Search DH@UVA

Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

CFP: Algorithms in Film, Television, and Sound Cultures

Call For Submissions


Christian Katzenbach
(Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin)

Robert Prey
(University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts)

Diğdem Sezen
(Teesside University, School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, Department of Transmedia Digital Art and Animation)

Contemporary visual and sound cultures which increasingly rely on algorithmic analytics raise important questions on subjectivity and creativity in our ways of seeing and hearing, the ethics of the visual and the aural, the quantified self, the aesthetics and the provenance of the image.

The use of algorithmic analytics to create media content, including films, series, trailers and teasers have proliferated with the advent of networking and digital streaming platforms. Digital data sets have become commodities in the global media industry. The knowledge obtained from digital data sustains the flow of knowledge on the users’ choices, governing production and consumption processes. Although algorithmic data appears to be computationally generated, it is bound with actors, networks, businesses and their ways of thinking and imagining the world. A line of research focuses on how the algorithmic calculation of taste data in film, sound and television have transformed and possibly subverted the mediums. Hence, algorithms are objects of critical cultural and political analyses.

Algorithms shape and condition not only ways of knowing but also ways of storytelling. Although the use of algorithms (which can be traced back to early editing) is not new in film studies, their increasing use in the production of film, including footage organization and cutting as well as dramatic writing raises questions about new ways of storytelling. To illustrate with a few examples, companies such as Scriptbook in Belgium and Vault in Israel use algorithmic software to foresee films’ box office performances by analyzing scripts. Likewise, artificial intelligence that is used to produce images from texts is used in the production process of film. In 2018, the BAFTA-nominated director Oscar Sharp teamed up with an artificial intelligence expert to create the ~7-minute film Zone Out.

Utilisation of algorithms in sound and music is also more and more visible in various forms. Regarding popular music consumption, algorithmic engines used by music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music to offer personalised recommendations is among the prominent of these applications. Similarly, there are attempts to build an algorithmic deep-learning tool called AutoFoley, that can design synchronised sound for videos.

Against this background, this conference invites submissions that examine new ways of knowing and storytelling in film, sound and television that are in connection with algorithms in digital visual spaces.

Possible topics may include, yet not limited to:

  • different frameworks to study algorithms
  • algorithms and storytelling in film and television
  • algorithms and streaming platforms
  • the aesthetics of the image
  • new visual spaces
  • algorithms and scriptwriting
  • cross platform interactions
  • algorithm and user interaction
  • algorithm and production cultures
  • algorithm and creative processes
  • algorithm and transnational adaptations
  • algorithm and genres
  • racial and gender biases in algorithms
  • algorithm and sound cultures

Submission Requirements

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to Can Türe by March 1, 2021.
Participants will be notified of acceptance by March 15, 2021.

Paper proposals must include a 300-500 word abstract, a bibliography with up to 5 entries, and a brief author bio.

Roundtable panel proposals must include a ~500 word abstract describing the goal of the panel, a bibliography with around 5 entries and bios and contact information for each of the participants. Please indicate the primary correspondent for the panel.

March 1, 2021 12:00 am

for more info, contact

Event type: Call for Papers