Material Environments: Sensing Time and Matter in Digital and Visual Culture (London, UK)

Dates: 24-25 July 2015
Location: University of Greenwich, UK
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 18 April 2015

This conference seeks to explore the points of intersection at which the material and the digital, matter and the virtual, and embodiment and posthumanism push against each other in visual media. Through encounters with cinema, artist’s film and video, installations, and online archives, the aim of the conference is to conceive of new relationships between temporality, materiality and affectivity, tracing the ways in which matter becomes meaningful, or comes to resist meaning, in the digital age. We hope to illuminate the new ways in which digital experiences allow us to think and sense matter and materiality, while reassessing the role of non-digital media in this equation. The conference will trace the implications of the posthuman turn in the humanities, understood as encompassing a variety of non-anthropocentric approaches, on our understanding of matter and affect in visual culture.

The Conference particularly welcomes papers that explore the following:

•       the relationship between image and environment, the materiality of filmed nature, and the ‘ecological turn’ in theory and philosophy
•       non-anthropocentric and posthuman approaches to visual media, particularly as they affect our understanding of materiality, mortality, and ethics
•       the relationship between posthumanism, materiality and embodiment
•       the ways in which the digital has reconfigured our understanding of temporality, spatiality, memory and archiving
•       the impact of the digital on engagements with non-linear storytelling and locative narratives.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London
http://www.joannazylinska.net/
Professor David Martin-Jones, University of Glasgow
http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/cca/staff/davidmartin-jones/
Dr Felicity Colman, Manchester School of Art
http://www.art.mmu.ac.uk/profile/fcolman

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words by 18th April 2015 to calls@timadi.org with ‘Material Environments’ in the subject line.

This Conference is sponsored by the ‘Time, Materiality and the Digital’ (TiMaDi) research group at the University of Greenwich, and organised by Matilda Mroz, Isil Onol, Stacey Pitsillides, and Rosamund Davies.

Edited Volume: The Craft Economy: Making, Materiality, and Meaning (July 2014)

Contacts: Susan.Luckman@unisa.edu.au and Nicola.J.Thomas@exeter.ac.uk
Deadline for abstract proposals: 31 July 2014

Edited by Susan Luckman (University of South Australia) & Nicola Thomas (University of Exeter).

A making renaissance is underway with handmade practice and goods in global demand. Thus the central aim of The Craft Economy collection is to bring together a comprehensive account of the current moment of growth in the contemporary handmade marketplace. We wish to examine the reasons why we are now seeing such significant growth, and identify the key drivers – both in terms of production and consumption. Importantly, we seek to locate this discussion within the larger picture of its implications for our understandings of the contemporary cultural economy. For example, what it may reveal about perceptions of authenticity and practices of ethical consumption, as well as shifting labour and production models (creative micro-enterprise; the home-based digital cultural economy; the attraction of entrepreneurial self-employment; and the gendering of craft work). In the digital age, almost seventy years since the Frankfurt School first railed against the culture industry’s commodification and standardisation of all art, the bespoke ‘analogue’ physical item becomes Othered, different, desirable. Handmade objects are imbrued with touch, and therefore offer a sense of the ‘authentic’ in an ‘inauthentic’ world: they offer connection to the maker through the skill and learning apparent in their construction, and they demonstrate the time spent on their making in a way in most other objects cannot. Handmade cultural goods thus need to be located within wider debates regarding ethical consumption, makings, and ‘retro’ interest in unique physical artefacts.
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