Conf/CfP - Representation and the Aesthetics of Reflexivity, 2022, Belgium

Publish Date: Jun 26, 2022

Deadline: Jul 15, 2022

Architectural design, as a projective and representational practice, unfolds through a series of media that continually refer to one another. Today, this interconnectedness is boosted through the multiplication of spaces in which architecture is disseminated. Over the last twenty years, architecture has become increasingly mediatized. To some degree, this is a consequence of the growing institutionalisation of architectural culture (and its output in the form of exhibitions, publications, conferences, prizes, etc.), and the increased speed and ease with which architectural offices now publish posts about their recent work on their website and social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.). The interaction, exchange and intersection between different media within this enlarged sphere of architectural representation raises once again the question of the 'expanded field' of architecture (Krauss 1979, Papapetros and Rose 2014). A number of architects strategically engage in this new media condition or interrogate it reflexively. Within the purely visual discourse of the digital sphere, emerged as a result new forms of meta-references, in which architectural representations is tied up with reflections on the medium itself (Wolf, Bantleon and Thoss 2009). In the field of architectural exhibitions, for example, artistic strategies used in the ’60s to challenge the institutional space of the museum are being redeployed to question the institutional framework and disciplinary limits of architecture (Foster 1996).

This multi-layered condition of the architectural project, along with the resulting cross-references, have received relatively little attention in terms of what media and cultural studies call “intermediality”/ If intertextuality is “the passage from one signifying system to another” in written texts (Kristeva 1967, 59), intermediality can be considered as the study of the transition from one medium to another. Intermediality is less concerned with the representation within a given medium than with the interplay between media (Rajewksy 2005), on which the very notion of representation relies (Ribouillault 2020). In other words, intermediality considers an object not within a single form of media but rather at the intersection of different media. In architecture, intermediality may refer to the transposition from one medium to another (e.g. photos of a building integrated into that same building), the convergence of different media to represent the same object (e.g. interactions between model, photo, collage, etc.), or the transfer of codes across different disciplines (e.g. superimposing the conventions of painting onto architecture).

The deployment of the architectural project across several media may be considered a recent phenomenon. For some, this condition of architecture is intimately linked to the appearance of new techniques (such as photography) and spaces of dissemination in the twentieth century (Colomina 1979), which embedded architecture into the arena of modern media. Weibel (2012) and Guattari (1996) see in our present time a “post-medium” condition in which the specificity of a medium is replaced by the intermingling of media and a state of mutual influence. Yet the idea that architecture correlates with several modes of existence is at the same time hardly new. For others, the complicity between media has been part of the establishment of architecture as a discipline from the moment it was founded on the notion of the project rather than simply on the built object (Simonnet 2001).

This issue of Clara is about the contemporary intermedial condition of architecture that might be considered novel yet emerges within a historicity in which that intermediality is an inherent part of architecture.We invite proposals which study how interactions within media function as an engine or design tool within particular projects. Contributions are particularly welcome which analyse the aesthetics of reflexivity: the trafficking between different domains of existence of the architectural project, the displacement of content from one media to another, the blurring of the terrain of publication and advertising. Finally, we encourage the submission of proposals that turn the very format of the academic contribution into an intermedial hybrid. Such a contribution could interrogate the framework of the journal by interweaving collages, drawings, photographs, and text.

Proposals for contributions should be submitted to by 15 July 2022 and must include an abstract of 500 words, a proposed title, the contributor’s name, academic affiliation (if applicable), e-mail address and a short bio of maximum 100 words in a single PDF. Proposals for contributions may be submitted in English or in French.

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