CFP Mar 4, 2016

Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive (Brighton, 23 Sept 16)

University of Brighton, UK, Sep 23, 2016
Deadline: Apr 20, 2016

Sue Breakell, University of Brighton

Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive: Matter and Meaning

Keynote speaker: Professor Maryanne Dever
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

On the one hand… material is discussed today in the light of an idea that it has been dissolved by the so-called immaterialities of new technologies, while on the other – from the margins – we can observe the consolidation of material as a category of its own.
(Monika Wagner)

Proposals are invited for papers to be delivered at a symposium on materiality in art and design archives, to be held at the University of Brighton on 23 September 2016. The symposium is organised by the Committee for Art and Design Archives, part of ARLIS/UK & Ireland (Art Libraries Society).

Within the expanding digital environment that encompasses our professional and personal experience, ideas of materiality have received extensive recent attention, across a range of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, literary studies and material culture. As yet, archival theory and practice have given limited consideration to materiality as an approach to the archive. Conservation practices, while focussing on material qualities of archives, may not attend to more philosophical implications beyond technical research. This symposium seeks to reach across and between these various bodies of knowledge, considering materiality as a framework for analysing, interpreting and engaging with archives of art and design.

Papers of 25 minutes in length may cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Theories of materiality as applied to specifically archival contexts
• The implications of digitisation on the materiality of archives: authenticity and the ‘original’
• The materiality of born-digital archives
• The ethics of material intervention through preservation and conservation
• Contextual materiality – physical characteristics as a source of contextual and provenancial information.
• Evidentiary materiality - deterioration and change as historical evidence

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a biography of up to 200 words by 20 April 2016 to Once the deadline has passed, submissions will be considered by the committee and candidates will be notified whether their paper has been selected by the end of May.

CFP: Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive (Brighton, 23 Sept 16). In:, Mar 4, 2016 (accessed Nov 29, 2022), <>.