Beyond Representation: an Interdisciplinary Approach to the Nature of Things

September 27–29, 2012
Bard Graduate Center and the Institute of Fine Arts-NYU
The past two decades have been marked by a renewed concern with the agency, presence, and ontological status of crafted things, witnessed in a shift of interest across several fields from questions of iconography and meaning to questions of affect and efficacy. These developments call into question some of the binary oppositions that are foundational to the epistemologies and ontologies of Enlightenment (and post-Enlightenment) thought: animate-inanimate, subject-object, material-meaning, and so forth. They raise significant questions about the nature and operation of things in the world, their materiality, their ability to act or inspire action, and their relation to speech, texts, and words. Acknowledging the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the profound questions raised by these developments, the conference aims to examine the historical antecedents for these ‘new’ ways of thinking about the material world, to consider their implications, and to imagine the ways in which they might help us develop novel approaches to images, things, and words.
Thursday  September 27, 2012:  1:30–6:00pm at The Bard Graduate Center Lecture Hall (38 West 86th Street, New York, NY)
Friday  September 28, 2012: 9:00am–6:00pm; and Saturday September 29, 2012: 9:30am–1:15pm at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Lecture Hall (1 East 78th Street, New York, NY)
For more information and RSVP

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