space RE:solutions


keynote speakers

call for papers



participants and abstracts


review board

Keynote Addresses:

Erica Robles:

The Aesthetics of Mediated Congregation: The Crystal Cathedral and Evangelical Visual Culture

11-12pm, Thursday 21 October 2010
IG Bildende Kunst

This talk analyzes the relationship between visual culture, social production, and technological change. Articulated through a case study of a particularly influential American church, the Crystal Cathedral, I'll make visible a nexus of spiritual and material practices hat helped translate 20th century Protestant across multiple aesthetic and technological regimes. From 1955 to 1961 the congregation worshipped at the local drive-in theater. Fusing emblematic elements of pop-culture and Protestant religion, they produced an uncannily iconic rendition of collective life in the era of mobility and privatization: drive-in church.
By 1962 the group found permanent architectural expression as a walk-in/drive-in church. Designed by Richard Neutra, the church coordinated multiple forms of worship -- via, car, lawn, or pew -- into a single continuous service. A complex of parking lots, windshields, and glass walls, the church was an ideal platform for supporting an increasingly manifold, virtualized, and distributed model of religion. By 1970, the ministry’s penchant for constructing continuities through mediation resulted in yet another augmentation; broadcasting as the Hour of Power, the congregation became the nation’s first “television church”. Today, the program is the fourth- longest running TV show in America.
In 1980 the church became the Crystal Cathedral. Designed by Philip Johnson, the monumental postmodern structure is an aesthetic expression of mediated congregation. Constructed from more than 10,000 panes of glass, ringed by “in-car worship centers” (parking lots), equipped with Jumbotron plasma screens, state-of-the art sound and video equipment, and open via nine- story sliding walls, the Cathedral expresses mobility, mediation, and flow, the conditions of network society, from a Christian point of view. With more than 10,000 members and a global audience of millions, this walk-in/drive-in/television church is not only one of the most visible Protestant architectures in the world, it is also a potent reminder of the uncanny alliances that form contemporary visual culture.

Jorella Andrews:

How to be counter-environmental:
Art, Research and the Techniques of Discovery

7.30-8.30pm, Thursday 21 October 2010,
Kuppelsaal, Vienna University of Technology

In response to the spatially-inflected title of the conference (Space RE:solutions), this lecture approaches questions of visual culture research through media-theorist Marshall McLuhan and designer/scholar Harley Parker's late 1960's explorations of 'environment' and 'counter-environment'. Of particular note here, apart from their insistent foregrounding of the important social and political impact of the mediumistic aspects of art and other forms of communication, is their focus on both amateurism and the aphoristic as strategically vital modes of critical engagement. Drawing on their work, and on specific instances of contemporary visual practice --- a recent urban piece by Newcastle-based graffiti artist mobstr., and installation artist Jenny Holzer's recent medium-shift to painting --- the question I ask, with them, is how contemporary artists, researchers and writers might circumvent the increasingly risk-averse, standardized, and outcome-based media and communication environments in which we are immersed, in the hope of remaining both critically astute and inspiring.

Suzana Milevska:

The Reciprocal Relation of Art and Visual Culture
in the Balkans

7.30-8.30pm, Friday 22 October 2010
Kuppelsaal, Vienna University of Technology

My paper will address the urgent need for pondering the theoretical and practical entanglements and contradictions between art and visual culture today. I want to explore and question the conceptual and visual implications of their reciprocal relations in the public space and public sphere in general. At first I am going to embark on an attempt for a short introduction of the historic and political reasons behind such contradictions within the concrete cultural and geopolitical space of the Balkan region during the period of socialist modernism. Throughout a comparative critical analysis of several more recent examples from the region (and particularly from Skopje) I am going to look at the ways in which the art projects, the academic curricula of the faculties of fine art and other theoretical and research programmes on the one hand, and the neoliberal cultural policies on the other hand, are isolated or influence one another. At the end I want to argue that their complex reciprocal relation severely affects the accessibility of the public space depending on the political and professional hierarchies and power relations. Therefore the public spaces ultimately become unevenly available to different groups or individual citizens and create ever more new hierarchies.


Erica Robles, Steinhardt, New York University

Erica Robles is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.Her research focuses on mediated forms of collective life. Trained as an experimental psychologist and a cultural historian, she employs a range of methods to explore the definition of mediaspace. She is currently writing a book about the 20th century transformation of religious architectures into platforms for mediated congregation. Robles holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University.

Jorella Andrews, Goldsmiths, University of London

I am Head of the Visual Cultures Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and on the editorial board of the journal Third Text. My teaching and research focuses on the relations between philosophical inquiry, visuality, and art practice, with a particular emphasis on phenomenology and the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty --- my book on this topic, Showing Off: A Philosophy of Image, is forthcoming with I.B.Tauris. Questions about the nature of learning within the dynamic, interdisciplinary field of visual culture are also an enduring interest. Here, I'm particularly interested in what may be learned by paying particular attention to the intricacies of art practice in its varied material and procedural aspects. Publications especially relevant to this topic include 'Critical Materialities' published in Academy, Angelika Nollert et al (eds), Revolver Verlag, 2006, and — forming the basis for the lecture I will contribute to Space RE:solutions — a forthcoming essay, 'How to be counter-environmental: Art, Research and the Techniques of Discovery' in José Quaresma et al (eds), Research in Art: A Forest, Many Paths, Edição CIEBA, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, 2010.

Suzana Milevska, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje

Dr. Suzana Milevska is a theorist and curator of visual art and culture based in Skopje, Macedonia. Her research and curatorial interests include postcolonial critique of hegemonic power in art, feminist art and gender theory, and different models of participatory art. Currently she teaches art history and theory at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. From 2006 to 2008, she initiated and was the Director of the Center for Visual and Cultural Research at the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje where she taught Visual Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths College in London (2006) where she taught from 2003 to 2005. In 2004, she was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. She is the author of Gender Difference in the Balkans (Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag, 2010) and editor of The Renaming Machine.

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