[csaa-forum] Transformations CFP: The Ruin, the Future

Warwick Mules w.mules at bigpond.com
Wed Jul 22 08:36:18 ACST 2015

CFP: Issue 28

The Ruin, the Future

Over the past few years a swathe of what has become known as ³ruin porn² has
swept the internet. Perhaps in an uncanny updating of Albert Speer¹s dark
fantasies of ³ruin value², photographs of Detroit¹s abandoned factories and
theatres, Chernobyl¹s crumbling tenements and ³urbex² photos of ruined
asylums and hotels are gleefully traded on Facebook and Reddit and have
amassed immense cultural currency.

This contemporary interest in ruins scales from numerous blogs and
sub-Reddits to the vaulted heights of major art institutions, with the Tate
gallery¹s 2013 ³Ruin Lust² exhibition. But of course ­ as the Tate¹s
exhibition charted ­ this fascination has its roots in much older
traditions. The ruin was employed for theological purposes in the paintings
of the Renaissance, and for didactic and allegorical purposes in the
Romantic paintings of the 18th century. For hundreds of years ruins have
been both quotidian elements of the daily lives of many, especially in
Europe, while they have also operated as rich sources of historical meaning
within various modes of artistic expression.

What can be done with the ruin today? Can we put the observations of key
theorists of the ruin, such as Walter Benjamin and Georg Simmel, to new
purposes? And from our ancient, colonial and industrial ruins can we pull
some hope, some imagination or possibility for the future that sees the ruin
differently than as an emblem of a glorious or inglorious past?

This issue of Transformations calls for reflections on the ruin and
ruination, its past and its future. Possible topics may include (but need
not be limited to):

Ruins of the ancient world and archaeological practice
The ruin and Romanticism
Walter Benjamin¹s allegory and the ruin
The city in ruins
The aesthetics of the ruin
Colonial ruins and ruination
Film emulsion and the media, the ruin of the image
The ruin and the archive, memory and forgetting
The ruin as poetics
Hermeneutics of the ruin
Contemporary ruins: ³ruin porn² memes and the internet
Urban exploration and the industrial ruin
The ruin and pollution, bloodstreams and the environment
The ruin as messianic event
The ruin and the future, the ruin as possibility
Abstracts (200-400 words) are due 1st September 2015, with a view to submit
articles by 15th January 2016.

Abstracts should be forwarded to: editor at transformationsjournal.org

View Transformations online: http://www.transformationsjournal.org

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