Appel à contribution colloque : « From Utopian Teleologies to Sporadic Historiographies: “Interfaces” of Art and Cybernetics »


From Utopian Teleologies to Sporadic Historiographies:
“Interfaces” of Art and Cybernetics

39th Annual AAH Conference & Bookfair University of Reading
Reading 11 – 13 April 2013
University of Reading, April 11 – 13, 2013
Deadline: Nov 12, 2012

Call for Papers for the session

It has been more than six decades since cybernetics was introduced to
the English-speaking world by Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, and
Warren Weaver. Stimulated by the information explosion in the 195Os,
it grew as an international phenomenon that challenged disciplinary
boundaries and preconceptions. Cybernetic models of “self-reproducing
automata” brought about an enhanced understanding of informational and
communication systems, engendered artificial intelligence and
machine-biological interfaces (cyborgs), and impacted game theory. In
the West, cybernetics had a lasting effect on art and popular culture
from interactive art, performance, and computer art, to telematic art
and American Idol. The “new science,” however, received a different
reception in USSR. After its initial hostility, the Soviet government
endorsed cybernetics as a panacea ensuring the rational control of a
failing centralized economy. The interdisciplinary umbrella of Soviet
cybernetics protected underground art—from kinetic constructions and
installations, to conceptual art and performance.

The session redresses a lack of attention to cybernetics globally. It
invites presenters in the visual arts and from non-art disciplines to
reconsider or generate new knowledge about generations and geographies
of art and cybernetics, including practices that create, distribute,
and theorize art forms, concepts, and histories. Papers may explore
cybernetic phenomena in artistic environments; examine artistic play on
logic and reason; consider how art or non-art agents treat cybernetics
as a social and cultural paradigm, or question how cybernetics is
presented in historiographies of recent art and what interfaces of
cybernetics and art bode for intra- and inter-disciplinary research and

Please send your proposal to Maia Toteva ( and
Jennifer Way (jway[at]unt[dot]edu by 12 November 2012. Every proposal should
include: 1. Preliminary abstract of one to two double-spaced, typed
pages; 2. Letter explaining speaker’s interest and expertise in the
topic; 3. CV with home and office mailing addresses, email address, and
phone numbers. 4. Documentation of work when appropriate, especially
for sessions in which artists might discuss their own work.

39th Annual AAH Conference & Bookfair University of Reading, Reading
11 – 13 April 2013
AAH2013 will represent the interests of an expansive art-historical
community by covering all branches of its discipline/s and the range of
its visual cultures. Academic sessions will reflect a broad
chronological range, as well as a wide geographical one. We will
address topics of methodological, historiographical, and
interdisciplinary interest as well as ones that open up debates about
the future of the discipline/s.

AAH2013 will take place over three days at the historic University of
Reading, Berkshire. Follow the links below for more information about
this forthcoming event:

Academic sessions are timetabled in blocks of 1 hour 20 minutes,
allowing for 2 papers of 30 minutes each, with 5 minutes for
set-up/session hopping and 5 minutes questions per paper.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: “Interfaces” of Art and Cybernetics (Reading, 11-13 Apr 13). In:
H-ArtHist, Jun 9, 2012. <>.

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