Cultural Studies Leuven

Between Neo and Retro: a conference on nostalgia and reinvention

By Jan Baetens

Today, objects are no longer made to last: their vital (sic) mode of existence is that of obsolescence, for throwing away and replacing all that exists is what makes the world and the economy make go round. At the same time, vintage, nostalgia, recycling are everywhere, and no less present than amnesia, even within digital culture (which would be nothing without skeuomorphs, i.e. derivative objects that retain ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original).

On 8 and 9 December, the UCL based research group GIRCAM (a French acronym that refers to the study of cultures “on the move”) organizes a conference on this key issue. The venue is Mons (and as all readers of this blog already know, any opportunity is good to visit this wonderful city), and the diversity of the program is exciting.

All details can be found here and admission is free. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear about the hidden connections between hockey (collectors) cards and houseboats, aquariums and zeppelins, audio- and videocassettes and mooks (and why not also moocs, today’s hype, tomorrow’s nostalgia item).

Back to the future! Be there!