‘Now! Visual Culture’ at NYU, May 31-June 2, 2012, the second biennial conference of the International Association for Visual Culture


“Now! Visual Culture” is a participation event, to be held at New York University, May 31-June 2 2012. The goal is to showcase as broad and diverse a range of visual culture practice as possible in order to create a snapshot of the field of visual culture as it is currently practiced from Cape Town to California.

At the 2010 Visual Culture Studies Conference in London, hosted by the Institute at University of Westminster, a decision was taken to constitute an International Association for Visual Culture. A key principle was that the Association should ask as little as possible financially from its members while involving as many people as possible in decision making. This is the first event organized under this platform. By the end of the event, delegates will have both experienced and created the transformation of the field from an interaction of cinema studies and art history (as it was in the 1990s) to the present intersection of Web 2.0, iconology, contemporary art practice, and critical visuality studies.

The event is structured so that all delegates will attend a single stream of sessions to create a strongly interactive conference experience. The event begins with 15×5 minute lightning talks on the state of the field by people ranging from postdocs to professor emeritus. There are eight sessions following, organized by people in a variety of locations, including the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester, the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture and the Diasporic Asian Art Research group. Each session will be independently organized in keeping with the horizontal ethics of the Association.

Particular time slots have a hands-on workshop, film screenings, panel discussions or a combination of the above.

Current session themes include:

a workshop with Scalar, a born-digital multi-media authoring platform
the role of design in globalization
new media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement
Asian diaspora art practices
practice in and as visual culture
a graduate student forum
the general assembly of the International Association for Visual Culture
keynote ‘listeners’ and talkback
Lots of time for networking and enjoying New York, with receptions every night, a gallery exhibition of online and material work, and maybe a late-night shenanigan or two!

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