All posts filed under: Issue Introduction

Introduction / Issue 27: Speculative Visions

Artwork by contributor Julie Tixier. For Issue 27, the editorial board of InVisible Culture is honored to present a special introduction by Dr. Jeffrey Tucker. “Speculative Visions” is a title rich with denotative and connotative meanings covering the scope of this issue of (In)Visible Culture and of Cultural Studies more generally.  It is a formulation that parallels “speculative fiction,” an umbrella term for writing that addresses any of a number of topics–augmentations of the human body, journeys through space and time, the wonder and warnings attached to technological developments, utopias and dystopias, alien encounters, and more; it also covers a range of genres–e.g. science fiction, fantasy, and horror–belonging to what the late Tzvetan Todorov called The Fantastic.1 It is in this latter sense particularly that such coverage is warranted; look closely at the content, production, or reception of “genre” literature or film and you will see boundaries a-blurring.  Horror film director John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) is based on the novella “Who Goes There?” (1938) by legendary science fiction editor and writer John W. Campbell, Jr.  …

Introduction / Issue 26: Border Crossings / Special Double Issue 25 & 26

In 1998, students in the University of Rochester’s Visual and Cultural Studies graduate program founded InVisible Culture as an open-access, online journal, featuring peer-reviewed scholarly articles, artworks and other creative projects, book and exhibition reviews, and other short writings. This spring, InVisible Culture proudly publishes its 25th issue. To celebrate this milestone, we present a double issue of the journal – Security and Visibility and Border Crossings – along with a number of special contributions from University of Rochester faculty. This special insert includes short essays by Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Program Director Rachel Haidu, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History Joan Saab, and Director of the Film and Media Studies Program Jason Middleton, as well as an interview with renowned art historian Douglas Crimp about his memoir Before Pictures. Additionally, members of InVisible Culture’s Editorial Board collaborated with the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY, to curate a film series that expands Issue 25’s theme into a cinematic register. The series, titled (InVisibility) was screened at the Dryden Theatre in the …

Introduction / Issue 25: Security and Visibility / Special Double Issue 25 & 26

In 1998, students in the University of Rochester’s Visual and Cultural Studies graduate program founded InVisible Culture as an open-access, online journal, featuring peer-reviewed scholarly articles, artworks and other creative projects, book and exhibition reviews, and other short writings. This spring, InVisible Culture proudly publishes its 25th issue. To celebrate this milestone, we present a double issue of the journal – Security and Visibility and Border Crossings – along with a number of special contributions from University of Rochester faculty. This special insert includes short essays by Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Program Director Rachel Haidu, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History Joan Saab, and Director of the Film and Media Studies Program Jason Middleton, as well as an interview with renowned art historian Douglas Crimp about his memoir Before Pictures. Additionally, members of InVisible Culture’s Editorial Board collaborated with the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY, to curate a film series that expands Issue 25’s theme into a cinematic register. The series, titled (InVisibility) was screened at the Dryden Theatre in the …

Introduction / Issue 24: Corpus

In spring 2015, when the spread of Ebola invigorated an immune response for countries such as the United States to suspend air-travel in the face of a deadly epidemic, we speculated on vulnerabilities that loomed within and beyond the realm of public health. From ISIS to continuous global and environmental crises, the media’s pronouncement of threats posed to individuals and collectives alike were ubiquitous. As urgency slipped into a normative state of being, for Issue 24, we asked contributors to explore the various meanings of vulnerability in visual culture. If the rapid diffusion of the Ebola virus could be read as emblematic of the vulnerability of globalism to systemic failure, then what other figurative antigens and foreign bodies remained latent within the global collective? While raising the question of “vulnerability” in our call for papers, we concomitantly held a graduate conference on the theme of “collectivity” here at the University of Rochester. The wide array of submissions to the call for papers and the conference quickly led us to discover that “vulnerability” and “collectivity” were …

Introduction / Issue 23: Blueprints

In his theoretical manifesto, Toward An Architecture, Le Corbusier wrote, “The plan is the generator. Without plan there can be neither grandeur of aim and expression, nor rhythm, nor mass, nor coherence. . . . The plan is what determines everything; it is the decisive moment.” The plan or blueprint is the primary tool of the architect’s and the drafter’s trades—a technical document that bridges creative impulse and constructive labor, intent and execution, virtuality and materiality. Taking shape as a conversation among concept, form, and representation, a blueprint insistently nudges its spectator’s gaze outside its frame. It is understood as a necessary stage on the way to something larger, something grander, something more, and is usually seen not as a self-contained object, but as prescription directed toward a particular outcome. Yet a blueprint may also be the terminus of the unrealized and the unrealizable. Étienne-Louis Boullée’s Cénotaphe à Newton, Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacres, and the Chicago Spire are among the many visionary designs abandoned at the drawing board, whose construction in …