CfP: RCL nº. 59 | Media-Bodies: matter and imaginary

Aida Castro (ICNOVA / I2ADS)
Maria Mire (CICANT / AR.CO)

Media-bodies are frontier bodies that operate in the spaces-between. They are bodies that define and materialise themselves, acquire and install bodies in the crossings and, for this very reason, are open to the practices of the imaginary. Media-bodies show their specific experiences, politics and languages: they are their own medium appearance and their own essay and we can say that this emerges in the embodiment of the materialities they convoke, evoke or even in those that circulate and imagine in the crossings.

Does (in) a media-body vibrate the latency of its temporality? The cyborg, as Donna Haraway (1985) presented in her manifesto, would then be a media-body par excellence, a modern archetype. This body, even if obsolete, is still a figure that allows us to think about the materialities of its appearance, connected with the operations of the languages of that same embodiment: the duplicity and simultaneity that inhabits these bodies are relevant, full of frictions and dissonances in the experiences and experimentation of limits. Media-bodies are then problematic for situating a space-between and for embodying their medial politics.

In the field of artistic practices, these media-bodies are often installed in the poetic experimentation, mainly related to the technologies that crossed the entire 20th century and expanded into the 21st century. Specially, if we perceive — in the crossings and immersiveness of imagery devices — the appearance of ghosts, which are projected from there. From an archaeological perspective, the visualization of spectral apparitions was explained by rationalist thinking based on two distinct axes of arguments. One that identifies its technical nature, presenting it as the result of an illusory effect produced by an optical device, with a real presence even if diaphanous. And another argument, as defended as Terry Castle (1995), who assumes that these are alternatively a phantasmatic production of the mind, originating from a disordered psychic reality, which haunts us as tormented subjects.

The disturbing sensation that emerges from the opacity of the modes of production of some of these media-bodies does not lie in the concealment of technical means used to amplify the impact of ghostly apparitions, as happened during the 19th and 20th centuries. But the fact that this mist, which obscures the relations of production, does not have an alchemical or scientific reason, but to serve corporate logics and to feed the abstraction produced by a vectoralist class, as McKenzie Wark says in her hacker manifesto (2004).

Ghosts, as media-bodies, continue to perpetuate the confrontation between matter and imaginary, and surgically topologize this clash. But which media-bodies are being projected? What materials produce these bodies and what imaginaries are claimed? Nowadays, the presence of new and more bodies seems to expropriate artistic methodologies and experimental archivists to feed, for example, the modus operandi of neural networks.

This issue of the RCL is open for contributions, starting with the following topics:
  • Imagined corporealities in artistic practices.
  • Ghost bodies, ectoplasms, holographic bodies.
  • Practices of the imaginary and posthuman poetics.
  • Hybridisms in artistic practices and methodologies.
  • Media archaeology and new obsolescences.
  • Critical posthumanism; post-binarism; post-digital; post-cyborg: critiques of digital corporations.
  • Undisciplinary practices, mutations and manifestos: artistic, embodied politics.
  • Critical thinking around visual production generated through artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Presence and immersiveness: in contemporary art and/or virtual reality (VR) projects.

Articles can be written in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese and will be subjected to blind peer review. Visual essays will be accepted and encouraged for submission. Proposals for book reviews, relevant to this issue context, will also be accepted. Formatting must be done in accordance with the journal’s submission guidelines and the submission via the OJS platform by July 31, 2023.

Guidelines for submission and instructions for authors:

Visual essays format:

Up to 12 pages, the essay may be entirely visual or combine image and text. In the latter case, the text must not exceed 500 words. It may, additionally, include an abstract of no more than 300 words and 5 keywords, in which case it must comply with the rules laid down for abstracts. If an abstract is included, it should help to understand the essay and its relevance to the theme. This is particularly important in the case of essays that only use images. The visual element must be an integral part of the argument or the ideas being expressed rather than serve as an example or illustration. In visual essays, particular attention should be paid to the page layout for the images/texts. Submissions must include a PDF file with a suggested page layout for 17×24.5cm 300 ppi.
(+ info.:

In the submission document mention the edition number RCL 59, as well as the reference to the topics it addresses.

For inquiries please contact the editors Aida Castro and Maria Mire: []
This edition takes part of the ongoing project: (de)MONSTRAS: imaginaries, corporalities and amphibious materialities.ICNOVA/UIDB/002/2022/ deMo.

This work is financed by national funds through FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology under the project Ref.: UIDB/05021/2020.


No payment is required from authors // No APC statement
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Editorial asssistent: Patrícia Contreiras, ICNOVA — Portugal