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Durham University

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

CVAC Events Listing

Portable Landscapes

College of St. Hild and St. Bede

Portable Landscapes: Conference

Landscapes are ways of framing and shaping the environment for aesthetic, social, political and economic purposes. In their ambivalent configuration, they stand for both an actual tract of land, crafted by nature or human intervention, and its visual or verbal representation. Within this framework, recent scholarship has turned the attention toward the production of material landscape objects that make environments physically move through time and space. The mimetic gesture that transforms a given environment into a ‘landscape object’ dovetails with a multifaceted range of emotional attachments, mnemonic associations and symbolic attributions that allows us to possess a place imaginatively and creatively. In their radical reduction and vernacular configuration, these objects provide us with worlds in miniature, able to exercise their own agency – objects that we can put in our bags, stick in our pockets or hold in our hands. In crafting, collecting, displaying and sharing landscape objects, we create landscape communities figuratively pinned on a physical or mental map.

In order to explore the material and symbolic functions of these portable worlds and their multiple affective configurations, the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) at Durham University is hosting an interdisciplinary conference in Durham on July 9-10 2015.

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