Appel à communication : « Air and the Visual » — Congrès de l’AAH (Édimbourg, avril 2016)

Corrège, Jupiter et Io, 1525, VienneThe air is unique among the elements in having this affinity with nothingness,
in signifying the being of non-being, 
the matter of the immaterial’
Steven Connor, The Matter of Air, 31).

The materiality of the air has long been at the forefront of our cultural and visual imaginary.
 Air has variously been associated with life and death, purity and pollution, circulation and stagnation. It is a thing that moves and flows across space and time. It is also a site of transmission, a force that conveys both the tangible and intangible. From vapours, microbes, and particulates to signals, sounds, and images, the air is heavy with matter and meaning. Air is an element that can produce, elude, and be captured by the visual.

Following Connor, this session seeks to investigate the relationship between air and representation, and to address issues of the visible in the invisible and the material in the immaterial. How has air, or its vacuum, been visualised in art?How do images of the air, and their very dissemination, highlight particular meanings and connections? How do new optical technologies, modes of visual reproduction, and methods of investigation allow people to study and depict the air? This session invites papers from across historical periods and media that engage with the visual, material, and metaphorical forms of air. Papers that explore the theme through a cross-disciplinary approach – for instance, linking art history to environmental studies, the history of science and medicine, or art theory and practice – are especially welcome.

Please email paper proposals to the session convenor Amanda Sciampacone at by 9 November 2015.
Download a paper proposal form from:


Voir l’ensemble des sessions du congrès de l’AAH

AAH 2016 
42nd Annual Conference & Bookfair
University of Edinburgh
7 – 9 April 2016




Leave a Reply