PCA/ACA: Art and Design Culture 2018

Gretchen Gasterland-Gustafsson's picture
Call for Papers
October 1, 2017
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Architecture and Architectural History, Cultural History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
2018 National Conference
Indianapolis, IN- March 28th-March 31st, 2018

Art and Design Culture


Deadline for Submissions: October 1, 2017

The Art and Design Culture area examines and engages the realms of the visual world as constructed by visual artists and designers as they interact with the popular and professional domains in which they live and work. This area asks the question that W.J.T. Mitchell poses as the title of his 2005 volume: “What do Pictures Want?” which interrogates “The Lives and Loves of Images, ” because, as Andre Agassi claimed in a Canon Camera commercial “Image is everything,” and as Gerhard Richter notes “Picturing things, taking a view, is what makes us human; art is making sense and giving shape to that sense.” (Mitchell 1, xv)

The Art and Design Culture area serves as a forum for theoretically informed approaches to the visual at PCA/ACA. The area focuses on the exploration of the interaction and exchange between self-consciously created art and design and the popular, and on the interrogation of the resulting visual objects and situations as cultural constructs.

As the name suggests this area is larger than a consideration of works or art or design as discrete objects, and seeks to examine the networks of culture in which these objects play a part. This reflects the influence of Material Culture Studies and Visual and Cultural Studies on Art and Design History. Engagement with the idea of design culture, as proposed by Guy Julier in The Culture of Design, opens up areas beyond the visual for examination: “design culture requires its observers to move beyond visual and material attributes to consider the multivarious and multilocational networks of its creation and manifestation.” This area serves as a forum for sharing research that reaches out beyond the traditional bounds of art and design history to examine works of art and design in various contexts, from galleries and museums to the pages of magazines and living rooms, through various forms of sensory perception, and through the lenses of various methodological and cultural frameworks.

We are soliciting papers for the upcoming PCA/ACA conference next March in Indianapolis that may consider but are not limited to:

  • Art broadly defined: painting, sculpture, installation, sound, photography, film, video, digital media, etc..
  • Design broadly defined: interior decoration, graphic design, industrial design, digital design, the built environment, landscape architecture, etc…
  • Visuality
  • The division of the sensible
  • The meaning of looking and being looked at
  • Spectacle and surveillance
  • Networks of vision
  • Visual transcultures
  • Networks through which design and art are circulated
  • Theoretical issues related to art and design.
  • Spectacle
  • Identity
  • Cultural Hybridity or Syncretism

 Please submit an abstract by October 1, 2017 of no more than 250 words of your proposed paper and a short 50-word bio with contact information at http://ncp.pcaaca.org. Instructions for logging in and submitting proposals appear on the home screen of the site. Instructions are available also here: http://www.pcaaca.org/conference/instructions.php

Contact Info: 

Area Co-Chair: Gretchen Gasterland-Gustafsson, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts, Minneapolis College of Art and Design