Appel à communication : Le spectateur en mouvement (Nottingham, 4-5 juillet 2014)

The Mobile Spectator: viewing on the move

Conference dates: Friday 4- Saturday 5 July 2014, University of Nottingham, UK

In theories of looking at art, spectators are usually assumed to be static, having arrived at a correct viewing position before a given work of art. Yet in our experiences of art, vision and movement are inseparable. Travel is often a prerequisite to putting oneself in a position to be able to see something, or to see it properly; physical effort is required to address the object or image appropriately. Works of art usually inhabit spaces which necessitate adjustment of the viewer’s position. Institutions of art require active engagements such as entering, scanning, exploring, traversing, perusing, surveying, and other forms of behaviour or gestures. When such contingencies of viewing are acknowledged, the question arises as to whether the idea of a static viewer engaged in motionless contemplation is a Modernist, ocularcentric paradigm that fails to take into account movements of the body as a precondition to sight. This conference wishes to explore the role(s) of physical movement in creating an art viewer, among other questions. Is there a difference between ‘viewer’ and ‘spectator’? Does one term imply a more active or passive role than the other? Does either term imply motion?

We welcome and encourage studies of all periods and locations. Suggested lines of inquiry include but are not limited to the following:
The language of looking
Correct positions: the ideology and practices of viewing positions
Anamorphosis: the image as at once coded and controlling
Narratives and itineraries of viewing art
Instances, objects, structures that demand a viewer’s movement in order to see
Sustained ways of seeing
First impressions: the moment of encounter
Glimpse versus gaze
Modes of scanning and surveying
Art History on the run: from biennales to pilgrimage
The traversal of surfaces
Mobility in digital terms
Stasis and mobility in panoramic vision

Please send proposals of up to 200 words and C.V. to:
Ting Chang ( »
and Richard Wrigley ( » ) by 1 December 2013.

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