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The International Association for Visual Culture is pleased to announce its fifth biennial conference, "Visual Pedagogies." The conference will take place September 13 - 15, 2018and will be hosted by UCL's Institute of Education (London).
The IAVC is now soliciting papers and creative proposals that address the issues of visual pedagogies from different starting points. Please visit the IAVC website at https://www.iavc.info/conference/ for a list of prompts and questions that we hope to address in 2018. A partial list of contributors, including keynote speakers, is also available on the website.
Proposals should be 250 - 500 words in length and may include supplementary material (i.e., images, videos, links). Please also include an abbreviated CV and/or a link to a professional website.
Please direct all submissions in PDF format to GreetingsIAVC@gmail.com by the November 30, 2017 deadline. The website has more information about the conference, and will be updated periodically.
We look forward to your proposals!
Edited by Alison Green and Joanne Morra
Arguably the most discussed piece of art criticism published since the 1960s, ‘Art and Objecthood’ written by American art historian (and poet) Michael Fried (1939-), and published in the June 1967 issue of Artforum magazine, has been variously described as ‘world dividing doxology’ (Caroline Jones) and ‘a theoretical wedge’ (Rosalind Krauss). What is clear is that the ideas it addresses are remarkably durable. ‘Art and Objecthood’ comments upon and agonizes over what is perceived as the major paradigm shift between modernism and postmodernism, in art and in wider cultural terms. If the legacy of the 1960s is multi-faceted, one key part is this: the so-called autonomous art object was challenged and replaced by contextual or relational works and meanings. By contrast, Fried’s essay argues in very strong terms that art ought to require specialized tools—critical, historical and aesthetic—and that these are worth fighting for.
The contributors to this issue of Journal of Visual Culture analyze the impact of ‘Art and Objecthood’ and assess its divergent traces rather than its canonical receptions. The articles consider its influence internationally within art criticism, philosophy, film studies, theatre, international modernism, new media, and art education.
– Alison and Joanne
Check out our current issue here.
Jan De Cock, Motif 1, 2015, Courtesy of the artist. © Jan De Cock
This special themed issue of the Journal of Visual Culture entitled Architecture! has two aims. First, to present a collection of essays and shorter provocation/position pieces about the failure of contemporary architecture to address the full complex of issues engaged by visual culture studies. Second, these lines of inquiry are meant not merely to critique architecture and its discursive conceits, but rather any critique is only valid to the degree that it identifies what is significant and vital about architecture for visual culture as such. This is a critical examination of architecture (as both object and discourse) in contemporary visual culture: its failures, blind spots, refusals, and symptoms, yes, but also its successes, minor discourses, and alternative models of practice. In short, the contributors to this themed issue are invested in discovering an ‘outside’, that is, a passage beyond ‘starchitect’ vanity/ideological projects in favor of a critical--vital—interest in architecture as a socio-cultural and historical means of transmitting unforeseen aesthetic possibilities and modes of knowledge. This requires forcing ourselves not only to think ‘architecture from the outside’ (as Elizabeth Grosz has said), but from the inside as well because only along this fold does architecture become a plane within which visual cultures are immanently composed. It is along this fold that architecture presents its full powers: to create intervals and delays, to demarcate and cross thresholds between political and temporal blocs, to attract or magnetize disparate communities of people, and to render ontological immanence visible. I hope the essays and statements in this issue traverse these problematics that lie at the heart of architectural discourse from a variety of disciplinary, aesthetic, ethical, and political perspectives: architectural historiography and criticism, socio-political and theoretical architectural practice, the relation between art and architecture in modern and contemporary visual culture, and practiced ethics and reimagining architecture otherwise. Collectively they present a critical and creative rethinking of architectural practice and theory, one that hopefully will revitalize the necessary social, political, ethical, and cultural relation between architecture and visual culture studies.
– Jae Emerling
Check out our December 2016 Architecture! issue here. - JVC
THE SOCIAL, the biennial conference of the International Association for Visual Culture is being held at Boston University, from September 28 to October 1. It is the culmination of a call for "papers, presentations, interventions, collaborations, and events from researchers, artists, academics, curators, and activists on post-democracy, post-society, anger, violence, future visions, crisis, zombie democracies, social media, neo-slavery, post-capitalism, post-data, social evolution, revolution, actionism, post-state, interventionism, cannibalizing corporativism, post-colonialism, economic vampirism, neo-serfs, globalized thievery, art activism, red art, insurrectional art and social exploitation."
The conference is supported by OCR, the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, the Boston University Center for the Humanities and Arts Administration @ Boston University. The conference is free for speakers and attendees. Attendees must register (here) before September 27. Click here for the program.
As our August 2016 issue is our last to be published before the United States elects a new President, we thought it would be timely to spotlight (and make freely available through November) our August 2009 "Obama Issue" as a document of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and early presidency, in which his unique, highly-charged, and often contradictory place in visual culture was already apparent to our contributors.
For the 2009 issue, our Editorial Group sent out a questionnaire which asked questions such as, "Is Barack Obama the most ‘visible’ US president to date, and if so how?"
We published almost two dozen responses to this and other questions about Obama and visual culture, including W.J.T. Mitchell's "Obama as Icon" and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's "The Modern Prince... 'to come'?".
We invite everyone to join us in revisiting this issue to look back at presidency that has been virtually inextricable from visuality.
Zanele Muholi, ZaVa XXI SF 2014, 2014, courtesy the artist; © Zanele Muholi
This themed issue was conceived as a way to extend the conversations generated out of the 2014 "Visual Activism" conference of the International Association for Visual Culture (IAVC). The phrase "visual activism" puts pressure on its constitutive words and raises questions abut how we define both the regimes of the visible and the boundaries of activism. Contributors explore, but do not resolve, how art can contribute to political discourse and how activism takes on specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms not always aligned with or recognizable by art-world frameworks. Hybrid in form and intentionally multi-vocal, the issue interrogates the intersection of activism with vision, visibility, and visuality from the perspective of activists and non-activists alike. The mix of images, artists projects and articles address overlapping and intersecting themes regarding what "visual activism" might constitute, how it operates in different contexts, and even how the phrase might ultimately fail to account for that which it hopes to describe. - J B-W, J G, D W
(Check out the issue at our Current Issue page. - JVC)
Abstract Submissions Due Feb 20, 2016
THE SOCIAL is the title of the 4th International Association for Visual Culture Biennial Conference (IAVC2016@Boston). IAVC2016@Boston invites papers, presentations, interventions, collaborations, and events from researchers, artists, academics, curators, and activists on post-democracy, post-society, anger, violence, future visions, crisis, zombie democracies, social media, neo-slavery, post-capitalism, post-data, social evolution, revolution, actionism, post-state, interventionism, cannibalizing corporativism, post-colonialism, economic vampirism, neo-serfs, globalized thievery, art activism, red art, insurrectional art and social exploitation. Analyses that explore the current failures or failing status of contemporary society and its revolts will take the form of events, panels and exhibitions in Athens, Istanbul, London, New York and internationally, leading up to the main conference on September 29th, 30th and October 1st, 2016 in Boston.
For more information, possible topics and submission guidelines, see: http://ocradst.org/visualculture2016/call-for-papers.
For our special JVC issue on the Design and Componentry of Horror, we're featuring the full audio of the interview conducted by Caetlin Benson-Allott with Noël Carroll. Since its publication 25 years ago – and despite controversy regarding some of its key claims – Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) has led a renaissance in horror studies by paying close critical attention to the form and structure of scary movies. The Philosophy of Horror was one of the first academic monographs to attempt a theory of horror with its groundbreaking call for greater attention to negative affects in aesthetic experience. In this interview, Carroll reflects on horror studies since The Philosophy of Horror, historicizes some of his most controversial claims, and examines new developments in horror production, including horror film franchises and horror video games. For a transcription, see the interview in our latest issue.
A special post from Horror issue co-editors Caetlin Benson-Allott and Eugenie Brinkema:
This special issue was born of a critical desire—to analyze horror where and how it occurs—that runs counter to the modus operandi of horror studies for the past twenty-five years. As corrective to the generic trend in the study of horror, “The Design and Componentry of Horror” asks that we broaden our considerations of what texts may be taken as horrific, horrifying, or horrible. Specifically, it seeks to elevate the importance of notions of composition, structure, form, aesthetics, intertextuality, duration, intermediality and materiality for the study of horror. All the essays focus on horror as an affect in dialogue with, even determined by, form and style. Collectively, they propose ways to set aside the taxonomizing impulse of genre theory in favor of attending to affect and composition and generate new insights into how art makes us feel. Our contention is that studying horror as affect and aesthetic opens new avenues for thought by insisting that texts’ composition, structure, and form are not incidental to their affective charge but are indeed responsible for it. Thanks for reading. -CBA + EB
Check out abstracts here. -JVC
"This themed issue poses questions concerning financial cuts and their impact on contemporary society and the arts. It presents a collection of perspectives, in particular from Greece, in order to examine artistic and aesthetic practices. It explores how society is being transformed into a post-democracy and how citizens are becoming post-citizens. These transformations will have implications in the redefinition of both post-democracy and post-citizenship as two oppositional forces, which may no longer be reconcilable and could lead to insurrectional and repressive politics. The role that art plays and will play in shaping these discourses by presenting alternative imaginaries to the narratives of the body politic will have to be evaluated in a context of aesthetic concurrence and conspiracy of art. But if the artists are transformed into post-citizens – it may be safe to assume that as post-artists their contributions will be more free – or totally freed – from the restraints and bonds of national and supranational institutions, leading de facto to the production of counter narratives and imaginaries that will be perceived by the post-democracies’ body politic as insurrectional art." - Lanfranco Aceti, Introduction to the Special Issue
Read more from our special issue here, and enjoy written and artistic contributions from nearly two dozen artists, scholars and critics:
Elizabeth A Kessler
Oliver Ressler and Bruce Barber
Charlotte Lucy Kent