medium condition and for reflecting on how photography theory has responded to such challenges in the post-theoryera. This special issue offers a critical investigation of photography’s ‘persistence’ in the media experience through both an analysis of concrete objects and phenomena (e.g. selfies, animated GIFs, social networking, computational photography)  and the refinement of theoretical approaches to photography.

» Table of Contents (Introduction free download) 

Per la prima volta nella sua storia, cominciata esattamente cinquant’anni fa, Comunicazioni Sociali dedica un intero monografico alla Fotografia: Snapshot Culture. The Photographic Experience in the Post-Medium Age (n. 1/2016, a cura di Adriano D’Aloia e Francesco Parisi). Lo studio della fotografia è stato a lungo appannaggio dell’ambito artistico-estetico, o tutt’al più oggetto strumentale di investigazioni filosofiche. Con l’avvento delle tecnologie digitali la fotografia ha invece guadagnato progressiva centralità negli studi sui media e sulla comunicazione. Dagli anni 2000 in avanti una serie di eventi sociali e tecnologici l’ha resa più accessibile, ubiqua, personale, economica, democratica, immediata e condivisa, e ha aperto la strada a una nuova esperienza fotografica. Nonostante sia uno dei più antichi media moderni, la fotografia continua oggi a dare visibilità e forma alle nostre vite, a potenziare la nostra visione biologica ed ad accrescere la nostra immaginazione visiva. I curatori di questo monografico introducono l’espressione “snapshot culture” per riferirsi al complesso dei mutamenti estetici e pratici dell’esperienza fotografica, con l’intento di evidenziarne gli aspetti rilevanti e innovativi, pur senza sottacere le ricadute problematiche. La “snapshot culture” è caratterizzata da una duplice dinamica: da un lato la persistenza dei tratti originari e costitutivi dell’esperienza fotografica, dall’altro la modulazione di nuove opportunità offerte dalle innovazioni tecnologiche e dai cambiamenti sociali, nello scenario di una più ampia “condizione post-mediale”. I contributi raccolti offrono un’esplorazione critica della “persistenza” della fotografia nell’esperienza contemporanea, sia attraverso l’analisi di oggetti e fenomeni concreti (dal selfie alla GIF animata, da Instagram alla fotografia computazionale…), sia attraverso la rilettura e la revisione degli approcci interpretativi finora utilizzati per comprenderla.

» Sommario (Introduzione scaricabile gratuitamente) 

Neurofilmology. Audiovisual Studies and the Challenge of Neuroscience

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Over the last two decades, discoveries made in the field of cognitive neuroscience have begun to permeate the humanities and social sciences. In the context of this intersection, Neurofilmology is a research program that arises at the encounter between two models of viewer: the viewer-as-mind (deriving from a cognitive/analytical approach) and the viewer-as-body (typical of the phenomenological/continental approach). Accordingly, Neurofilmology focuses on the viewer-as-organism, by investigating with both empirical and speculative epistemological tools the subject of audiovisual experience, postulated as embodied, embedded, enacted, extended, emerging, affective, and relational.

The special issue 22/23 of Cinéma & Cie, edited by Adriano D’Aloia and Ruggero Eugeni, focuses on major conceptual and epistemological arguments arising from the dialogue between audiovisual studies and neurosciences developed over the last twenty years. In fact, the contributors share the conviction that such a dialogue can be fruitful if and only if it is conducted within a common and consistent framework, including both epistemological and conceptual aspects. Such a framework should allow each of the research programs to contribute to a shared understanding of that particular and complex phenomenon that is the film and audiovisual media viewing experience.


  • Adriano D’Aloia and Ruggero EugeniNeurofilmology: An Introduction
  • Temenuga TrifonovaNeuroaesthetics and Neurocinematics: Reading the Brain/Film through the Film/Brain 
  • Maria PoulakiNeurocinematics and the Discourse of Control: Towards a Critical Neurofilmology 
  • Patricia PistersDexter’s Plastic Brain: Mentalizing and Mirroring in Cinematic Empathy 
  • Enrico CarocciFirst-Person Emotions: Affective Neuroscience and the Spectator’s Self 
  • Maarten Coëgnarts and Peter KravanjaThe Sensory-Motor Grounding of Abstract Concepts in Two Films by Stanley Kubrick 
  • Pia Tikka and Mauri KaipainenPhenomenological Considerations on Time Consciousness under Neurocinematic Search Light 
  • Vittorio Gallese and Michele GuerraThe Feeling of Motion: Camera Movements and Motor Cognition 

    Cover image: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (Joseph Green, USA 1962). Poster by Reynold Brown

    © 2015 – Mimesis International
    ISBN 9788869770227 | ISSN 2035-5270