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In the Cloud of Unknowing: Encounters with the UFO Phenomenon

  • Start date: 17th Jul 2024
  • End date: 18th Jul 2024
  • Mildred's Lane Projects. Beach Lake, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Organiser: Alex A Jones Programme Curator
  • Website

July 17–18, 2024 | Hybrid in-person & online

To be held at the arts residency Mildred’s Lane (Beach Lake, Pennsylvania) and online, the two-day conference will take place on July 17–18, 2024.

This transdisciplinary symposium aims to convene art practitioners, researchers, theorists, and students interested in the broad spectra of ideas and methods emerging from discourses surrounding the global UFO Phenomenon.
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Call for Papers / Expressions of Interest
Deadline for submission for Folklore Society Members: 21 June, 2024

The subject-territory of the UFO bridges epistemological concerns in religion, science, and technology, while also transcending the confines of academic discourse as it plays out in the realms of folklore and popular cultures. Traditionally examined using scientific, historical, or anthropological methods, all constrained by their respective conventions, the phenomenon presents opportunities for divergent and intra-disciplinary research methodologies.

This international symposium is organized to expand discourses emerging from an intensive 3-week residency session at Mildred’s Lane, In the Cloud of Unknowing: Encounters with the UFO Phenomenon (July 1–19, 2024), a transdisciplinary research project with a focus on art praxis and folklore traditions, which will employ group readings, screenings, and discussions to explore topics that also guide areas of interest for the symposium. For further details of the residencysessions see also – https://mildredslane.org/ufo

Symposium Themes:

UFO cultures, subcultures, and pop-cultures across deep scales of time
Limits of Perception—Bodily, cognitive, and symbolic limitations of experiencing and retelling encounters with liminal phenomena and the alien Other
Living Myths—Storytelling as a flawed medium for uncanny encounters that resist documentation, including UFO sightings and abduction narratives
Clouds of Unknowing—Alchemical, mystical, and folkloric experiences and languages as they interrelate to the UFO phenomenon
Men in Black–Power structures to which the UFO phenomenon draws attention—the military/industrial complex, Cold-War paranoia, and unregulated Big Tech
Conspiraspheres—Disinformation, disclosure, and post-truth research paradigms
Close Encounters—Limiting and incomplete models of paranormal investigation, including photography, data collection, the scientific method, and anecdotal evidence
We are the Martians—Uncanny and settler-colonial psychologies of the “alien”— from the ancient past to the post-human, we are “strange strangers” to ourselves
Divine Horizons—How terrestrial conditions act as hieroglyphic for macroscopic forces of the intra/extraterrestrial
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Format for Papers & Presentations:

Presenters may share academic papers, film/media, arts practice, gesamtkuntswerk and other forms. Digital presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint. Presentations of whatever format should be no more than 20 minutes duration, with further time allowed for plenary sessions. Time keeping will be strict. Media and moving image work will be presented on showreels played throughout the symposium.
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Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts/proposals will be peer reviewed by a group of international artists and academics. These should be no more than 500 words in length and may be illustrated. Please submit in Microsoft Word format. Please also include a brief biography, image of the presenter, appellations and full contact details. References should appear in author-date style with in-text citations.
Sample abstract and author bio may be referenced here.
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Registration costs:

Symposium Registration Fee $200
All in-person and online presenters

Lodging at Mildred’s Lane (optional) $600
Join us for two nights at Mildred’s Lane
Inclusive of lodging & meals