Advertising the Sublime

A two-day event in April 2013 at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (19 April) and the Eye Film Institute Netherlands (20 April). The event focused upon the sublime in the everyday in popular culture and brought findings of the HERA funded project TEF (Technology, Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media Practices and Commercial Application) to new audiences.

Loch, C. (2013) “Looking On”: Video documentation of ‘Advertising The Sublime’from Transtechnology Research on Vimeo.

Advertising the Sublime booklet pdf

This project brought aspects of the findings of two HERA projects, TEF (Technology, Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media Practices and Commercial Application) and CIM (Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement), to invited, targeted and self-selecting audiences. The aim was to exchange knowledge, ideas, feelings and sentiments about images and objects with a strong personal significance ranging from religious talisman to childhood memories of adverts,  reflected in the “sensational form” of media as they are used in advertising for the knowledge economy, life style and belief choices. 

Liebig Company Trade Card (from the private collection of Martha Blassnigg)

The events comprised screenings and displays of archival advertising materials and objects relating to advertising, the sublime and the everyday. The public were invited to bring their own objects and images relevant to audio-visual media, advertising, religious practices, and art and to engage with the presented materials to stimulate discussion and knowledge exchange. The event drew attention to the affective and sensational forms of the media as they relate to belief, imagination and transcendence of everyday experience. This dynamic engagement took place in a symmetrical exchange among participants, designed to encourage plenary participation that proved valuable to professionals and the wider public in understanding the affective responses that can be stimulated by audio-visual mediation. The event was actively targeted to include new audiences comprising heritage professionals, artists, archivists, media practitioners and professionals, educators, museum curators and policy makers.

The second day concluded with an evaluation event involving senior participants and stakeholders responsible for policy and decision making in (i) the academic (ii) curatorial (iii) commercial and (iv) the cultural heritage sectors. A structured discussion addressed future directions of user-led approaches to knowledge transfer as it applies to the affective dimensions of objects and audio-visual materials, cultural heritage (in particular artefacts from popular culture) and the integration into specific institutional and professional frameworks.

This project was funded by HERA and was a collaboration between TEF, Plymouth University (Prof. dr. Michael Punt, Dr. Martha Blassnigg); CIM, Utrecht University (Prof. dr. Birgit Meyer) and the TEF Associate Partners: Eye Film Institute Netherlands (Mark-Paul Meyer), Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Bas Agterberg).

Additional support was drawn from TEF and CIM teams and partners:

TEF: VU Amsterdam (Prof. dr. Bert Hogenkamp, Dr. Rudmer Canjels, Mr. Wilbert Schreurs, Dr. Ivo Blom), University of Applied Arts Vienna (Dr. Margarete Jahrmann, Prof. Brigitte Felderer, Dr. Fares Kayali)

CIM: Queen’s University Belfast (Dr. Maruska Svasek), Open University UK (Leon Wainwright) and Associate Partners:  Museum für Völkerkunde Wien (Barbara Plankensteiner), Museum of Cultural History Oslo (Oivind Fuglerud).