Sydney Underground Film Festival 2020

Inhuman Screens Online Conference (REPLAY)

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The Sydney Underground Film Festival in collaboration with Sydney College of the Arts is pleased to announce the third annual conference Inhuman Screens. The conference will explore issues of the human and nonhuman in relation to crises. Fittingly, the conference will be held online.

The conference features keynotes from ANGELA NDALIANIS and LISA E. BLOOM. Bloom explores ecological devastation in relation to issues of representation and memory and Ndalianis explores uncanny technological representations and their ontological challenge to the human. 

We will also be talking—via exclusive interviews—with BARBARA CREED and JODI DEAN. Dean’s interview will cover topics such as “Communicative Capitalism” in relation to whether capitalism is the new feudalism and whether there may be a socialist/communist future. Creed’s interview will discuss a range of inhuman female forms in a number of horror and science fiction films of the last decade (Evolution, Lucile Hadžihalilović, 2015; Ex Machina, Alex Garland, 2015, Lucy, Luc Besson, 2014, The Lure, Agnieszka Smoczyńska, 2017; Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer, 2013) that draw on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. These diverse and fluid female forms include: alien, android, cannibal-mermaid, hominin and super-computer. She is interested in the way these films draw on the female monster, her agency and strangeness in order to critique masculinist and humanist discourses that fail to recognise the radical challenge of the inhuman-as-female.

Plus there will be a panel discussions with Salote Tawale, Bruce Isaacs and Jaimie Leonarder (aka Jay Katz).

Convened by Dr Aleksandr Wansbrough & Dr Stefan Popescu

Lisa E. Bloom is a theorist of visual culture, film studies, and feminist art history. She is the author of Gender on Ice (1993), With Other Eyes ( 1999) and Jewish Identities in American Feminist Art (2006). She is currently completing a book titled Critical Polar Aesthetics in the Anthropocene (Duke UP, 2022). She is currently in residence at the Beatrice Bain Center in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California.

Angela Ndalianis is Research Professor in Media and Entertainment. Her research focuses on entertainment culture (films, video games, television, VR, comic books and theme parks) and the history of media technologies. Her publications include Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment (MIT Press 2004), Science Fiction Experiences, The Horror Sensorium and the edited books The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero, Neo-baroques (co-editor), and Fans and Videogames (co-editor, Routledge, 2017).

Barbara Creed is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of six books, including The Monstrous- Feminine (1993), Darwin’s Screens (2009); and Stray (2017). Her forthcoming book is Return of the Monstrous-Feminine (Routledge in 2021). Her recent research is in fourth wave feminism, ethics in the anthropocene and the inhuman. She is the director of the Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network (HRAE) in the Arts Faculty.

Jodi Dean is professor in the Political Science department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state. She is the author of many books, co-editing Reformatting Politics: Information Technology and Global Civil Society (co-editor, Routledge 2006), and the author of Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (Duke University Press 2009) , Blog Theory (Polity 2010), The Communist Horizon (Verso 2012) , and Comrade (Verso 2019).


Salote Tawale is a contemporary artist and associate lecturer in Screen Arts at Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney. Having exhibited nationally and internationally most notably at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne; Spring Workshop in Hong Kong for Para Site gallery; at iCAN for the FCACHeartsJogjatour of Jogakata Indonesia. In 2016 Tawale undertook an Indigenous Visual and Digital residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta Canada and in 2017 received the Inaugural Create NSW Visual Arts Midcareer/Established Fellowship. In 2018 Tawale undertook the Australia Council for the Arts six-month residency at Acme, London, focussing on colonial archives; Fijian Objects, imagery and written records.

Bruce Isaacs, Associate Professor - University of Sydney 

"I am interested in a wide range of film studies-related topics: histories of film (with a focus on Hollywood, though I have abiding interests in various ‘New Waves’ and movements), film aesthetics and style, critical approaches to film production, film and popular culture (including the relationship between film and other pop culture art forms such as television, literature and music). I am currently intrigued by various developments in High Concept Hollywood and its evolution of new aesthetic practices, including digital and 3D cinema."

Jaimie Leonarder aka Jay Katz nurse, youth worker, diversional therapist, Missionbeat driver, co-host SBS Movie Show (2004-06) co-curator of the Mu-Meson Archives, co-host of the Naked World visual podcast, performance artist, experimental musician, actor, Vice president UFOR, independent scholar of Para-Political and Anomalous Studies co creator of Cult Sinema Obscura, DJ, MC and Film Archivist. Jaimie Leonarder and his wife Aspasia have been the subjects of at least four documentaries, the most renowned being the SBS/ Pagan Films Love and Anarchy 2002. The Revolution Will Be Televised! since January 2020 Jaimie and Aspasia with the assistance of a maverick film and Television school graduate (who's name will remain anonymous) have created an online platform in which their multi faceted approach to counter culture is explored and exposed. Now with over 40 international and local interviews with creatives who range from cultural commentators, philosophers, indigenous activists, independent filmmakers, actors and avant-guard artists filmed they are challenging the para-dime shift in screening culture and entertainment. Their emphasis lies on the mental health and well being of a devastated and financially insecure world wide community of miscreants. They are now offering a counterpoint to the commodification of art as they perceive the modern world of screen culture to be the junk food during this decline of Western Civilisation. Posing the statement that the playing field has been leveled and that revolution through provocation can now challenge the corporate leviathans in their relentless domination for the control of our dollars and minds. Find out more about Mu Meson Archives here.