The International Journal Design | Arts | Culture is a digital open access and peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal, published by “Design, Interior Architecture and Audiovisual Documentation” lab of the Faculty of Applied Arts and Culture of the University of West Attica Greece in cooperation with the: Doctoral Studies of the National University of Arts Bucharest Romania, University of Nicosia Cyprus, ESAD Porto Portugal, and Academy of Fine Arts Gdansk Poland. This journal is biannual (with regular and from time to time special issues) and publishes research articles, projects and portfolios, as well as book reviews and student works. It aims to provide an academic forum for sharing and connecting ideas, projects, practices and findings about design, applied arts and culture. This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. This journal does not charge submission or publication fees.


Special Issue Call for Papers “Narratives of Crisis: Representing Capitalist Realism”


This is an open call for papers for the Special Issue “Narratives of Crisis: Representing Capitalist Realism” of the Journal Design | Arts | Culture (ISSN: 2732-6926). The International Journal Design | Arts | Culture is a digital open access and peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal, published by Design, Interior Architecture and Audiovisual Documentation lab of the Faculty of Applied Arts and Culture of the University of West Attica Greece in cooperation with the: the National University of Arts Bucharest Romania, University of Nicosia Cyprus, ESAD Porto Portugal, Academy of Fine Arts Gdansk Poland. The journal is hosted in the open-access e-Publishing platform of the National Documentation Centre of Greece (EKT). The Special Issue will be published in collaboration with the Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University Greece, and edited by Dr. Penelope Petsini.

Current Issue

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2023): Narratives of Crisis: Representing Capitalist Realism

Published: 2024-02-13

Bringing together researchers, theorists and visual artists, the fourth volume of DAC journal, "Narratives of Crisis: Representing Capitalist Realism", aims to provide a platform for discussions and research, which consider various aspects of the visual and its implication to both ideological formations and cultural forms related albeit not limited to the notion of crisis. The special issues (4:1, 4:2) are, in a way, a continuation of previous, relatively recent projects which the guest editor, Dr Penelope Petsini, has curated or organised, and all invited contributors have been involved in: The group exhibitions "Capitalist Realism: Future Perfect" and "Capitalist Realism: Past Continuous" (2018-19, held at MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography and MOMus-Center of Experimental Arts, respectively), the eponymous book (University of Macedonia Press, 2018), as well as the conference "Representing Capitalist Realism: Crisis, Politics and the Visual" (23-24/11/2018, MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography & Rosa Luxemburg Foundation). Starting from this point, the issues aim to offer a comparative charting of the crisis discourse by adopting an inclusive definition of the term derived from new scholarship and the concept of "Capitalist Realism" as introduced by British theorist Mark Fisher: an ideological framework for perceiving capitalism's impact on politics, economics, and collective consciousness – encompassing both the spheres of economy and culture. Crucially, Capitalist Realism encapsulates the prevalent notion that not only is capitalism the sole feasible political and economic structure, but it has also become nearly inconceivable to imagine a coherent alternative. 

Part One ("Global Perspectives") includes articles, visual essays, portfolios and a review by: ​ Stefan Canham - Rufina Wu - Hercules Papaioannou; ​Stefen Chow - Huiyi Lin (Chow and Lin); ​Nina Kotamanidou; Christos Mais; ​Johnny Miller; ​Freja Najade; Evangelia Ntarara; Penelope Petsini; Julian Stallabrass; John Stathatos; ​Andrea Stultiens.  

Total pages 150

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Starting from some fundamental questions posed many decades ago: “What do we mean by «image»? Is it in our mind or on the screen or both? If both, what are some of the similarities and differences between the projected image and the mental image? More importantly, how fundamental and instrumental is the picture in your mind to your cognitive processes perception, memory, thought, creativity? What are the effects of imagery on memory? 

Can relatively abstract concepts and thoughts involve imagery?” (Fleming, 1977, p. 43); this is the question anwered by the third volume of DAC Journal (Design | Arts | Culture) dedicated to “Image and Memory”. 

Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its “theatre”. The cultural, symbolic world, the world of going beyond the material, the ultimate, the transcendent, constitutes an understanding of the concept of “place of memory” in Pierre Nora. Collective memory exists due to “places of memory”, as they are manifested in material, functional and symbolic forms: monuments, memorials, and images. 

In this context, we should remember Theodor Adorno’s critical view of Walter Benjamin’s philosophical imagination (philosophische Phantasie) that makes of the singular ‘image’ (Bild) the very crystal ‘eye’ – of history. Commenting Adorno, Georges Didi-Huberman claimed “the paradoxical power and fragility of images. 

On the one hand, they are unsuited to the generality of the concept, since they are always singular: local, incomplete, in short, insubstantial […]. On the other hand, they are universally open: never entirely sealed off, never completed […]”. 

According to the French philosopher of art, “There is no critical theory without a critique of images. But nor is there any such theory without a critique – of discourse and image – by images themselves. […] Images are themselves capable of becoming critical tools. They are, as Jean-Paul Sartre long ago said, acts not things, active confrontations on the battlefield of ‘culture’. They do not merely illustrate ideas: they produce ideas or produce effects critical of ideas.” (Didi-Huberman, 2017, p. 260). 

If images are embodied in pictures, we should also acknowledge that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This commonplace quotation suggests that images contain more information than texts and that the pieces of information provided by images are more easily processed and understood by any observer. Otherwise, a picture can trigger a buried memory and recall a precise moment in time much more rapidly than words. 

Quoting Walter Benjamin, “the true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again.” 

Image and memory are indelibly linked by the contemporary urges as the coagulation of the concept of “public image” due to Paul Virilio. Images are “fabricated” on different levels in different techniques mobilising the individual and the collective memory. 

The connection between image and memory can be seen from the beginning of history, the images of individual or collective experience being present in material culture (Jones, 2007). 

These images representing a type of external memory (Donald, 1998), fixed on a material medium, allowed the remembrance process (Gibbons, 2019) to encompass an enormous area of topics, from images of the deceased to images of memorable events.

Visual artists, art historians and theoreticians, historians, and archaeologists contributed with essays (both textual and visual) thematising various aspects regarding the mnemonic, individual and collective memories.


Reference List

Didi-Huberman, G. and Miller, C. (2017) “Critical Image/Imaging Critique”, Oxford Art Journal, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp. 249–261.

Donald, M. (1998) Hominid enculturation and cognitive evolution. In C. Renfrew & C. Scarre (eds.) Cognition and material culture: The archaeology of symbolic storage (pp. 7–17). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Fleming, M.L, (1977) “The Picture in Your Mind.” AV Communication Review, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 43–62.

Gibbons, J. (2019) Contemporary Art and Memory: Images of Recollection and Remembrance. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Jones, A. (2007) Memory and material culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.