Vintage is everywhere. Ranging from vintage design to vintage cloths and vintage media, in our contemporary culture ‘the old rebranded as new’ and ‘the new rebranded as old’ are a striking phenomenon – but what kind of relationship to or longing for the past does ‘vintage’ indicate? Retro nostalgia and other memory practices that can be observed in media culture today constantly redefine our relation to the past, present, and future. Guest editor Kim Knowles has composed a special section on ‘Vintage’ with interesting contributions related to vintage as a critical theoretical tool to investigate salient aspects of contemporary media culture. This special section hopes to contribute to a theory of vintage that stretches across different media and to map out the theoretical, historical, sociological, and aesthetic foundations for understanding vintage as a vital part of contemporary culture.
The features section presents a sneak preview of Janet Harbord’s forthcoming book on Giorgio Agamben’s theories of cinema, while Francesco Spampinato discusses Richard Serra’s video art. This section also presents two important dialogues. Television as a medium in transition has been on the agenda of television studies since digitalisation altered the landscape. Markus Stauff holds a conversation with John Caldwell on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the latter’s pioneering book Televisuality, discussing convergence and the transformative nature of ‘television after television’. In October the feminist filmmaker Chantal Akerman passed away at age 65. Newspapers all over the world paid tribute to her, confirming that her films, springing from a radical minimalism and extraordinary clarity of vision, have remained undated. NECSUS editor Annie van den Oever talks to the Belgian cineaste, writer, and scholar Eric de Kuyper in commemoration of the passing of his friend and creative partner, who he met when she brought him a print of her debut short film at the age of 18.
The audiovisual essay section returns, edited by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, this time featuring works that dissect the tropes of popular narrative cinema. The book review section features the writing of two members of the NECSUS editorial board. The festival review section travels from South America to the Arctic Circle. The exhibition review section contemplates photography among other consecutive matters in the cinematic arts. Coming up soon, a special section on ‘Small data’ in the Spring 2016 issue. Also, a new call for papers for Autumn 2016 on a key theme that hits home for us all. We hope you enjoy the current issue. Thank you for your contributions, and thank you for reading.
NECSUS Editorial Board