[spectre] CFP: Nineteenth-Century Visual Technologies in Contemporary Practices

Andreas Broeckmann broeckmann at leuphana.de
Wed Jan 12 08:44:25 CET 2022

From: Gülru Çakmak
Date: Jan 11, 2022
Subject: CFP: Nineteenth-Century Visual Technologies in Contemporary 

Deadline: Mar 1, 2022

We invite proposals for a collection of essays on the ways in which 
contemporary art and heritage practices have been engaging with forms of 
nineteenth-century immersive spectacle. The parallels between the 
technological transformation of our own time and the experiments of the 
early nineteenth century have long been noted and the origins of 
twenty-first-century immersive experiences are arguably traceable to 
that earlier period. In recent years, artists have revisited 
nineteenth-century visual presentations such as the 360-degree panorama, 
while museums and heritage sites have experimented with various types of 
virtual environments as a way to bring the past alive for modern 
audiences. We welcome contributions that explore and interrogate the 
ways in which these interventions reinterpret nineteenth-century visual 
technologies. The edited volume will appear as a special issue of the 
online peer-reviewed journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long 
Nineteenth Century (https://19.bbk.ac.uk).  We are interested in testing 
the ways in which nineteenth-century spectacle has come to be 
understood. Immersive entertainments of this period have long been 
associated with notions of passive spectatorship and what Jonathan Crary 
refers to as the ‘private chamber’ mode of isolated, absorbed 
engagement, which he sees as characteristic of modern subjectivity. Guy 
Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle (1967) has been particularly 
influential in readings that posit nineteenth-century optical 
entertainments as offering seductive yet dangerous illusions, with 
Maurice Samuels, for instance, arguing that the spectacular mode of 
presenting history ‘promoted passivity and alienation’. Against this, 
recent accounts such as that by Alice Barnaby in her book Light Touches: 
Cultural Practices of Illumination 1800 – 1900 stress qualities of 
‘agency, play and experimentation’ as inherent to nineteenth-century 
visuality, while Lynn Voskuil has argued for the communal nature of 
nineteenth-century spectatorship. Victor Burgin has long drawn attention 
to the productive excesses of a panoramic subject position and the 
possibility of an agency that can resist hegemonic mechanisms of 
representation.  We invite papers that investigate the renewed relevance 
of nineteenth-century immersive spectacles in contemporary artistic and 
museological practices: why do such highly-curated embodied experiences 
of the world in flux find a new relevance in contemporary times? What 
varieties of subjectivities are articulated for contemporary viewers in 
these encounters? How do such new sites of memory—lieu de mémoire­ as 
conceptualized by the French historian Pierre Nora—thematize the 
contemporary against the background of ideologies of race, alterity and 
cultural heritage?  We invite interested authors to send their 300-word 
abstract and a short 100-word biography to the editors Patricia Smyth 
(P.M.Smyth at warwick.ac.uk) and Gülru Çakmak (gcakmak at umass.edu) by 1 
March 2022. Accepted essays (c. 7000 words) will be due to the editors 
on 1 October 2022. Since the papers will be published in an online 
platform, the editors are open to suggestions for incorporating 
multi-media resources to the published papers such as video, sound file, 
animation, etc.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Nineteenth-Century Visual Technologies in Contemporary Practices. 
In: ArtHist.net, Jan 11, 2022. <https://arthist.net/archive/35647>.

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