Call for papers

 

Itinera, 23 (2022)

Aesthetics, Technique and Emotion

Edited by Alice Barale, Claudio Rozzoni

In June 2020, a Summer School was organized to discuss the topics of aesthetics, technique and emotion. The School was led by the University of Milan in collaboration with the European Seminar of Aesthetics at the Lake Como School of Advanced Studies (https://aeat.lakecomoschool.org/). This issue of Itinera aims to develop this discussion further.

What is aesthetics, and what value can this question have today? Indeed, many changes are occurring nowadays in our aesthetic perception of the world. Against this backdrop, the boundaries of arts are also becoming more and more difficult to determine – considering, for example, the new challenges posed by art created by (or through) artificial intelligence, or the new productive possibilities offered by virtual reality. Moreover, aesthetic/artistic value is increasingly attributed to many aspects of our everyday life, like the images that we exchange daily via mobile phones and websites. In this context, the issue also arises regarding the nature of emotions raised by these new types of art: are they of the same type as those of real life, or are they different in some way?

In the face of these innovations, what tools for thinking can be provided by aesthetics, a discipline that was born in the eighteenth century, in a necessarily very different cultural environment? Moreover, what role can categories such as beauty, ugliness, sublime, kitsch, or concepts such as genius, creation and taste play today? How is it possible to rethink our idea of the art and the artist, or the relationship between the artists and the techniques used in their works?

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Art and performativity in virtual environments
  • Art, creation and artificial intelligence
  • Contemporary Art, Morality and Politics
  • Relationships between philosophy and the different artforms
  • Different approaches to the study of emotions elicited by art, particularly with respect to interdisciplinary approaches (both continental and analytic philosophy, psychology, cognitive sciences and neurosciences).

Deadline for submission: April 15th, 2022

Expected Release: July 2022

Editors: Alice Barale, Claudio Rozzoni

 

 

 

 

 

Itinera, 23 (2022)

Colour. Photography, Image, Reality

Edited by Andrea Mecacci, Gabriele Gambaro and Marcello Sessa 

The use of colour in photographic and cinematographic image-making has been largely discussed over the 20th century. Philosophers, art theorists, and media researchers have contributed to broaden the debate on the specific tense between realty and fiction, which has always characterized images.

The all-pervading digital technologies, the ensuing proliferation of images, and the ever increasing prompt access to techniques of photographic manipulation, have originated new attitudes and practices linked to the creation of images, to their use and fruition. Such innovations, deeply innervated in the tissue of our lives (both individual and social), allow the discussion on the status of the image – and not just the photographic one – to unfold the contemporary dimension and renew the actual analysis of the relationship between image and reality. Image can be considered as a factual, objective evidence of the external world as well as a subjective re-representation of it.

Colour reflects this “fluid” nature of the image today: it points out and questions at the same time every kind of identity. It can be the opportunity to examine every pattern of recognition (that can be ours or of others, human or non-human). Thus, the reflection on images encounters the philosophical debate on colour, the latest seen as reality or as subjective illusion. Additionally, the investigation on colour itself can contribute to the discussion on the relationship between image and reality.

Can the choice of a specific colour define the emotional tone of an image? In which ways can chromatic changes redefine experience and perception? Can the complexity of digital information flows be reduced by aesthetic quality of colours? Finally, which is the role of the sensible capacity of colour in making sense of a reality ever more conveyed by images?

A group of scholars tried to respond to these questions at the webinar “Photography, Reality, Colour” (University of Milan, 19th November 2020). The issue n. 23 of Itinera – concerning “Colour. Photograhy, Image, Reality” – aims to follow the same path with further steps. Namely, with additional contributions that study the image/reality dialectic moving from colour.

We are asking you to address the issue with multidisciplinary research tools (e.g.: art history, art criticism, theory of art, theory of image, semiotics, visual and media studies, digital humanities), with consideration of the starting and fundamental aesthetic framework, represented here by the reflection on colour.

Among the suggested topics of research:

  • Colour as writing
  • Colour in the shift from analogic to digital image
  • The use of the sensible capacity of colour in Data Visualization
  • Colour and socio-cultural re-narrations

Articles written in English, French and Italian are welcomed. Papers can be long from 25.000 to 40.000 characters (final bibliography excluded), and must be written in accordance with Itinera’s editorial standards: https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/itinera/norme

Deadline for submissions: 15th February 2022

Expected release: July 2022

Submission must be sent via e-mail to the editors not later than 15th February 2022:

Andrea Mecacci (andrea.mecacci@unifi.it)

Gabriele Gambaro (gabrielegambaro@gmail.com)

Marcello Sessa (marcello.sessa@phd.unipi.it)

 

Colore. Fotografia, Immagine, Realtà

A cura di Andrea Mecacci, Gabriele Gambaro e Marcello Sessa  

L’utilizzo del colore nelle immagini fotografiche e cinematografiche è stato ampiamente dibattuto nel corso del Novecento. Gli spunti offerti da filosofi, teorici dell’arte e studiosi dei media hanno contribuito all’ampliamento della discussione sulla particolare tensione tra realtà e finzione che da sempre attraversa l’immagine.

La pervasività delle tecnologie digitali, la proliferazione di immagini che ne deriva e l’accesso sempre più immediato a tecniche di manipolazione fotografica, hanno sviluppato nuove sensibilità e pratiche associate alla fruizione, all’uso e alla creazione di immagini. A fronte di queste innovazioni innervate nei tessuti delle nostre vite individuali e sociali, il dibattito sullo statuto dell’immagine – fotografica e non solo – si apre a una dimensione contemporanea in grado di offrire una riflessione attuale sul rapporto tra realtà e immagine, intesa ora come testimonianza oggettiva del mondo esterno e ora come sua ri-rappresentazione soggettiva.

Il colore riflette questo carattere “fluido”, facendo emergere e mettendo in causa al tempo stesso ogni identità. Il colore è qui più che mai possibilità di forma e interrogazione sui criteri di ogni riconoscimento (nostro e altrui, umano e non-umano). La riflessione sull’immagine incontra così il dibattito filosofico sul colore, considerato ora come realtà e ora come illusione soggettiva. E a sua volta, l’indagine sul colore sembra poter contribuire alla discussione sul rapporto tra realtà e immagine.

La scelta di un determinato colore può determinare la tonalità emotiva di un’immagine? In che modo le modificazioni cromatiche possono ridefinire un’esperienza e la sua stessa percezione? La complessità dei flussi informativi digitali può essere ridotta attraverso le qualità estetiche dei colori? Infine, quale ruolo assume l’offerta sensibile del colore nel dare senso a una realtà sempre più veicolata da immagini?

A queste domande si è provato a rispondere in un webinar organizzato dall’Università degli Studi di Milano il 19 novembre 2020, significativamente intitolato “Fotografia, realtà, colore”. Il numero 23 di Itinera – dedicato a “Colore. Fotografia, immagine, realtà” – vorrebbe proseguire questo cammino e arricchirlo di ulteriori contributi, che analizzino il rapporto tra immagine e realtà con un approccio teorico che muova proprio dal dato cromatico.

Si invita dunque ad accostare il problema con strumenti di ricerca multidisciplinari (per esempio: storia, critica e teoria dell’arte, teoria dell’immagine, semiotica, cultura visuale, digital humanities) senza dimenticare la cornice estetologica di base, qui incarnata dalla riflessione sul colore, per interrogarsi sul ruolo del colore nelle trasformazioni che investono lo statuto dell’immagine e, più specificatamente, della relazione di quest’ultima con la realtà.

Tra i possibili argomenti da affrontare, solo a titolo di esempio:

  • Il colore come scrittura
  • Il colore nel passaggio da immagine analogica a digitale
  • L’utilizzo delle qualità estetiche dei colori nella Data Visualization
  • Il colore e ri-narrazioni socioculturali

Si accettano articoli in inglese, francese e italiano. Ciascun contributo dovrà essere compreso tra i 25.000 e i 40.000 caratteri (bibliografia finale esclusa), e dovrà rigorosamente attenersi alle norme redazionali di Itinera, consultabili sul sito della rivista al seguente link:

https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/itinera/norme

Deadline for submissions: 15 febbraio 2022

Expected release: luglio 2022

I saggi vanno inviati entro il 15 febbraio 2022 agli indirizzi e-mail dei curatori:

Andrea Mecacci (andrea.mecacci@unifi.it)

Gabriele Gambaro (gabrielegambaro@gmail.com)

Marcello Sessa (marcello.sessa@phd.unipi.it)

Gli articoli selezionati saranno poi sottoposti a un processo di double blind peer review.

 

 

 

Itinera, 24 (2022)

The immortal Fascination of the Monster. Monstrous Births and human Phenomena between Normality and Deviation.

Edited by Marina Mascherini and Bruno Accarino 

Today wonders and prodigies are on the agenda and populate literature, cinema, art, philosophy. A new curiosity about deviance and normality has certainly contributed, and still contributes, to the fascination ascribable to the extraordinary and the marginal. Once the ideals of order and rationality entered deeply into crisis, wonder and the marvelous have assumed an unimaginable importance, especially in intellectual circles.

Why are all kinds of wonders and prodigies arousing so much interest?

The reason is that both contradict and destabilize an already variable, inconstant and heterogeneous nature. Monstrous births are one of the sensational events that cause wonder and astonishment and which we fully consider prodigies. In the literature on monsters and portents there have been some technical and conceptual difficulties in defining the scope of the subjects to be analysed. It is therefore important to clearly specify the type of phenomena that we intend to discuss: natural alterations and anomalies, deviations from the norm and abnormalities. We define the anomaly, that which is off the track, irregular, a derailment of development that generates nothing but change.

The human monster, the deformed, the monstrous births, the freaks; embryos whose development has been interrupted at a certain level and which Deleuze called bizarre and irregular, force us to deal with a second nature in the making.

It is by looking at the monster that man recognizes himself and acquires self-awareness, it is by observing this pole of attraction and repulsion at the same time that man reconstructs his own image.

The visual representation of the monstrosity, its aesthetic form, is that of the grotesque, the excessive, the caricature: exaggerated figures and shapes in motion that break the monotony by virtue of unexpected combinations. Between the coexistence of these contrasts and the reconstruction of a lost unity, the monster is manifestly such and the display of this monstrousness provokes and is present in all cultures. The monsters to be found in the Natural History Cabinets are not easily classifiable. They are as likely to be found in Curiosity cabinets as in circuses or in laboratories and anatomical tables.

These prodigies exhibit a high form of hybridization in which science and entertainment merge.

The analysis of the present perception of the monster is aimed at its ambiguity, presenting itself as a union of contrasting features that stand out on a horizon that leads back to otherness and difference.

Our fascination with freaks gives rises to confusion. These monsters whose fascinating and attractive characters inevitably intertwine with a contrasting shape, appear as horrible as they are attractive and bewitching.

Some examples of topics that may be addressed are:

  • The marvellous and the prodigious between the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Monstrous births from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment.
  • Cabinets of curiosities, monstrous collections and uncanny sentiment.
  • Studies on monsters between the 16th and 17th centuries in France and England.
  • Naturalists, zoologists and anatomists in Europe between the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The Freaks: between science and entertainment.
  • The anomaly and the deformed in art (painting, sculpture, architecture, theater, music)
  • The monster in literature and/or cinema.
  • The normal and the pathological: deviations from the norm.

The support of iconographic material combined with sources and captions is desirable, useful for grasping the object of analysis with a certain degree of clarity and concreteness.

Paper can be written in Italian, English or French 

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2022

Expected Release: December 2022

Editors:

Marina Mascherini (marina.mascherini@unifi.it)

Bruno Accarino (bruno.accarino@unifi.it)

 

 

 

 

 

CALL FOR PAPERS, ARCHIVE (only most recent ones):

 

Itinera, 22 (2021)

Diderot: Space and Movement

Edited by Valentina Sperotto

 

Newton and modern science, especially Mathematics and Physics, have completely changed the concepts of space and movement. Unlike other thinkers of that century, among whom Immanuel Kant stands for his remarkable thought, the new concepts of space and movement don’t seem to have influenced Diderot’s thinking effectively.

In his analysis about ontological and representational elaboration of these concepts in Diderot’s works, François Pépin has pointed out that the philosopher didn’t reject the universal and abstract conception of space claimed by mechanism and Newtonianism. Space wasn’t a central notion in Diderot’s materialistic philosophy. In fact, in his works there is an elaboration of that concept which can be defined as aside. Space is not a neutral physic space but it is more similar to something dynamic, concrete and plural.

Jean Starobinski has shown that, in aesthetic field, XVIIIth century represents a moment of overthrowing the hierarchical organization of space, which was a typical and central perspective of Art in the previous centuries. Multiplication of points of view and variation of the movement of the scene are emblematic of this period, also on a symbolic level. In Diderot’s considerations upon Arts there are elements close to that conception of space and movement.

Moreover, in his Salons Diderot seems to consider paintings as dynamic and crossing spaces experienced through description and imagination. Many questions arise connected to this statement: in what way the rhetoric figure of ekphrasis used by Diderot contributes to this effect? How does the philosopher conceive space in paintings? And in sculpture? What is the relation between space and movement in visual Arts? Just to list a few examples.

The reflection about space and movement does not only concern visual Arts, it comes to light even in the pages dedicated to dramatic Art and in literary works.

It is known that Diderot’s reflection about theatre represents a fundamental contribution for the innovation of the scene and of the genres, particularly with the introduction of the new bourgeois’ drama. There are some interesting philosophical elements about space and movement’s conception even in this field. For example, the conception of the theatrical scene as a succession of pictures or the concept of movement as gesture and pantomime. It can be considered also the decisive debate of that time about the role of theatre in society and the different idea of the theatrical space conceived by Diderot and Rousseau.

Finally, space is a crucial element also in novels and tales where it is integral part of the interactions between characters. Especially in Jacques le fataliste et son maître, the characters are constantly moving and this aspect can be seen through a philosophical point of view. How has Diderot envisaged the places that the protagonist passes through or stays in? What is the relation between characters and places? How space and movement are represented in others novels and tales? The answers to these questions bring out new aspects that have not been touched by literary critics yet.

Topics include but are not limited to:

 

- The concept of space in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music);

- The concept of movement in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music).

- The relation between space and movement in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music).

- The comparison between Diderot’s concepts of space and movement in aesthetics and other contemporary authors.

 

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2021

Expected Release: December 2021

Editor: Valentina Sperotto (sperottovalentina@gmail.com)

Itinera, 21 (2021)

Is the sublime now?

The sublime is a concept that has never ceased to attract and to fascinate scholars. In its classical formulation, it dates back to the eighteenth century, but some of the issues that characterize its origin – such as the border between representation and the unrepresentable, or between form and formless, pleasure and terror – return strongly in contemporary thinking. In this regard, opinions are divided. Is the sublime an already outdated notion that can only be discussed from a historical point of view? Or does it also contain important elements for the current philosophical debate? Moreover, have the transformations that the sublime has undergone in the contemporary world substantially distorted it, or have they instead brought to light some new possible implications of this concept? This issue of "Itinera" is dedicated to these and other similar questions, starting from the traditional definitions of the sublime between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, until its most recent interpretations. Some examples of topics that may be addressed are:

  • The traditional definitions of the sublime and their implications for the current philosophical
    debate
  • The history of the reception (or less favourable fortunes) of the sublime
  • The sublime in the arts, from the eighteenth century to today
  • The sublime and the relationship between man and nature
  • The possible contemporary interpretations of the sublime
  • The sublime and color
  • The sublime and neuroscience
  • The sublime and wonder: psychological and pedagogical approach
  • The sublime and awe: complex experiences and transformation in psychology

Papers can be written in Italian, English, Spanish or French

Deadline for submission: 30th April 2021

Expected Release: July 2021

Editors:
Alice Barale (alice.barale@unifi.it)
Alice Chirico (alice.chirico@unicatt.it)
Claudio Rozzoni (claudio.rozzoni@gmail.com)