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Third Annual York Summer Theory Institute in Art History

Monday 22 May 2017, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Professor Whitney Davis, University of California at Berkeley and University of York

Andrea Pozzo (1642 – 1709), Apotheosis of St. Ignatius, illusionistic quadratura fresco for ceiling of Sant’Ignazio, Rome, 1688 – 94.

May 22 – 26, 2017

 Visuality and Virtuality

The 2017 YSTI investigates the relationships between visuality, or historically and culturally specific ways of seeing, and virtuality – the creation of objects and spaces that extend, augment or transform the ordinary furniture of the visual world, including such notable technologies as painterly illusion (trompe l’oeil), pictorial perspective, ‘virtuality reality games’ and ‘real-time simulations’. The topic is especially apt in a current world saturated in images – in ever-expanding virtual visual-spatial horizons and worlds – but we will also ask how earlier cultures, including premodern and prehistoric ones (Western and non-Western), produced virtual worlds in visual space, how major historical modes of pictorial representation (such as ‘aspective’ and ‘perspective’) have shaped visual space, and how long-lost visual/sensory worlds can be reconstructed archaeologically and/or in forensic virtualisations. Particular topics for individual seminar sessions might include: the phenomenology of visual space; the ‘presence’ versus the representation of things; ‘analog’ and ‘digital’ pictorial spaces; relations between substitutes and pictures; the thesis of vision historicism (‘vision itself has a history’); numerical and computational control of virtuality; ‘old’ and ‘new’ media of virtualities. We will also likely organise special sessions introducing particular techniques of virtualisation as a research method in art history.

YSTI is organised in such a way that little or no advance reading will be necessary. Instead, students will be expected to use their mornings to read the selected texts (usually two or three chapters/articles per session); individual students will be asked in advance to prepare comments to initiate discussion in each session. Two sessions of approximately 90 minutes will be held each afternoon. Two evening lectures (“The Origin of Perspective” by Professor Davis on Tuesday May 23 and another by Professor Inge Hinterwaldner on Thursday May 25) and a final dinner (Friday May 26) round out the activities of the institute.

 ‌To apply e-mail with a short statement (max 250 words) setting out how you envisage your attendance contributing to your research by 12 noon on Friday 12th May 2017.

Event archive

Location: Hosted by the History of Art department, University of York


Location: History of Art