Conceptual Cartography: Spatial representations in Conceptual Art (AAH 2019)

Country: United Kingdom

City: Brighton

Abstr. due: 05.11.2018

Dates: 04.04.19 — 06.04.19

Area Of Sciences: Geography; Arts; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Association for Art History Annual Conference, University of Brighton


Conceptual art is broadly considered a movement that accelerated the processes of internationalism in the 1960s and 1970s. Early proponents of Conceptual Art differed from preceding generations of artists in their aspiration to connect individuals and ideas beyond geographic expanses. Conceptual art’s reductive quality of the art object into dematerialised forms mobilised a vision to transcend spatial and geographic boundaries and configure a global network of artists and work. Artists differentiated existing forms of the international through the conceptualist artwork’s capacity to further expand and decentralise art’s traditional topography. Cartography is a defining feature in many Conceptualist artworks, from Douglas Huebler’s maps that chart journeys with a felt pen on ordinary topographical road maps to Felipe Ehrenberg’s Tube-O-Nauts Travels that document the artist’s continuous journey on London’s Underground over 17 hours with diagrams on subway maps.

Of interest to this panel is the interface between Conceptual Art’s spatial imagination in the 1960s to 1980s, and the variant ways in which artists employed a cartographic language as a process and production of space-making. In particular, how do these practices encode new territories, subvert systems of representation, re-order, de-centralise, reify or expand geography and its signification. How were artists engaging with or producing a globalised, networked, transnational, de-territorialised and in-flux geography. Along these lines, we invite proposals for papers that explore different forms, media, strategies, theories and concepts, as well as geographic and temporal frames of reference.

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