Author: IVC Editorial Board

Call For Papers: Issue 28, Contending with Crisis

For its twenty-eighth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of contending with crisis. Defined by the global uncertainty of a world afflicted by varied and ambiguously interrelated states of emergency, the present can be seen as a critical historical conjuncture characterized by crisis. In the context of its worldwide occurrence, crisis refers irreducibly to a multitude of circumstances, events, and thematizations: military conflict, debt crises, issues of political representation, the mass migration and displacement of refugees, increasing ecological disruptions. Such ruptures in the social demand constant attention from individuals and communities, constituting a need for committed artististic and scholarly engagements with questions of what it means to be in crisis and how to deal with it. Following Lauren Berlant’s understanding of crisis as “an emergency in the reproduction of life, a transition that has not found its genres for moving on,” we encourage authors to contemplate the fluidity/liminality of crisis, exploring both its emancipatory and repressive potentials. As an …

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 special contributions from University of Rochester faculty and 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 Fall of 2016. Issue 25: Security and Visibility In Issue 25, we asked contributors to engage with various understandings of securitization through a consideration of the visual. Focusing on visual material as a source of meaning and power, this issue will function as a broad investigation of both stable and …

Contributors / Issue 25: Security and Visibility

Issue 25: Security and Visibility (Special double issue, Spring 2017) Barbara Sutton is an Associate Professor in the department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is also affiliated with the departments of Sociology and of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in the United States and a law degree in Argentina, her country of origin. She co-edited Security Disarmed: Critical Perspectives on Gender, Race, and Militarization (with Sandra Morgen and Julie Novkov; Rutgers University Press, 2008) and is the author of Bodies in Crisis: Culture, Violence, and Women’s Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina (Rutgers University Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 Gloria E. Anzaldúa book prize by the National Women’s Studies Association. Kate Paarlberg-Kvam is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She holds a PhD in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, and conducts research on security discourse, gender, and …

Call For Papers: Issue 27, Speculative Visions

For its twenty-seventh issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of speculative visions. The last decade has seen a rise in popularity among science fiction, fantasy, and horror. These genres encourage the capacity to imagine post-human bodies, extraordinary worlds, techno-utopias, and claustrophobic spaces of violence. In their reliance upon the imagination, these speculative visions provide a space to consider contradictions and a carnivalesque interaction between popular culture and critical theory. For Issue 27, we would like contributors to consider a range of questions produced by both historical and contemporary science fiction, fantasy, and horror across all visual media. How are objects transcribed and/or adapted from one medium to another? How do the limitations and possibilities of a medium structure works? How have these genres endured over time beyond their originary forms? How have technological advances altered the literalization of these imagined worlds? We welcome papers and artworks that further the various understandings of speculative visions. Please send completed papers (with …

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 …

Contributors / Issue 24: Corpus

Issue 24, Spring 2016 Sarah W. Abu Bakr is a dual degree Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies PhD candidate. Sarah is half Palestinian, half Kuwaiti, and holds an MFA in Computational Studio Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London. As an artist, Sarah’s work reflects on her identity as an Arabic/Muslim woman, and meditates on the culture-religion overlap and convolution in the Arab world as well as the Palestinian diaspora. As a scholar, Sarah identifies as a postcolonial feminist and her academic interests include identity, displacement, performance art theory, and decoloniality. Erin McClenathan is an Art History Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia, where she received her M.A. in 2013. Her doctoral project considers the interplay of photographic series and avant-garde filmic structures in interwar print culture. She has presented related research as part of multiple graduate symposia and has also spoken internationally on the relationship between photography and memory in the television series Mad Men. Ali Feser is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research explores …

Call for Papers: Issue 26, Border Crossings

For its twenty-sixth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of border crossings. In September 2015, a photograph shocked the world by showing the body of a small boy lying facedown on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey. Later identified as Aylan Kurdi from Syria, he and other members of his family perished in a failed attempt to flee to Canada. The image became the focal point of the on-going refugee struggles, confronting us with the power of images, their affective potential, and the politics of representation. IVC Issue 26 seeks to examine how border crossings can challenge the stable, ontological distribution of power, capital, and resources along constructed lines of demarcation. In considering the crossing of a border, we must first understand what constitutes a border and how it performs in the visual field. Globalization tries to dissolve borders through the decentralization of power, yet at the same time, it immanently and symbolically re-inscribes national borders through the unequal distribution …

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 …

Contributors / Issue 23: Blueprints

Issue 23: Blueprints (Fall 2015) William Fairbrother is a non-anthropocentric artist, designer, writer and researcher living and working in London. He recently graduated from the Royal College of Art with a masters in Information Experience Design, and has a background in Archaeology and Anthropology, achieving a first class bachelors at Durham University. Visit his site: http://www.williamfairbrother.co.uk Jim Middlebrook instructs the architectural studios at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He previously taught architectural design studios and seminars at Kansas State University. After obtaining architecture degrees from the University of Virginia and Columbia University, he worked for the architectural offices of Rafael Vinoly, Rockwell Group, and Kohn Pederson Fox. His research has included examining the role of design-build pedagogy at the liberal arts context, environmentally sustainable planning practices in Scandinavia, and the architectural implications of virtual space and augmented reality technology. Ned Prutzer is a Communications and Media PhD student with the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research explores GPS and digital mapping platforms, specifically the intersections between their genealogies as forms of media, …

Call for Papers: Issue 25, Security and Visibility

For its twenty-fifth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that explore the concept of security and visual culture. For almost two decades, both scholarly and public interests in matters of national security and the corresponding surveillance of public space have increased immensely. Notions of visibility figure prominently in these discussions. The expanding academic fields of Security and Surveillance Studies have successfully engaged with the multiple layers connecting (national) security, surveillance, and the visual. Focusing on present-day phenomena, sociologists, political scientists, and culture and media scholars have already developed an integrative perspective when it comes to relating issues surrounding security to the field of visibility. Consequently, newer research on security has focused on decentralized practices of security, encompassing much more than just “official” government agencies and their mediaries. For this issue, we seek to engage a historical perspective on issues of security and visibility through a close reading of texts in contemporary social sciences and cultural studies. With a special insert edited by scholars Barbara Lüthi and …

Contributors / Issue 22: Opacity

Guillermina De Ferrari (PhD Columbia University) is professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes on Caribbean literature and visual culture. Her book Vulnerable States: Bodies of Memory in Contemporary Caribbean Fiction (2007) studies the trope of the vulnerable body in contemporary Caribbean literature. Her book Community and Culture in Post-Soviet Cuba (Routledge, 2014) analyzes recent Cuban narrative and photography from the point of view of contract theory and postmodern ethics. She curated the exhibition Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today held at the Chazen Museum of Art (March 6-June 21, 2015). Shalom Gorewitz (b. 1949, Queens, NY) has been working experimentally with computers and video since 1967.  A student of Nam June Paik’s at California Institute of the Arts (BFA, 1971), he is considered a pioneer in the medium.  His work is in permanent collections of several international museums and has been shown in festivals, galleries, and on television in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Africa.  He has received fellowships from Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations.  He is Professor of Video Art and …

Introduction / Issue 21: Pursuit

In October 2013, just as this issue was taking shape, the United States Government suspended operations, grinding to a halt for two weeks and resulting in a combined total of 6.6 million furloughed days of employee labor, a loss of some $2 billion in lost wages, and an irrevocable failure of bipartisan politics. The first complete government shutdown in half a generation was the result of a series of continuing resolutions that stalled congressional budget negotiations until they reached a complete deadlock. The pursuit of divergent party agendas ultimately led to the achievement of none until at last the object of pursuit itself had changed. The effect was at once traumatic and banal—a continuation of everyday life for the majority of the public but a highly visible marker of a troubling defect within the highest orders of governance. Against this backdrop of frustrated pursuit and of changing definitions of pursuit, we invited scholars and artists to explore ways pursuit manifests at both the individual and collective levels. What we received revealed the dual nature and …

Introduction / Issue 20: Ecologies

Visual culture scholars have long asserted that things lead social lives, linking up and separating as they traverse networks. In particular, ideas about the flow of commodities across national, geographical, cultural, and linguistic borders have directed critical attention to how global networks connect previously isolated peoples and cultures.1 But as the interdisciplinary venture of visual culture studies matures, we have begun to ask about the nature of those relations. What is the difference between a network and an ecology? How does each imagine the relation between the systems and its nodes or organisms? On the one hand, when we describe networks, constellations, or ecologies of images, we work to organize the visual world into particular arrangements. Those arrangements harken to earlier epistemologies of taxonomizing and modulating the world into intelligible categories and, significantly, making those categories into objects of knowledge. On the other hand, vital actants challenge the formation and viability of such “objects of knowledge,” pushing back against the will to systematize. This results in novel ways of seeing, knowing, perceiving, and inhabiting that …

Introduction / Issue 19: Blind Spots / Contributors

Introduction For its nineteenth issue, InVisible Culture presents articles, artworks, and reviews under the thematic framework of “Blind Spots.” Each of the pieces contained within this issue address various “spots” or points of blindness. These range from the actual experiences of non-sighted people to the instability of vision itself, from blindness as a symptom or function of artistic and political representation to how technologies of enhanced sight structure visuality. Advancements in visualizing technologies have de-centered vision from the eye to the extent that the organ itself faces a kind of obsolescence. And yet, how might the blindness of the eye—its “ability” to falter—assist us in thinking about these new and complex modes of vision? In what ways can sensorial limits be understood as horizons of possibility? What fresh insights might a critical examination of past discourses on technological vision and blindness offer to our current understanding of contemporary technologies of augmented vision? The contributors to this issue address these questions and many others through a variety of means: peer-reviewed scholarly articles; formal reviews of recent …

Introduction / Issue 18 / Making Sense of Visual Culture

Alicia Inez Guzmán and Alexander Brier Marr As the first generation of PhDs trained in visual culture programs settles into tenured positions and important curatorships, our field continues to grow in ways that its founders hardly anticipated. An expanding institutional network encourages a rethinking of vision and visuality, two key terms in visual studies. In The Right to Look, Nicholas Mirzoeff reconfigures visuality.1 Typically considered as a perceptual field, Mirzoeff describes visuality as the historically variable self-envisioning of authority. Taking a global and historical view, Mirzeoff identifies a series of countervisualities. As this issue of InVisible Culture demonstrates, the role of vision is changing, too. There are a number of elements affecting these movements, including the influence of materialist thinking, ebbing critiques of “hyper-reality,” and a burgeoning interest in relations between media (as opposed to the modernist emphasis on media specificity). Twenty-five years into our interdisciplinary venture, we can reconsider an early, important idea in visual studies: that vision is the primary way people make sense of the world. For better or worse, we can no longer …

Contributors / Issue 18

Guest Editors Alicia Inez Guzmán is a Doctoral Candidate in the program in Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester. Her research focuses on the visual culture from and about the Southwest, particularly New Mexico. Alexander Brier Marr is a Doctoral Candidate in the program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. His research focuses on American and Native American art, with a dissertation that addresses the display and representation of indigenous architecture in North American visual culture. Authors Lidia Klein is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw and is the recipient of the Foundation of Polish Science Scholarship (2012).  She is also a Fulbright Alumna (Duke University, 2010/11). Her research focuses on architecture and design. (http://uw.academia.edu/LidiaKlein) Jonathan Schroeder is the William A. Kern Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the author of Visual Consumption, co-author of From Chinese Brand Culture to Global Brands: Insights from Aesthetics, Fashion and History, editor of Conversations on Consumption and co-editor of …

Launching InVisible Culture Issue 17: “‘Where Do You Want Me to Start?’ Producing History through Mad Men”

InVisible Culture, published through the University of Rochester’s graduate program in Visual and Cultural Studies, is pleased to announce the release of Issue 17, “’Where Do You Want Me to Start?’ Producing History through Mad Men.” Guest edited by Amanda Graham and Erin Leary, the issue is the first to showcase InVisible Culture’s new platform, aesthetic, and interactive features. The release also coincides with the premiere of the fifth season of the critically acclaimed series. As with any contemporary scholarship, we recognize the arguments and concerns of the first four seasons will evolve along with the show and its characters. Thus, this issue will be supplemented by a series of weekly blog posts by guest bloggers. These posts will reflect the authors’ and editors’ continued scholarship, analysis, and critical viewpoints on the new season. This new section is intended to prompt new approaches to scholarship, and allow for varying formats, thoughts, and interaction. We welcome readers to return each week. InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to explorations of …

Introduction / Issue 17: Through the Looking Glass, and What We Found There: Ourselves

Erin Leary A Klee painting named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angle would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. –Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” 1940. 1 In 2002, in a now well-documented rebranding effort, the cable television network American Movie Classics …

Contributors / Issue 17: Through the Looking Glass, and What We Found There

Guest Editors Amanda Jane Graham is a Doctoral Candidate in the Visual and Cultural Studies program at the University of Rochester.  She has an M.A. in Communication and Culture from York University and a M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College.  A former New York City public school teacher and community organizer, Amanda is interested in the social life of art post 1960.  Her dissertation examines site-specific dances representative of Manhattan’s shifting economic, political, and architectural landscape of the 1970s. Amanda edited the IVC issue on Mad Men because she loves the show, and because she knows, as Don Draper does, that fiction is as meaningful as fact. Erin Leary is currently completing her PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, where her dissertation focuses on women’s participation in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century’s nativist and eugenics movements in America prior to the vote. Previously, she completed an MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design. She also serves as adjunct faculty in Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, The New School …

Introduction / Issue 16: The Cultural Visualization of Hurricane Katrina

It has been nearly six years since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf of Mexico cutting a swathe of devastation and shock through the psyche of the American people. Exacerbated by the recent BP oil spill in the region, the storm and its aftermath remains an open wound for local residents and others affected by the disaster,leaving many in the Gulf Coast facing an uncertain future. Between August 23rd and September 1st, 2005, at least 1,836 people lost their lives in the hurricane and subsequent floods. Mass-scale human suffering and overwhelming property damage and losses ensued in the wake of government uncertainty and inept relief efforts. The most severely affected area, New Orleans, which flooded as the levee system buckled to the might of the Category 4 hurricane, continues to reel from the storm and its deeply political consequences today. While tourist attractions do their best to convince us of the city’s recovery, high-water marks scar the exteriors of abandoned buildings, reminding visitors and residents alike of the uncomfortable truths about Hurricane Katrina and the many displaced people who continue to wait to reclaim …

Contributors / Issue 16: The Cultural Visualization of Hurricane Katrina

Contributors Nicola Mann is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York. Nicola received a first class B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Creative Arts, Surrey, and an M.A. in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London. Mann’s dissertation draws on the interpretative practices developed by the disciplines of film- and television-studies, art history, spatial theory, and community activism studies, to investigate the destructive nature of late twentieth- and early twenty-first century popular visual representations of Chicago’s public housing (1970-2010). Her work has been published in Cross-Cultural Poetics, Proteus: A Journal of Ideas, Brock Review, and in the anthology, Habitus of the ‘Hood (Intellect Press, forthcoming). Victoria Pass is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York, finishing her dissertation, “Strange Glamour” which examines fashion and art in the 1920s and 1930s. Vicky received her B.A. in Art History from Boston University, and her M.A. in Art History from the School of the Art Institute in …

Introduction / Issue 15: Spectacle East Asia

Issue 15: Spectacle East Asia (Fall 2010) Godfre Leung In the Fall of 2008, when our colleagues in the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester began formulating the theme of the “Spectacle East Asia: Publicity, Translocation, Counterpublics” Conference, from which this issue’s contents are drawn, most of us had the Beijing Summer Olympics closely in mind. Having just witnessed much discussion in both academia and the mainstream press about the “spectacular” nature of the Beijing Games, it seemed prudent to investigate what was meant by this newest version of our old cultural studies warhorse, the Spectacle. For example, David Barboza wrote of Zhang Yimou’s opening ceremonies in the New York Times: “Nearly two years in the making, [Zhang’s] spectacle is intended to present China’s new face to the world with stagecraft and pyrotechnics that organizers boast have no equal in the history of the Games.”1 China’s “new face to the world,” however, was not limited to its reputation abroad; its (self-) representation through the “spectacle” of the Games, according to …

Contributors / Issue 15: Spectacle East Asia

Issue 15: Spectacle East Asia (Fall 2010) Sohl Lee is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, U.S.A. She is currently working on her dissertation, which investigates works by contemporary artists who practice sociopolitical interventions into national identity, urban development, ethics, and contemporaneity in South Korea. Her research interests include contemporary visual cultures in East Asia, discourses of modernities, institutional critique, and curatorial practices. Her work has appeared in such publications as Yishu: Journal for Contemporary Chinese Art. In Spring 2010, she was a visiting scholar at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, where she taught courses on modern and contemporary Asian visual art. Godfre Leung is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. He has taught art history at the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Currently, he is working on a dissertation entitled “The White Wall in Postwar Art: From the Death to Rebirth of Painting.” Caitlin Bruce is …

Introduction / Issue 14: Aesthetes and Eaters

Issue 14: Aesthetes and Eaters – Food and the Arts (Winter 2010) Introduction: Help Yourself Alexandra Alisauskas In 2006, Documenta 12 director Roger Buergel announced Ferran Adrià’s inclusion in the 2008 fair. Best known as an avant-garde chef specializing in sensory-challenging, conceptual cuisine at his restaurant El Bulli, Adrià’s place on the roster of artists marked the first time that Documenta had invited a professonal chef. Adrià’s practice has never been far from concerns of the art world, however. Beginning in 2001, he began creating a visual catalogue of all of the dishes conceived at El Bulli, as well as at its experimental culinary laboratory workshop, El Taller. In 2008, Phaidon, best known for producing glossy, coffee table art books, published A Day in the Life of El Bulli, which tracks the operations of the restaurant through 600 pages of lush photographs of dishes, the kitchen, and food-stained, handwritten recipes. Adrià had also previously made visual contributions to art exhibitions. These include photographs and thought-boards for an exhibition about chefs and their creative processes at the Palau …

Contributors / Issue 14: Aesthetes and Eaters

Issue 14: Aesthetes and Eaters – Food and the Arts (Winter 2010) Issue Contributors    Alexandra Alisauskas is a Ph.D. student in the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. She is currently researching for her dissertation on art collectives and theories of the body in the period of Soviet transition, particularly in Poland and Lithuania. Paula Pinto is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She is writing her dissertation on French nineteenth-century photographic reproductions of works of art: “Art Reproduction and the Origins of Photography as a Form of Visual Representation (France, 1816-1886).” She has a Masters Degree in Architecture and Urban Culture from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain. She is the former co-editor of the urban culture journal InSi(s)tu (2001-2006). Paula has worked as a researcher and a producer in the Museum of Fine Arts School of the University of Porto and the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (Portugal). She is the co-producer of a documentary film about performance art in the …

Introduction / Issue 13: After Post-Colonialism?

Issue 13: After Post-Colonialism? (Spring 2009) Maia Dauner and Cynthia Foo This issue of Invisible Culture addresses an enormous topic with a mix of trepidation and humility: what role do post-colonial theorizations of identity and politics play in contemporary visual culture? How are the methodologies of thinkers such as Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Edward Said, and Dipesh Chakrabarty (amongst many others) articulated today? What possibilities and limitations do various forms of theorization (post-colonial, neo-colonial, post-post-colonialism, or Cosmopolitanism) offer to a consideration of visual and cultural practice concerned with identity and place? As guest editors, we chose this topic because it is one that we find ourselves grappling with in our own research. Maia Dauner’s doctoral dissertation work addresses the tactics of artists who creatively stage racial identities in order to highlight the very unstable ground upon which these identities rest. She wonders, how is race deployed in these practices and how does it continue to be performed? Cynthia Foo’s work also explores similar territory, seeking to consider the role of chaotic, amateurish, audience-involved …

Contributors / Issue 13: After Post-Colonialism?

Issue 13: After Post-Colonialism? (Spring 2009) Issue Contributors Maia Dauner is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She is writing her dissertation entitled “Playing Dead: Corporeal Confusion and Performance Art.” Her research interests include contemporary art, performance, post-colonial theory, and institutionalized multiculturalism. Cynthia Foo is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies through the University of Rochester. She currently teaches at Parsons, the New School for Design and resides in New York City and Toronto. Her research interests include concepts of race and globalization as expressed in various visual media, including contemporary dance and performance. She has been published in FUSE magazine (2007, 2004), and Revue d’art Canadienne/Canadian Art Review (2006). She has presented papers and posters in Canada and the UK, was an invited guest lecturer at York University, Toronto (2007), and an invited guest speaker at Valentine Willie art gallery, Malaysia (2007). Cynthia has worked in a variety of cultural institutions, ranging from the National Archives of Canada to …

The Archive of the Future / The Future of the Archive: Introduction

Issue 12: The Archive of the Future / The Future of the Archive (Spring 2008) Aubrey Anable, Aviva Dove-Viebahn, and April Miller [T]he question of the archive is not, I repeat, a question of the past…but rather a question of the future, the very question of the future, question of a response, of a promise and of a responsibility for tomorrow. The archive: if we want to know what this will have meant, we will only know tomorrow.1 In his study on the power and politics of the archive, Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida outlines the aporetic desire that defines the archive, describing it as an illness that strives to reconcile the will to safeguard significant documents in human history with the wish to share those documents with others. For many academics, researchers, and students, archives used to be and still are contentious ground, guarded tightly by the archivist/gatekeeper whose relationship with the material is very different than that of the researcher. The archivist aims to preserve and protect; the researcher hopes to explore and experience. Certainly, much …

Introduction / Issue 11: Curator and Context

Issue 11: Curator and Context (2007) Mara Gladstone A person discerns meaning, significance, or value from every aesthetic encounter, as each art object is presented to the world laden with ideas. Yet the contexts of experiencing art, by working within or against authorial intention, affect one’s impressions of it, perhaps producing incomplete or imperfect interpretations. Contexts can be personal, physical, architectural, natural, artificial, and textual. They range from the subjective perspective of the viewer and her physical stature in a space, to the structural and architectural dynamics of the viewing site, the flow of its galleries, color of walls, tactility of floors, and quality of light from the sky. Other contextual factors might include the placement of the object, its relationship to adjacent objects, and the atmospheric properties that emerge from the overall installation of an exhibition, such as communal responses from visitors, or the mood of the space given the functions of the environment and the actions of its users. Contexts can also be textual, particularly in the museum or in institutionalized exhibition spaces, …