Colloques, conférences, journées d’étude

Atelier “Jeu vidéo et puissances de la distraction” avec Victor Moisan, dans le cadre de POLITIQUES DE LA DISTRACTION, organisé par Dork Zabunyan, Université Paris 8, Cinéma l’Ecran, Saint-Denis, 2 mai 2018, 10h-13h. 




Journée d’étude, “Tecnologia et cultura visuale tra cinema e media”/ “Technology and Visual Culture between Cinema and Media”, Università degli studi di Firenze, IT, 13 avril 2018.



Towards An Aesthetics of Geology in the Age of Anthropocene

Saturday 7 April

Maud Maffei (Independent)
Riccardo Venturi (Gerda Henkel Stiftung)

Session Abstract

Geology has been a topic of interest and attraction for artists, at least since JMW Turner’s ‘geological sublime’, as it was famously put forward by John Ruskin. During the 1960s, a time of cybernetics, technological upheaval and subsequent reshaping of our relations to time and space, Robert Smithson suggested the notion of ‘abstract geology’, tracing connections between geological, body and mental processes.

In the 1960s and 1970s, what artists found particularly fascinating in the aesthetics of geology was the challenge of its double invisibility: on one side, the relation to ‘deep time’ threatened the three classical temporal dimensions within which we arrange our life experience, i.e., past, present and future; on the other the withdrawal of visibility made it a complex object to imagine and visualise. An Earth Science, with its unyielding remoteness and inert temporality, geology has become today a model for the material conditions of our contemporary life. In the digital and anthropocene era, and in the midst of an irresolute – and politically undermined – relation between Gaia and anthropos, natural history and human history, several artists deal with ‘geological imagination’.

Enhancing the still unexploited convergences between the history of contemporary art and the politics of ecology, between visual humanities and environmental humanities, the session aims to explore the multiple ways artistic projects, art historical research, exhibitions and curatorial practices focus on the challenges posed today by the geological turn beyond anthropocentric humanities.

Semaine des arts, Université Paris 8, atelier “Percevoir la rue : sensations,  distraction, navigation”, 27 mars 2018.


Colloque international “Cultura visuale in Italia. Prospettive della ricerca”, avec la participation de W.J.T. Mitchell, Université de Palermo, 19-21 mars 2018


Imago multitudinis. The Image of the Multitude in Art and Philosophy

Saturday 10 March 2018, 09.00 – 19.00

(with registration from 08.30)
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, WC2R 0RN

The Courtauld Institute of Art, The British Academy and the Collège International de Philosophie are pleased to announce a one-day interdisciplinary conference focusing on the philosophical representation and the artistic conceptualisation of the multitude and its associated concepts: the many, the masses, the crowd, the mob and the commonality.

A spectre is haunting our times: the spectre of the multitude. Uprisings, popular unrests, mass migrations, revolutions—the past ten years have been marked by unprecedented quests for freedom, embodied by unconventional political subjects pointing to the possibility of alternative outcomes of the crisis of both authoritarian regimes and representative democracies. Through the masterful drawing of Abraham Bosse, Hobbes attempted to tame the multitude forever. Constrained within the body politic of the monstrous Leviathan (1651), the multitude was transfigured into an obedient people and its potentia was (apparently) usurped. Yet, the multitude resisted—and still resists—this movement, challenging the predominant definitions of sovereignty. Following the collapse of modern master narratives, such as in the nascent seventeenth century, the multitude has returned.

Our investigation revolves around the political and aesthetic meanings of this omnipresent, if elusive, collective being. In particular, we would like to ask the following questions: how do philosophers represent the multitude and translate their concepts into cogent images? How do artists think about the multitude and its agency? This enquiry, which spans from the Middle Ages to the present, concentrates on the way in which images and iconographic motifs are elaborated in philosophy, as well as how political concepts are articulated in the visual arts. In order to understand the images pervading, and the concepts informing, recent collective political action (from Tahrir Square to the streets of Tunis, New York, Madrid, Ferguson via Rojava and Lampedusa), we intend to focus on their modern and contemporary genealogies. This is not only a historical enquiry. The history of the multitude can help us better understand the present. The aesthetic, agency and ambitions of this political subject do not only survive in books and museums, they also live on among us. The multitude resists, and if this is the conflict that characterises political modernity, then modernity has begun again.

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission with advance booking required: https://the-image-

Saturday 10 March 2018

Registration (Front Hall) Welcome and opening remarks

Session I: The Multitude and the Body Politic – Chair: Jacopo Galimberti (University of Manchester)

Léa Barbisan (Université Paris-Sorbonne / Université de Rouen): Unpresentable Masses: The Crisis of the Body Politic during the Weimar Republic.

Dario Gentili (Università degli Studi Roma Tre): The Centaur and the Multitude: from Machiavelli to Contemporary Italian Political Thought.

Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Title to be advised

TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided in seminar room 1)

Session II: The Multitude and the State – Chair: Professor Sarah Wilson (The Courtaud Institute of Art)

Magda Szcześniak (Uniwersytet Warszawski): The Workers’ Collective’s Body. The Forgotten Visual Culture of “Solidarity”.

Maxime Boidy (Université Paris 8): Ten Statements on the Black Bloc as a Composite Image. Clara Bouveresse (Université Paris 1): Alex Majoli’s Theatre of Migrations: Staging the

Contemporary Multitude.

Lunch (provided for speakers and chairs only, in Seminar room 1)

Session III: The Multitude and the Artist – Chair: Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtaud Institute of Art)

James Hall (University of Southampton.): The Noble Art of Exclusion: Michelangelo Against Crowd-Pleasing, Overcrowding and Multitudes.

Pier Vittorio Aureli (Yale School of Architecture): The Undertaker. Leon Battista Alberti and the Invention of the Architectural Project.

Bridget Alsdorf (Princton University): The Crowd Against Theory: Art’s Defence of the Masses in Fin-de-siècle France.

Claire Fontaine (Artist): The Multitude of the Missing People TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided in seminar room 1)

Session IV: From the Riot to the Multitude – Chair: Dr Klara Kemp Welch (The Courtaud Institute of Art)

Nicholas Mirzoeff (New York University): Ungovernable Aesthetics.
Nicholas Thoburn (University of Manchester): Riot / Book: Communist Publishing against Race.

Taous Dahmani (Université Paris 1): Photographic Construction and Deconstruction of a “Riot Iconography”: The Case of England’s 1980s uprisings.

Closing Remarks Reception (Front Hall)

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