Call for Papers | The Enlightened Image: History and Uses of Projection

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 21, 2013

From ArtHist:

The Enlightened Image: History and Uses of Projection
Université du Québec à Montréal, 22–24 May 2014

Proposals due by 6 January 2014

The purpose of this conference is to reflect on the issues concerning the projection of still images as this way of presenting images, used by museums and universities, plays an increasingly important role in the visual landscape. A projection can be part of an exhibition by artists or curators, its vocation can be recreational or educational, in any situation, the projection still monumentalises the image, which is placed in the heart of a collective experience. Thus, from the early development of magic lanterns in the middle of the seventeenth century, the intermedial transposition has made the projection dedicated to the collective use of the image and gives it a status of mediator to the public.

The sharing of images provided by the projection is transformative: the projection dematerializes images, distances them, changes their scales and proportions, makes them ephemeral, etc. The projection also affects the way images are perceived in particular by focusing its iconicity at the expense of its texture. All these mutations influence how the projected image is received and creates perceptual habitus. The new visual literacies, which inaugurated the conception of numeric screens and their uses, seem to have been initiated by the luminosity of the projected image. Microsoft PowerPoint, for instance, borrows the word ‘slides’ from projection lexicon.

The aim of this conference is to investigate the issues concerning the intermedial transposition operated by projection in order to understand what projection does to the image, how it is used, perceived and its received. These questions will be investigated through a long historical period (from the eighteenth century to today), to build a cultural history of the projection including the paradigm, rather than considering the projection as a pre-cinematographic phenomenon. By tracing the genealogy of techniques dedicated to the exhibition of images, the conference will outline the anchoring of the transition between a print culture and a screen culture.

The expected contributions will explore various aspects of the projection and its history through specific cases (exhibitions, art history lectures, etc.), narratives or representation of projections (advertising posters, scenes in novels, etc.), specific relationships between projection and print, photography or soundscape, technical
developments (Kodachrome, e-readers, etc.) or metaphorical uses of the word ‘projection’ (psychoanalysis, etc.).

Organised by Joanne Lalonde, Vincent Lavoie and Érika Wicky (Department of Art History, UQAM), this conference is held under the auspices of RADICAL (Repères pour une articulation des dimensions culturelles, artistiques et littéraires de l’imaginaire contemporain), a component of FIGURA, centre de recherche sur le texte et l’imaginaire. A 300-word proposal in English or in French, with a brief CV, should be submitted by the 6th January 2014 to wicky.erika@uqam.ca.

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