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Organization: Archivo Platform / Archivo Papers Journal
Categories: Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2024-09-26 to 2024-09-27 Abstract Due: 2024-06-15




26-27 SEPTEMBER 2024
virtual event


Archivo Platform and the Archivo Papers Journal, are pleased to announce the 5th edition of the Reframing the Archive – International Conference on Photography and Visual Culture.
Titled Archival Practices in Contemporary Visual Arts: A Model and a Source, the conference aims to gather contributions on archival art and archival research for contemporary art, considering them as two complementary aspects of a broad and complex field of investigation. On one hand, the archive serves as a structural model for artists from diverse backgrounds and engaged in various fields. On the other hand, authors' archives provide essential resources for historiographical studies on contemporary art, offering valuable information and direct testimonies. This dual focus necessitates engagement not only with the present but also with a relatively short historical span.

Since at least the 1960s, artists have been grappling with the concept of the archive, influenced by post-structuralist studies and early achievements in conceptual art. By employing tools of collection, classification, and indexing borrowed from archival theory and practice, artists of that (sociologically changing) era explored artistic languages capable of transcending the objecthood prevalent in post-World War II art. This exploration led to the development of an expressive form that remains relevant today. Indeed, much of contemporary art continues to yield compelling results when its semantic and formal contents are mediated by the archival model, particularly in genres such as photography, installation and performance. Despite the vast productivity of this global trend, critics are currently challenged with defining and contextualising archival art, often grappling with the complexities of its heterogeneity. In what perspective, with what tools, and according to what possible definitions or counter-definitions is it possible to historicise or reinterpret archival art today? What new proposals can contemporary artists offer by drawing inspiration from traditional paradigms of archival art or inventing new formal possibilities and codifications?

These questions underscore the extensive and complex dimension of contemporary archival art. However, While the archive serves as an artistic model, its contemporary incarnation as an institution offers a formidable resource for reconstructing recent art history. In recent years, scholars have increasingly turned their attention to the author’s archive as a vital component in studies on the preservation of historical documents and art objects. Research efforts are expanding to develop criteria for the conservation and administration of contemporary art archives, describe case studies on the acquisition or museamisation of art document collections, and critically reinterpret artistic and artists' correspondence sourced from archives of artists, critics and scholars. Through such resources, the reconstruction of contemporary art gains detailed descriptive capacity, thanks to the archival documents containing first-hand information about artists' studios, relationships, contracts and exchanges with patrons, family memories, and personal research contained in notebooks, sketches, photographic negatives and other repertoires. How, then, do archives speak about contemporary art? What approaches can be taken to utilise visual archives as sources for art history? How are visual archives employed in constructing national narratives and how can they be decolonised? What does an overview of emerging case studies yield? How can institutions dedicated to preserving historic knowledge be further promoted?

The 5th edition of the International Conference Reframing the Archive invites scholars at any stage of their careers, as well as visual artists and other professionals in the field of visual arts, to reflect on contemporary archive-based visual arts and contemporary archival sources and collections. We welcome proposals for 15-minute theory and practice-led presentations (followed by 15-minute panel discussion) from various disciplines, including: photography, cinema and new media, art history and theory, anthropology, museology, philosophy, cultural studies, visual and media studies, and fine and graphic arts. These presentations should offer an in-depth investigation into the conference topic. Please note that the conference will be conducted in English.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
— Interpreting contemporary artistic culture through archive material
— The history of contemporary art documented in archives: sources and resources
— Artists’ archives: a complex source for contemporary art history
— Digital sources of art history: new challenges for preservation and usability
— The contemporary Archive: history of studies and the role of artistic historiography
— The artistic and documentary value of photographic archives
— Critical pathways through the Archive
— Documentary art histories: old models and new questions
— Acquisition or purchase? The economic and cultural value of artist’s archives
— The hidden archive: anti-archives and antinomies of the archive
— Museography, topology, and architecture of art archives
— The archive as artistic practice: comparative analyses
— Curating exhibitions of archival art
— The archive in contemporary art: case studies
— Spaces, materials, and technologies in archival art
— Preserving archival art
— Decolonising visual archives
— Archival art and synaesthesia
— Social-political meanings of archival art
— Archives, performance, and body art
— Archival art and the linguistic turn in contemporary art
— Anti-archival experiences in Modern and contemporary art
— Meanings of archival art in artistic tendencies, movements, and groups

Following the conference, extended versions of the conference papers will be published in a forthcoming volume (2025) of the Archivo Papers - Journal of Photography and Visual Culture (ISBN 2184-9218). Conference speakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their articles, which will undergo a double-blind peer-review process.


Paper proposals for the RTA 2024 should be submitted in English, following two possible formats: individual papers, or, pre-constituted panels.
:: Guidelines for individual papers submission
Individual presentations have a duration of 15 minutes.
Candidates are required to submit a proposal that includes:
— Author information (name, email, affiliation, ORCID)
— Paper title, abstract (250 words), and keywords (maximum 5),
— Bibliographical references (maximum 5),
— Author short biographical note (written in third person, 100 words).

:: Guidelines for pre-constituted panels submission
Submission of proposals for pre-constituted panels should consist of three papers.
The panel organiser is requested to submit a panel proposal that includes:
— Panel title and abstract (250 words)
— Information regarding the three speakers and their individual papers, as described in the guidelines for individual papers above.
Candidates should submit only one proposal only.
Paper submissions are accepted through our submission form at www.reframingthearchive.com


The submitted proposals will undergo a blind peer-review process, and authors will be notified of the results of their proposals by July, 2024.

Selected speakers are invited to submit extended versions of theirs papers for publication.
Following a double blind peer-review process, the chosen authors will be featured? ?in? ?an? ?edited? ?volume of the scholarly open-access publication Archivo Papers Journal, scheduled for publication in 2025.

Deadline? ?for? ?submission:? ?June 15,? ?2024
Notification? ?of? ?selected speakers:? July,? ?2024
Deadline? ?for? ?speakers? ?registration?:? ?one week after confirmation of acceptance
Conference:? ?September 26-27,? ??2024


Ana Catarina Pinho, IHA, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Annalisa Laganà, Uni. degli studi di Napoli Federico II / Uni. della Calabria, Italy

The Scientific Committee will be announced once the peer-review process is completed.




Ana C. Pinho