CFP: Walking on Images (conference session at AAH, April 2020)

Michael Tymkiw's picture
October 21, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Classical Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Historic Preservation, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies

CFP: Walking on Images (session at the Association for Art History 2020 annual conference, 1–3 April 2020)

Session Convenor: Michael Tymkiw (University of Essex,

For millennia, floors have served as an important site for displaying imagery, as evidenced by mosaic pavements, tomb slabs, rugs, and, more recently, floor-based works of fine art. In many cases, human beings have been encouraged to walk on such imagery—a mode of viewing that not only results in direct physical contact with images but also means that a spectator cannot view ground-based images without simultaneously seeing parts of his or her own body. In this respect, a spectator’s body at once completes and interrupts the imagery being viewed.


This session seeks to explore a range of issues broadly related to the theme of walking on images. Some possible topics for consideration include: the motivations for making and/or commissioning particular examples of “walkable” imagery; the conservation and restoration of floor-based imagery that has been effaced through walking; theoretical or transdisciplinary discussions of the figure-ground relationship during the act of walking on images; the dialogue between figuration and abstraction in floor-based decorative arts; or the extent to which the act of walking on imagery problematizes the very notion of the image, which is closely associated with resemblance and similitude.


Submit a paper

To submit a paper proposal, please fill out the proposal form, which can be found here. You will need to provide a title and abstract (250 words max), your name, and institutional affiliation (if any). Proposals should be sent to

You will receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019


Contact Info: 

Michael Tymkiw (University of Essex)

Contact Email: