"Awash in Digital Imagery: what next for traditional art and museums?" (College Art Association 2024)

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
College Art Association
contact email: 

Awash in Digital Imagery: what next for traditional art and museums?
In this panel, we explore provocative questions related to the inevitable shifts that art makes in order to survive and thrive in the digital era. We consider the changes to our perceptions of art this shift enacts. We look for answers to the question of where art history finds itself as a discipline when some argue that art may have lost its Heideggerian thinginess?

The pandemic closed museums, and art viewing was filtered through a screen. Museums post their “collections” to websites and social media platforms, but there are losses of context and curation as we view art online. Alan Kirby notes that in the digimodernist era we are neither alone nor idle. We stream, we tweet, we post, we “like”; algorithms then act and react to encourage us to press on. Where once we moved through books and galleries in a measured, standardized fashion, we now are set free to craft our own paths through words and imagery. When digital media supplies a torrent of images, how does one recall, remember, or distinguish experiential meaning? One is reminded of Jean Baudrillard’s notion of hyperreality: inundated and thus overwhelmed by instantaneous (and endless) imagery.

Perhaps posting images of traditional art offers new viewership, new participation, and new opportunities for museums, or maybe artistic meaning and curatorial expertise is lessened. Are museums and art in its traditional forms relevant for contemporary society when digital media present new possibilities?



The CAA Annual Conference is the largest professional convening of art historians, artists, designers, curators, and visual art professionals. The 2024 Annual Conference is scheduled to take place February 14—17, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.


Field(s) of Study:
Media: Digital Media (history and studio) 
Theory / Practice: Digital Scholarship/History 
Theory / Practice: Curatorial Studies 
Media: New Media 
Business of Art: Museum Practice 

Chairs:Shelley Kopp , Imogen Clendinning,  Jevonne Peters 

To Apply

Review the CFP and submit using this link: https://caa.confex.com/caa/2024/webprogrampreliminary/Session12703.html