Appel à communication : « Towards an Aesthetics of Geology in the Age of Anthropocene » (Londres, 5-7 avril 2018)

Towards an Aesthetics of Geology in the Age of Anthropocene

Geology has been a topic of interest and attraction for artists, at least since JMW Turner’s geological sublime, as it was famously put forward by John Ruskin. During the 1960s, a time of cybernetics, technological upheaval and subsequent reshaping of our relations to time and space, Robert Smithson suggested the notion of abstract geology, tracing connections between geological, body and mental processes.

Until the 1960s-1970s, what artists find particularly fascinating in the aesthetics of geology is the challenge of its double invisibility: on one side, the relation to ‘deep time’ threatens the three classical temporal dimensions within which we arrange our life experience, i.e., past, present and future; on the other the subtraction of visibility makes it a complex object to imagine and visualise. Once an Earth Science, with its unyielding remoteness and inert temporality, geology has become a model for the material conditions of our contemporary life. In digital and anthropocene era and in the midst of an irresolute – and politically undermined – relation between Gaia and anthropos, natural history and human history, several artists deal with geological imagination.

Enhancing the still unexploited convergences between the history of contemporary art and the politics of ecology, between visual humanities and environmental humanities, the session aims to explore the multiple ways artistic projects, art historical research, exhibitions and curatorial practices focus on the challenges posed today by the geological turn beyond anthropocentric humanities.

Please email your paper proposals of 250 words for a 25-minute paper and a short CV directly to the session chairs. You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks.
Maud Maffei, Independent,
Riccardo Venturi, Gerda Henkel Stiftung,

Association for Art History, 2018 Annual Conference
Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London

April 5 – 07, 2018
Deadline: Nov 6, 2017

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