Here is a selection of the members’ featured publications.

Technès Dossier : Introduction: The BEAUVIATECH Program, Between Technologies and Aesthetics in Moving Pictures, Living Machines

Greta Plaitano, Simone Venturini and Paolo Villa (ed.),dossier directed by Gilles Mouëllic and Jean-Baptiste Massuet / Mimesis / 2020


Techniques et machines de cinéma, objets, gestes, discours in Écrans

Laurent Le Forestier, Gilles Mouëllic, Benoît Turquety (dir.) / Classiques Garnier / 2017


Godard / Machines

Antoine de Baecque and Gilles Mouëllic (ed.) / Éditions Yellow Now / 2020


Technès Dossier : Conceiving digital transition (Penser la transition numérique) in Palimpseste

Diego Cavalotti, Simone Dotto, Leonardo Quaresima (ed.),dossier directed by André Gaudreault, Laurent Le Forestier and Gilles Mouëllic / Mimesis / 2017


Technès Dossier : approches technologiques, questions esthétiques et histoire sans noms in A History of Cinema Without Names II: Contexts and Practical Applications

Diego Cavalotti, Simone Dotto, Leonardo Quaresima (ed.),dossier directed by André Gaudreault, Laurent Le Forestier and Gilles Mouëllic / Mimesis / 2017


Film History as Media Archaeology : Tracking Digital Cinema

Thomas Elsaesser / Amsterdam University Press / 2016


Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema

Tom Gunning, Giovanna Fossati, Jonathan Rosen and Josh Yumibe / Amsterdam University Press / 2015


A Rebirth and a Funeral : Cinémathèque Québécoise Restores a Long-Lost Actuality by Canadian Film Pioneer Léo-Ernest Ouimet

Louis Pelletier / Journal of Film Preservation / 2017


Techniques et technologies du cinéma : Modalités, usages et pratiques des dispositifs cinématographiques à travers l’histoire

André Gaudreault and Martin Lefebvre (ed.) / Presses universitaires de Rennes / 2015


Le découpage au cinéma

Vincent Amiel, Gilles Mouëllic and José Moure (ed.) / Presses universitaires de Rennes / 2016


Point de vue et point d’écoute au cinéma : Approches techniques

Antony Fiant, Roxane Hamery and Jean-Baptiste Massuet (ed.) / Presses universitaires de Rennes / 2017


L’amateur en cinéma, un autre paradigme. Histoire, esthétique, marges et institutions

Benoît Turquety and Valérie Vignaux (ed.) / Association française de recherche sur l’histoire du cinéma / 2017


World Building : Transmedia, Fans, Industries

Marta Boni (ed.) / Amsterdam University Press / 2017


Machines. Magie. Medias

Frank Kessler, Jean-Marc Larrue and Giusy Pisano (ed.) / Presses universitaires du Septentrion / 2018


Techniques Dossier. Introduction: TECHNÈS in A History of Cinema Without Names III: New Research Paths and Methodological Glosses,

Publication directed by Diego Cavalotti, Simone Dotto and Leonardo Quaresima, dossier directed by André Gaudreault, Gilles Mouëllic and Benoît Turquety / Mimesis / 2018


Quand l’amateur s’y colle. (Modes d’)emploi de la presse à coller les films dans le cinéma amateur entre 1910 et 1930

Thomas Godefroy / Journal of Film Preservation / 2018


« Technès » Dossier. In Exposing the Moving Image: the Cinematic Medium across World Fairs, Art Museums, and Cultural Exhibitions

Diego Cavalotti, Simone Dotto Andrea Mariani, Leonardo Quaresima and Simone Venturini, dossier directed by André Gaudreault, Laurent Le Forestier, Gilles Mouëllic / Mimesis / 2019


Technology and Film Scholarship : Experience, Study, Theory

Santiago Hidalgo / Amsterdam University Press / 2017


Du média au postmédia

Nicolas Dulac (ed.) / 2019


Inventing Cinema: Machines, Gestures and Media History

Benoît Turquety / Amsterdam University Press / 2019


Archéologie des effets spéciaux. Histoire, ontologie, dispositifs,

Thomas Carrier-Lafleur and Jean-Pierre Sirois-Trahan (eds.),  Archéologie des effets spéciaux: histoire, ontologie, dispositifs, Presses de l’Université de Montréal, “Cinéma et technologie” series, 2020

Abstract: Viewing cinema through the lens of special effects – their technique and their history – this volume will examine the various forms through which the cinema of special effects has been seen and heard, but also how, through its characteristic attractions, this cinema has come to be seen as a deceptive art. From its beginnings to its cutting edge practices today, the identity of the film medium has been structured by a series of effects, each of them “special” in its own way, which this industrial art has incorporated into its language in order to work magic. At a time when the digital is dangling before our eyes seemingly unlimited attractional possibilities, we believe that it is urgent that we examine the true position and role of special effects in the history of this practice, the cinema, whose identity is now in crisis. Special effects have been used for dual purposes: both to create an effect of reality and to instil a special effects effect, so to speak. With this openly archaeological method, we will employ archival materials to historicise radically the uses and techniques of special effects, as well as the forms of knowledge and the discourses which run through them.

With texts by: Dominique Bougerol, Patrick Désile, Réjane Hamus-Vallée, Laurent Le Forestier, Giusy Pisano, Diane Poitras, Angel Quintana, Caroline Renouard, Frédéric Tabet.

Bricoler, inventer: le cinéma expérimental au prisme des questions techniques

André Habib and Éric Thouvenel (eds.), Bricoler, inventer: le cinéma expérimental au prisme des questions techniques

Abstract: The resistance of experimental filmmakers throughout film history to industrial practices has played out not only on the aesthetic, theoretical, political and economic fronts. Their quest for new, astonishing and unseen forms, their goal of making highly singular films, irreducible to a norm, has taken place just as decisively in the field of technical inventiveness. Not, as it was long possible to believe, despite the lack of resources at their disposal, but precisely by making this lack a strength: by using any means available, by collecting and re-using, by reconstructing what they needed and coming up with what did not yet exist, by carrying out a long period of unlearning and, in so doing, by re-learning on their own and by their own means what the act of making a film means – meaning, in many cases, by bricolant, or cobbling together.

The bricoleur, or cobbler, to adopt the distinction proposed by Claude Levi-Strauss in a chapter of his book La pensée sauvage (The Savage Mind,1963), does not understand or act on the world in the same way as the engineer. Beyond the economic aspect, the production structures and the logic of the bricoleur’s individual labour (which might resemble the solitary practice of the experimental filmmaker), is unlike the work of a construction site (which can be compared to that of a film studio). We find here two logics, two rational orders in opposition, even if they can by chance work alongside one another. The bricoleurseeks hesitatingly, starting with what is at hand and gathering materials while thinking “this may come in handy some day”. Bricoleursaccept and seek out a degree of the unknown, of the absence of order, or a deeper, more understated order. Their knowledge comes from experiments, from a tactile and tangible familiarity with the materials they handle. They do not know in advance what they are trying to invent, and it is by experimenting, by “trying out”, that they create their projects. From this perspective, the gestures and approach of the bricoleurare similar to those of experimental cinema, which we wish to analyse and celebrate in this volume.

Among the most fascinating and seemingly contradictory changes that have come out of the advent of digital technologies since the 1990s is renewed interest, in both scholarly and artistic circles, in a new examination of the links connecting technology and aesthetics. The history of cinema techniques and technologies, once restricted to the study of early cinema, has taken time to establish itself as a major epistemological lever which makes it possible to better understand what defines the singularity of the creative processes in cinema. The emphasis placed in recent years on taking the technical element into account in analyses of cinema practices, an emphasis informed by theoretical and methodological questions developed in the fields of intermediality, media studies and, in the English- and German-speaking worlds, the archaeological study of media, has made it possible both to conceive in a new way an entire already well-established field (early cinema, the arrival of direct cinema, the transition to talking film, the digital transition, film colour, etc.) and to discover new topics of study (industrial cinema, home movies, the history of devices, the role of collectors, etc.).

Experimental or avant-garde cinema has obviously not lagged behind. From the 1910s to the present day, it has constantly invented for its own use alternative techniques for recording and producing images, for transgressing or exhausting the material support and for cobbling together projection and presentation apparatuses by the early adoption of formats seen as non-professional (16mm, Super-8) and by rejecting the prescribed uses and limits imposed by camera manufacturers, film stock merchants, etc. No doubt the digital shift, by profoundly transforming cinema’s media ecosystem, also liberated forces and gave rise to new efforts, thereby generating original forms: the closing of professional laboratories and the dismantling of 16mm film libraries in universities and municipalities have generated a circulation of films, equipment and materials, but also new interest in and a new desire to get even more involved in every stage of production, from recording to printing and development. Similarly, artists very quickly took hold of analogue and digital video to counteract the rules imposed by the industry and to make video a real tool of creation and invention by cobbling together sensors, manipulating code and jamming the signal. For all these reasons, experimental cinema is an enthralling outpost for understanding how, by meeting the individual and singular imperatives of creation, artists took hold of technologies, re-used, re-fashioned and reworked devices, and re-discovered, reinvented and shared sometimes long-forgotten expertise (dye-toning techniques, the use of cyanotype, the Kinemacolor technique, etc.), and thereby gradually developing the idea of manufactured films.

This book will offer a series of deep immersions (or digressions) into the world of experimental creation by offering not a linear or complete history, but rather a number of stations or moments which we believe to be relevant to grasping the variety and abundance of this other cinema continent, which is also, in many respects, cinema itself. Drawing on examples from cinema from Canada, Quebec, France and the United States, but also from Austria, Japan, Spain, England and Germany, from every period of experimental cinema, we will seek to penetrate the fabrication of these films and to understand how they were conceived and the singular kind of cobbling together they demonstrate, but also seek to better highlight the share of technology and aesthetics in cinema which they make it possible to grasp anew.

Cinéma et machines

Laurent Le ForestierGilles MouëllicBenoît Turquety (eds.), “Cinéma et machines

Anticipated publication: special issue of the journal Écrans (Classiques Garnier), April 2021

With texts byPhilippe BédardAlain Bergala, Ian Christie, Alexia de Mari, Chloé HofmannAndré Gaudreault,  Thomas Godefroy, Mathilde Lejeune, Laurent Le ForestierFabien Le TinnierJean-Baptiste MassuetGilles Mouëllic, Stéphane Pichelin, Vincent Sorrel, Benoît Turquety

Abstract: From his very first films, made in the early 1950s, Jean-Luc Godard has constantly interrogated the cinema as technology through numerous experiments intended to explore the innovations which have accompanied its history for more than a half century. His fascination for classical American cinema (with the Mitchell film camera as the almost fetishistic symbol of this classicism – see the opening scene in Le Mépris [Contempt]) has not prevented him from experimenting with and foregrounding the resources of direct cinema (portable equipment, synchronous sound), video and digital cinema with, for example, his quite personal use of 3D. But Godard and machines is also the editing bench, present in his cinema more than any other, the typewriter and the record player; or, even more prosaically, the automobile, the juke box and the coffee maker.

Contes de la voûte. Histoire et géographie illustrées des techniques du cinéma

Nicolas Dulac, Rachel Stoeltje et Benoit Turquety, in collaboration with the FIAF and Christophe Dupin, Contes de la voûte. Histoire et géographie illustrées des techniques du cinéma

Anticipated publication : Spring 2021

Abstract :

De la mobilographie

Richard Bégin, De la mobilographie

Anticipated publication : Presses de l’Université de Montréal, “Cinéma et technologie” series, 2020

Documenter une présence au monde : le cinéma de Johan van der Keuken

Antony Fiant, Gilles Mouëllic, Caroline Zéau (eds.), Documenter une présence au monde: le cinéma de Johan van der Keuken

Anticipated publication: Yellow Now, 2019

With texts by: François Albera, Bertrand Bacqué, Alain Bergala, Carine Bernasconi, Harry Bos, Pierre Eugène, Antony Fiant, Romain Lefebvre, Gilles Mouëllic, Thierry Nouel, Isabelle Rèbre, Thierry Roche, Frédéric Sabouraud, Vincent Sorrel, Benoît Turquety, Caroline Zéau

Abstract: Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001) is the author of a sizeable body of work, run through by a great diversity of practices and forms: in it photography, cinema (some sixty films), installations and theoretical writings are found alongside each other in a perpetual questioning of forms and technologies. His career spans nearly fifty years of cinema, from the emergence of direct cinema to the advent of the digital, and the diversity of aesthetic propositions within it makes him an uncategorisable filmmaker, constantly battling conventions and conformity.

Johan van der Keuken’s films, constructed around a constant dialogue between the personal and the political – “one sees the world within oneself”, he wrote – interrogate the complexity of the interdependence found in modern society. His vision of the relations between the global North and the global South, between the economy and the environment, between local and global, addresses the problems affecting the world today with astonishingly sound thinking.

Some of the film scholars and filmmakers who have contributed to this volume were fellow travellers of the filmmaker as he developed his ideas about cinema, ideas which were constantly expanding and open to exchange. Others discovered the importance of his work later on, and their work demonstrates how fertile and enduring his work is. These contributions to the wide range of investigation opened up by his work explore the many hybridisations which make up his poetics – between cinema and the arts, art and technology, image and text, anthropology and the avant-garde – to illuminate the significant tensions underlying its political power.


Antoine de Baecque and Gilles Mouëllic (eds.), Godard/Machine(s)

Anticipated publication: Yellow Now, 2021

With texts byFrançois AlberaAlain Bergala, Antoine de Baecque, Stephan Crasneanscki, Simon Daniellou, David Faroult, Laurent Guido, André HabibGilles Mouëllic, Vincent Sorrel, Benoît Turquety, Marcos Uzal

Abstract: From his very first films, made in the early 1950s, Jean-Luc Godard has constantly interrogated the cinema as technology through numerous experiments intended to explore the innovations which have accompanied its history for more than a half century. His fascination for classical American cinema (with the Mitchell film camera as the almost fetishistic symbol of this classicism – see the opening scene in Le Mépris [Contempt]) has not prevented him from experimenting with and foregrounding the resources of direct cinema (portable equipment, synchronous sound), video and digital cinema with, for example, his quite personal use of 3D. But Godard and machines is also the editing bench, present in his cinema more than any other, the typewriter and the record player; or, even more prosaically, the automobile, the juke box and the coffee maker.

Innovations technologiques et formes filmiques : direct, musique, improvisation

Gilles MouëllicInnovations technologiques et formes filmiques: direct, musique, improvisation

Anticipated publication: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, “Cinéma et technologie” series, May 2021

Abstract: The ambition of this essay is to offer a new method for the aesthetic analysis of films by taking technological innovations into account, particularly those since the Second World War. In keeping with my previous work, three topics provide entry-points to this discussion: direct cinema, music and improvisation.

Several problems are likely to form its structure:

– the question of sound recording, first of all, for example the consequences of the invention of the magnetic strip on the aesthetic of music and of cinema (and of music in cinema)

–  the presence of music in films associated with direct cinema, a presence reinvented thanks in particular to the portability of the equipment and to synchronous live sound

– new possibilities for interaction between the members of collectives created by film crews and by the persons being filmed

– the relations between live recording and the advent of the digital as “moments” in the history of image and sound recording.

Le montage cinématographique : instauration et standardisation d'une pratique

André Gaudreault and Laurent Le ForestierLe montage cinématographique: instauration et standardisation d’une pratique

Anticipated publication: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, “Parcours numérique” series, 2020

Portabilité, direct, numérique

Richard Bégin, Thomas Carrier-Lafleur, Gilles Mouëllic, Benoît Turquety, Caroline Zéau (eds.), Portabilité, direct, numérique

Anticipated publication: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2020

With texts by: Nicolas Appelt, Philippe Bédard, Carine Bernasconi, Rémi Besson, Martin Bonnard, Véronique Campan, Thomas Carrier-Lafleur, Faye Corthésy, Simon Daniellou, Charlotte Dronier, Alexia de Mari, Antony Fiant, Pierre-Henry Frangne, Radanath Gagnon,  Denis Grizet, Laurent Le Forestier, Sophie Maisonneuve, Gilles Mouëllic, Vanessa Nicolazic, Jacques Perconte, Vincent Sorrel, Eric Thouvenel, Benoît Turquety, Thomas Voltzenlogel, Anne-Katrin Weber, Caroline Zéau.

Abstract: It is now common to use the video function of our mobile telephones to record in images and sounds an event we deem worthy of interest. This everyday and ordinary act, accessible to everyone, or almost, is part of a media history which, by virtue of its transdisciplinary nature, can give rise to multiple approaches capable of demonstrating its complexity. This history is generated, without being limited to this, by the increasing technical portability of our devices, which is even leading these devices towards the abolition, for the moment only imagined, of their material presence. It is also generated by the desire of the recording individual always to be as close as possible to reality, sometimes to the point of merging with it. The volume interrogates this media and technological history with respect to its different aesthetic, social and scientific implications.

To speak of “digital cinema” today is thus to refer to extremely diverse objects and realities. The expression undoubtedly evokes, first of all, the transformation of the modes of producing and disseminating the dominant fictional cinema, and in particular the new role of computer-generated visual effects. But these innovations also involve a completely different aspect of cinema, one often overlooked in studies of technological innovations. In this respect the volume will measure the transformations brought about by digital devices in “poor” cinema: the cinema made in countries which do not have a film industry, or made in contexts seen as marginal or peripheral, or finally made by independent artists, outside the standard circuits. It may be here, in the end, that the most important issues for the world today can be found.


Richard Bégin (ed.), “Portabilité/mobilité/société”

Anticipated publication: special issue of the journal Cinémas, fall 2020

With texts by: Véronique Campan, Marie-Hélène Chevrier, Laurent Guido, Chloé Huvet, Jean-Baptiste Massuet, Marina Merlot, Gilles Mouëllic

Abstract: In his book Sociology beyond Societies, John Urry explores the various “material transformations that are remaking the ‘social’, especially those diverse mobilities which, through multiple senses, imaginary travel, movements of images and information, virtuality and physical movement, are materially reconstructing the ‘social as society’ into the ‘social as mobility’”.[1]His study, which, in a critical manner, poses the question of mobility as a sociological paradigm in its own right, capable of adequately interpreting the social transformations due, among other things, to globalisation, to the circulation of goods and to the culture of tourism, just misses the question of technical recording objects and audiovisual consumption. Yet these objects, from the movie camera to the telephone by way of the tape recorder, the computer tablet and the nomadic apparatuses of “audio-vision” (Michel Chion), bring about a true transformation of our cinematic habits in that the will towards technological miniaturisation, of which they are the symptom, contributes not only to “reconstructing’ the “social”, but also to redefining, no more and no less, “cinema as mobility”.

The goal of this issue is to understand “cinema as mobility” in the broadest sense possible by interrogating both the theoretical, aesthetic and technological context in which increasingly lightweight and easy to use recording equipment is employed, and the cultural and social environment in which are received increasingly nomadic and itinerant sounds and images. The reason the question of the portability of devices takes on such importance here is that it is at the heart of these “material transformations” to which John Urry refers and which are dramatically modifying the very definition of what cinema is, both as a practice and as it is consumed. The articles which make up this issue have been chosen, precisely, in such a way as to reflect both the heterogeneity and the extent of these modifications. They provide a transhistorical panorama of an issue, mobility, whose origin lies not only, as one might think, in recent developments in mobile technology, but which draws rather on a history of technology, within which the portability of recording and dissemination devices remains a central point.

[1]John Urry, Sociology beyond Societies: Mobilities for the Twenty-first Century (London: Routledge, 2000), 2.

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