"Now See This!: the Visual Language of Modernist Aesthetics" (5/8; MSA 11/5-11/8)

full name / name of organization: 
Christina Walter
contact email: 

Panel: "NOW SEE THIS!: the Visual Language of Modernist Aesthetics"
Conference: MSA 11, Montreal, Canada, Nov 5-8 2009

Ezra Pound's imagist call to "make it new" has long alerted us to the fact that what was new in modernism revolved around what was understood to be new about images. Modernists made new philosophies of the image, new techniques for creating images, and new venues for circulating images central to their understanding of aesthetic creation and experience. Yet discussions of this crucial development don't tend to recognize its incredible breadth across genres and discourses and far beyond the confines of high modernism. From imagism to impressionism, but also from film to psychoanalysis and from advertising to music, the reconceived image became central even for artists who worked in media that did not require any practical reflection on vision or its objects.

I am seeking one paper to round out a panel devoted to exploring the importance of new visual languages in modernist aesthetics. The panel will explore modernists who used ideas about vision, actual or figurative images, painterly or filmic techniques, etc. to formulate their theories regarding the nature of art and art movements, aesthetics and form, or creative practice and experience.

Some possible topics include:
--modernist manifestoes highlighting sight or images in their production, the projects they advocate, or the figurative comparisons they draw regarding the art or culture they describe
--artists who worked in multiple media or in multimedia that include the visual/imagistic
--art criticism of film, theater, or the fine arts (i.e., the creation of words/narratives about images or spectacle)
--inter-artistic communities/relationships that intersect over questions of images or image-driven techniques or discourses
--artistic engagements with psychoanalysis as a discourse about images
--the appropriation of advertising into artistic practice or the creation of advertising as visual art
--artistic challenges to ocularcentrism on generic, philosophical, or ontological grounds

Please send a 300-word abstract and short bio to Christina Walter at cmwalter@umd.edu by May 8.