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Durham University

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

Previous Events

List of months

Tuesday 8 March 2016

CVAC and IAS Visual Evidence Series: Absences, Erasures and Invisibilities in Cityscape, Landscape and Marinescape - Workshop

2:00pm to 2:00pm, Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College

This workshop is organized by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) and forms part of the Visual Evidence sub-theme. It is designed to bring together researchers who often work independently of one another, focusing on either cityscapes, or landscapes, or marinescapes, the latter often overlooked, as Allan Sekula has pointed out. Each of these areas, of course, is the province of a number of different disciplines, which seek to understand (and so constitute) the nature of the research object through related but often distinct practices of looking and of image-making, including mapping, photography, film-making and other forms of image capture and inscription. These practices, in effect, translate material artefacts into ‘evidence’ through processes of selection and interpretation. But how is visual evidence of the absent, the erased, the invisible and the hidden produced? How, conversely, might processes of evidence construction themselves lead to absences, erasures, invisibilities and hidden traces? What is seen and what remains unseen when different kinds of looking and image-making practices are employed? What is erased through different practices of looking? And what does it mean to render visible the invisible?

Please click here to view the programme. To book a place on the workshop, please email cvac@durham.ac.uk


Annual lecture in Environments and Visual Culture: Animating Landscapes: The Concept of Empathy in Early Twentieth-Century Dance Choreography and Garden Design with Professor Robin Veder

6:00pm to 8:00pm, Hogan Lovells, Palatine Centre, Durham University, Professer Robin Veder

How do bodies respond to built and natural environments? In this talk, Robin Veder resurrects the theories of ‘physiological aesthetics’ that interactively informed landscape architecture and modern dance of the early to mid-twentieth-century United States. In this setting, landscape architects designed and built new spaces to accommodate new body cultures including modern dance. Primary sources suggest that landscape architects and dance educators themselves read physiological aesthetics and subscribed to the notion of kinesthetic empathy—acquired from German experimental physiological psychology—that posits the aesthetic experience occurs when a viewer’s neuromuscular system ‘empathizes’ with the physical form of an image, object, building, or landscape.’ Designed spaces thus stimulate physiological response and so were understood to function as structuring environments for neuromuscular programming. Within this logic of environmental determinism, landscapes discipline and even transform the bodies of people who live in them. And yet, Veder shows that American landscape architecture’s investment in empathy theory’s environmental determinism was modified by the methods of emancipated kinesthetic-awareness practiced by a transatlantic community of modern dancers. The physiological mode of aesthetic apprehension (premised on subjective ‘introspective’ physiological-psychology experiments) could be cultivated and regulated with physical exercises; this enabled empathy with agency. The paper begins at mid-century with the collaborative work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and his spouse, the modern dancer Anna Halprin, then looks back to the discourse of kinesthetic empathy that appears in key theoretical and pedagogical texts from American landscape architecture and dance education of the 1910s through 1940s.

To register for your free ticket, please click here.

Contact cvac@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


Wednesday 9 March 2016

CVAC and IAS Visual Evidence Series: Absences, Erasures and Invisibilities in Cityscape, Landscape and Marinescape - Workshop

2:00pm to 2:00pm, Kenworthy Hall, St. Mary's College

This workshop is organized by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) and forms part of the Visual Evidence sub-theme. It is designed to bring together researchers who often work independently of one another, focusing on either cityscapes, or landscapes, or marinescapes, the latter often overlooked, as Allan Sekula has pointed out. Each of these areas, of course, is the province of a number of different disciplines, which seek to understand (and so constitute) the nature of the research object through related but often distinct practices of looking and of image-making, including mapping, photography, film-making and other forms of image capture and inscription. These practices, in effect, translate material artefacts into ‘evidence’ through processes of selection and interpretation. But how is visual evidence of the absent, the erased, the invisible and the hidden produced? How, conversely, might processes of evidence construction themselves lead to absences, erasures, invisibilities and hidden traces? What is seen and what remains unseen when different kinds of looking and image-making practices are employed? What is erased through different practices of looking? And what does it mean to render visible the invisible?

Please click here to view the programme. To book a place on the workshop, please email cvac@durham.ac.uk


Thursday 17 March 2016

Annual Leslie Brooks lecture: “Small Acts: Mobilizing Memory Across Borders” with Professor Marianne Hirsch

5:00pm to 7:00pm, The Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre (Calman Learning Centre), Professor Marianne Hirsch

CVAC, The School of Modern Languages & Cultures and St. Cuthbert's Society are delighted to announce that Professor Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, will be giving the annual Leslie Brooks lecture.

Contact zoe.roth@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.