EKPHRASIS. Images, Cinema, Theory, Media Vol. 17, Issue 1/2017 , The Ghost in the Cinema Machine: Contemporary representations of artificial intelligence in science fiction films, literature and visual arts

Andrei Simut Announcement
Subject Fields
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Film and Film History, Humanities, Literature

From Metropolis (1927) to Ex Machina (2015), from A Space Odyssey (1968) to The Matrix (1999), from Blade Runner (1982) to Her (2013), science fiction cinema has imagined countless modes of narrating this uncanny interaction between man and machine, one so strange yet so familiar to any smartphone user.

To a certain degree Baudrillard’s premise has proven prophetic: with the rapid advance of technologies the science fiction universe, once placed in a distant future, was challenged by the present day realities and the unexpected fulfillment of the technological utopias.

Some questions are following from this transformation: Are we witnessing the radical transformation of the sci-fi genre, or the end the classical “artificial intelligence” trope? Has sci-fi been reduced to a mere projection/allegory of the “real” world? What is the future of the genre, after assimilating fantasy (Star Wars), horror, or dystopia? What is the future of sci-fi narratives in the wake of blockbusters like Gravity, Tv series such as Black Mirror or Humans or auteur films such as Her? What is left of the realm of extrapolation?

These are just a couple of questions of the current issue of Ekphrasis, which will investigate what is left of the traditional imagination of science fiction after being surpassed by the evolution of hyperreality/ virtual reality and other simulated spaces.

Ekphrasis is seeking papers that address the issue of technology in general and artificial intelligence in particular and who analyze how these topics are addressed by the contemporary representations in cinema, literature and visual arts.


Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

Human consciousness vs simulated consciousness

Man versus his mirror technical image-body-mind

Technophobic/technophilic visions on artificial intelligence

Realism and the future of science fiction genre

Dystopian and utopian visions on posthumanism

Data made flesh vs flesh made data

Transhumanist utopia

Mind-transplant immortality



Issue editors: Andrei Simuţ and Doru Pop


Deadline for abstracts of up to 300 words: March 30th 2017.

Final submission is due May 20th 2017.

The articles should be written in English or French (for English, please use the MLA citation style and documenting sources). 

For the final essay, the word limit is 5000-8000 words of text (including references).

Please include a summary and key-words

The articles should be original material not published in any other media before.

Graduate students are particularly encouraged to submit papers.


Contact Information

Assistant Professor Andrei Simut, Department of Cinematography and Media, Faculty of Theatre and Television, "Babes-Bolyai" University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Please send all correspondence to andrei.simut@gmail.com or andrei.simut@ubbcluj.ro and popdoru@gmail.com

Ekphrasis is a peer-reviewed academic journal, edited by the Faculty of Theatre and Television, “Babes-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The current issue is edited by Andrei Simut and Doru Pop.

For more information and submission guidelines, please visit:



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