World Picture Conference 2018
University of Cambridge, 12 & 13 December
Anne Boyer (Kansas City Art Institute/University of Cambridge)
Tiziana Terranova (Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”)
It would be difficult to imagine a concept more fundamental to modern thought and culture than the concept of ‘reproduction’. Whether it is treated as a matter of biological, economic, aesthetic, technological, social or political processes, and whether it is understood as an engine of novelty or tautology, it has defined some of the logics most critical to the ideas of making and re-making, growth and stagnation, value and exploitation, and truth and falsity for hundreds if not thousands of years. But what does it mean to speak of reproduction from the point of view of the 21st century—a period in which the concept of reproduction is often dismissed as either obsolete or self-evidently destructive, but the matter of reproduction remains a deeply volatile subject of both ordinary experience and grand political dispute, and does so in domains as different as civil rights law, ecology, art and media culture? How might a reconsideration of reproduction, as a conceptual logic and/or a concrete phenomenon that plays out variously in each of these domains, serve to recalibrate or reinvigorate some of the ways in which we think, live and behave today? Or how we understand the problem of mediation itself? After all, reproduction can be repetitive, banal, sometimes brutal, as when we ‘merely’ reproduce or perpetuate the ongoing-ness of something we ought to reinvent. But it can also be a force of rupture and newness: the contingency of natality, the unpredictability of erotic life. Likewise, reproduction can be thought as the essence of labour or labouriousness itself, but it can also be construed as something that simply happens, outside the work of the will or our designs on the world. It is thus a mode of artifice and a mode of nature at once, and we propose it’s due for some making and re-making.
We welcome abstracts for papers that address any of the above concerns, or that range beyond them, while keeping in view some question regarding reproduction. The conference and the journal typically have an emphasis on the moving image and its theorisation, but we very much welcome abstracts from scholars working in a variety of other fields, and papers need not be focused on moving images or visual culture.
Abstracts should be 250 words in length and include a (4-5 entry) bibliography and a short biography. Papers to be delivered should be twenty minutes in length.
Please send abstracts to [email protected] no later than 15 September. Accepted papers will be notified by the end of September.