Call for papers: Arts | Culture | Design Vol.3

2022-06-08

 

History breaks down into images, not into stories. Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of the past. | Walter Benjamin

 

Starting from some fundamental questions posed many decades ago: “What do we mean by “image"?Is it in the head, 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 to your cognitive processes perception, memory, thought, creativity? What are the effects of imagery on memory? Can relatively abstract concepts and thoughts involve imagery?” (Malcolm L. Fleming, 1977).

The DAC (Design, Art, Culture) journal invites submissions for the 2022 issue, “Image and Memory”. Visual artists, art historians and theoreticians, historians, and archaeologists are challenged to contribute with essays (both textual and visual) thematising various aspects regarding the mnemonic, individual and collective memories.

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 Nora, as well as the knots of memory in Mamardashvili.

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 W.J.T. Mitchell’s warning about image: “the image is the general term, which various particular resemblances and correspondences subtend (convenientia, aemulatio, analogia, sympathia), which conjoins the world with ‘figures of knowledge’”. (Mitchell, 1990), and also 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 Hubeman 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.”

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 information provided by images is 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 Virillio. 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.

Therefore, this DAC call is open to visual artists and theorists, art historians, as well as anthropologists and archaeologists, asking for papers, research projects, artworks/ portfolios, or book reviews on the subject of “image and memory”.

The deadline for the final papers for review is September 10th, 2022

The authors’ guidelines for submitting materials can be found at: https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/DAC/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

For further information please contact: dac-journal@unarte.org