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The Short Form

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Organizer: Paloma Duong

Co-Organizer: Carolina Baffi

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This seminar would convene inquiries about the short form across media and genres: stories, chronicles, aphorisms, poems, blog posts, tweets, songs, snapshots and more. We are particularly interested in epistemologies of acceleration and the remediation of brevity. We propose to reexamine the aesthetics of the brief; the modalities of a sensibility which seems to justify itself in an acceleration of life by way of technology, and in the abatement of free time which determines its redistribution and uses. We may ask: What are the conditions of possibility of the brief form? How does the short form respond to discourses and technologies of acceleration and to the reorganization of leisure and labor time? Does the short form exist only in a dialogue with more established and prestigious counterparts, e.g. the short prose form and the novel? How do the aesthetics of the short form engage its modes of transmission and reception, and address (mass) media literacies? Does it reveal something about the historical limits of artistic, literary, or other forms? Does it have a pre-history in vernacular or ‘low’—and lo-fi—forms? How did the short form transform representation and its critiques? Can there be a theory of the short form? 

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