[csaa-forum] CFP: Visuality/Materiality: Reviewing Theory, Method and Practice

Ruth Fazakerley Ruth.Fazakerley at unisa.edu.au
Thu Jul 17 15:41:45 CST 2008

Visuality/Materiality: Reviewing Theory, Method and Practice


An international conference to be held in London 15th-17th July, 2009

Organizers: Professor Gillian Rose and Dr. Divya P. Tolia-Kelly


This conference takes as its starting point the apparent exhaustion in
much critical theory of the term 'representation' as a means of grasping
the effect of the visual in contemporary times (although, in contrast,
'representation' remains a key driver in advertising, geopolitical
policy and military practice).  Conventionally, critical interpretation
has concerned itself with the meaning of images by situating their
connections to broader discursive formations, but for many this is now a
reductive analytical schema. There are suggestions that these approaches
have become formulaic; that they ignore the physical materiality and
political and cultural power of visual imagery and visualities; and that
this approach can reinstate the power structures it intends to critique.
The aim of the conference is to consider where representation and the
need for a new interpretive paradigm may coalesce/intersect.  


Visuality/Materiality attends to the relationship between the visual and
the material as a way of approaching both the meaning of visual and its
other aspects. The image as sign, metaphor, aesthetics and text has long
dominated the realm of visual theory.  But the material role of visual
praxis in everyday landscapes of seeing has been an emergent area of
visual research; visual design, urban visual practice, visual grammars
and vocabularies of domestic spaces, including the formation and
structuring of social practices of living and political being, are
critical to 21st century networks of living. The relationship between
Visuality/ Materiality here is about social meaning and practice; where
identity, power, space, and geometries of seeing are approached here
through a grounded approach to material technologies, design and visual
research, everyday embodied seeing, labour, ethics and utility. 


This conference is aimed at providing a dialogic space where the nature
and role of a visual theory can be evaluated, in light of materiality,
practice, affect, performativity; and where the methodological encounter
informs our intellectual critique. One strand will invite sustained
engagements with the theoretical trajectories of the 'material turn',
the 'emotional/affective turn' and the 'practical turn' away from the
'cultural turn'.  Where are these turns taking us, exactly?  What are we
leaving behind when we turn, and does that matter?  The organisers are
also keen to encourage contributions based on research experience and
practice into specific aspects of visuality and visual critique


*	What is the relationship between the material and the visual?
*	How do we develop new theoretical approaches to new visual
*	What can we learn from everyday visualities? 
*	How can we approach the ethical through visual practices?
*	How valuable are theories of materiality, performance,
embodiment in research on the visual? 


We welcome participation from all disciplines and from varying research
approaches. To participate in the conference please send a 200 word
abstract before December 1st 2008, to:
Visuality-Materiality-Conference at open.ac.uk

All details will be updated on the conference web site:



Ruth Fazakerley

SA School of Art

K4-12 Kaurna Building, City West

University of South Australia

Ruth.Fazakerley at unisa.edu.au <mailto:Ruth.Fazakerley at unisa.edu.au> 

Tel: + 61 8 8302 0422 


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