International Conference Counter-Image 2024


Visual Culture and Ecological Thinking:
reimagining relationships in the world


7, 8 & 9 August 2024

Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

"It is no longer a question of resuming or transforming a system of production, but of abandoning production as the only principle of relationship with the planet. It is not a question of revolution but of dissolution, pixel by pixel. (...) After a hundred years of socialism, understood as the redistribution of the benefits of the economy, perhaps it is time to invent a socialism that challenges production itself. Injustice is not limited to the redistribution of the fruits of progress but to the very way in which the planet produces fruit. (....) Against repeating everything exactly as it was before [the COVID-19 pandemic ]."
Bruno Latour, Where to land? (2020, no page)


“A territory is not just a piece of land. A territory bears the marks of centuries, of culture, and traditions. It is a genuinely ethical space, not just a physical one, as many politicians want to impose. The territory is almost synonymous with ethics and dignity. The territory is life; it is biodiversity, and it is a set of elements that make up and legitimise indigenous existence. Territory is a cosmology that includes ancestry.”
Eliane POTIGUARA, Metade cara, metade máscara ( 2004, p. 105)


Bruno Latour's words about the need to completely abandon our approach to the planet, based on accumulation, monoculture, and extractivism, along with Eliane Potiguara's thoughts on the meaning of territory, serve as the starting points for the debate that we aim to launch at the third edition of the Counter-Image Conference in Florianópolis, Brazil. This debate aims to explore image and visuality as it impacts the construction of our worlds.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the damaging effects of industrialisation on the environment as human activities came to a halt globally. Benefiting from this awareness, Latour proposes a "return to Earth" that avoids repeating the mistakes made by industrialised Western societies – the place from which we are talking – and reimagines our relations in the world encompassing all existents (human, non-human and more than human). Eliane Potiguara, a writer and researcher of the Potiguara people, challenges the Western conception of territory, reducing it to mere physical space and a source of material resources. She believes the indigenous world, which still resists, offers a more comprehensive perspective as a place of biodiversity and ancestry with a cosmological dimension. In her conception, humans are not separate from other existents, including mountains and rivers, often considered non-living in Western epistemologies.

Since keeping ourselves indoors is not a solution, we must consider other approaches. The ecological crisis has become today's pressing political issue. How have visual representations impacted conceptions of the environment? How can visuality contribute to new epistemologies and ecological thinking?

See the complete text of the call here and send us a proposal.
Teresa Castro

Teresa Castro

Keynote Title: Environmental Histories of Photography and Film

Teresa Castro has been an associate professor of film studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle since 2011 and a researcher at the Center Alexandre Koyré. Histoire des sciences et des techniques (CNRS, EHESS, MNHN). She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Quai Branly Museum (Paris) and a guest researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). She published La Pensée cartographique des images. Cinéma et culture visuelle (Aléas, 2011) has coordinated several collective volumes and thematic dossiers for magazines and is the author of several dozen texts published in magazines and books in different countries.

A significant part of her current research focuses on plant life forms in visual culture and the environmental histories of photography and cinema. In this context, she published "The Mediated Plant" (e-flux journal, 2019) and co-edited the collective book Puissance du végétal et cinéma animiste. La vitalité révélée par la technique (Presses du réel, 2020) as well as the dossier "Histoires écologiques de la photographie" in the journal Transbordeur (2024). Alongside her academic activities, she also works as a critic and programmer. In 2023, as part of the Terra Batida network residency program, she created the performance conference “Conspirações". Teresa will share her ideas on the environmental histories of photography and film at the International Conference on the Counter Image 24.



Ricardo Socas Wiese

Ricardo Socas Wiese

Keynote Title: The participatory design process of UFSC's Indigenous Student Housing

Professor and Coordinator of the Architecture and Urbanism course at the Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC. He has a degree in Architecture and Urbanism from UFSC (2003) and a PhD in Environmental Design from the University of Rome - La Sapienza (2010). He also worked as a lecturer on the Architecture and Urbanism course at the Federal University of the Southern Frontier (UFFS) from 2013 to 2016.

In the academic field, he works in Architecture Project Teaching and seeks to critically associate design practice with issues related to the city and landscape, as well as environmental issues and building technology. His focus is structured around extension activities, integrated with teaching and research, with a special interest in the social contribution of architecture and urbanism, working in recent years with traditional communities and indigenous peoples, as well as in the development of institutional and educational architectural projects.

Alyne Costa

Alyne Costa

Alyne Costa is a philosopher, professor, and researcher at PUC-Rio and APPH. Her research deals with the Anthropocene and ecological collapse and also considers non-Western worldviews and ways of life.

Her thesis, Cosmopolitics of the Earth: modes of existence and resistance in the Anthropocene, was the winner of the 2020 Capes Thesis Award in the field of philosophy. She coordinates the project "The Earth and Us: education, research and citizenship in the Anthropocene" and is co-coordinator of the collection Desnaturadas, published by Bazar do Tempo.

Registrations


Registration is mandatory, but no fees are charged.


Working languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish

Conference Calendar


Proposals
18th March 2024 30th March 2024

Notification of acceptance
30th April 2024 18th May 2024

Registration deadline
10th June 2024

Venue


Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Chairs


Teresa Mendes Flores - ICNOVA, Lisbon, Portugal
Ana Lúcia Mandelli de Marsillac - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Margarida Medeiros - ICNOVA, Lisbon, Portugal
Filippo Di Tomasi - ICNOVA, Lisbon, Portugal

Organizing Committee


Anderson Abreu - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Andressa Colbachini - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Amadeu de Oliveira Weinmann - Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Barbara Bergamaschi - ICNOVA, Lisboa, Portugal
Diogo Bento - CICANT, Lisbon, Portugal
Flávia Gizzi - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Gerusa Bloss - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Iacã Macerata - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil
Rita Cássia - ICNOVA, Lisbon, Portugal
Sílvio Marcus Correa - UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil

Scientific Committee


Amadeu de Oliveira Weinmann - Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Anderson Abreu - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Andrea Zanella - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Angela Ferreira, aka Berlinde - University of Minho, Portugal
António Fernando Cascais - ICNOVA, Portugal
Camila Peixoto Farias - Fernando Pessoa University, Brazil
Carla Fernandes - ICNOVA, Portugal
Cláudia Madeira - ICNOVA, Portugal
Daniela Finzi - Director of the Freud Museum, Austria

Scientific Committee


David Pavón Cuéllar - Michoacan University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico
Elizabeth Edwards - Monfort University, United Kingdom
Filipa Duarte de Almeida - Omar Bongo University, Gabon
Filippo Di Tomasi - ICNOVA, Portugal
Gabriel Resende - Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
Hadley Howes - Queen's University, Canada
Iacã Macerata - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Ilda Teresa Castro - ICNOVA, Portugal
Joseph Tonda - Omar Bongo University, Gabon

Scientific Committee


Káthia Maheirie - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Laura Smith - Michigan State University, United States
Leticia de Brito Cardoso - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Lia Vainer - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Lucienne Martins Borges - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Márcio Mariath Belloc - Federal University of Pará, Brazil
Maria Luísa Fragoso - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Maria Lucia Macari - Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Scientific Committee


Maria Teresa Cruz - ICNOVA, Portugal
Marita Sturken - New York University, United States
Marta Lúcia Pereira Martins - Santa Catarina State University, Brazil
Mériti de Souza - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Mauro Luiz da Silva - Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Nuno Miguel Proença - ICNOVA, Portugal
Patricia Hayes - University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Raquel de Barros Pinto Miguel - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Richard Cleminson - University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Salomé Lopes Coelho - ICNOVA, Portugal
Sílvia Pinto Coelho - ICNOVA, Portugal
Susane Vasconcelos Zanotti - Federal University of Alagoas, Brazil

There is an extractivist monoculture of the way of producing images that performs imagery itself as a mere representation of a given world and which has the effect of homogenising pictures and, therefore, the possibility of performing worlds. How can we address these issues?

What visualities or counter-visualities make reimagining and implementing new non-extractivist relational forms possible, and what relations would they be? How does visual culture contribute to ecological thinking, and vice versa? Should we examine how images portray the connections between humans and non-humans and how these depictions influence our identities and perspectives?

The concept of landscape exemplifies this. In the Western Eurocentric model made canonical in/by the global North, the landscape genre codified the modern separation between culture and nature, between the viewer on the one hand and the image on the other, subjects and objects inside and outside. It corresponds to the famous model of the "Albertine window", which describes the symbolic device of artificial perspective as corresponding to an image one would see when looking at the world outside through a window. This "symbolic form" (Panofsky), which accompanies the growth of cities (Lefebvre), regulates the relationship between spectator and image. It is based on the centrality of the human being and the spectator's eye ("man at the centre of all things"). The landscape genre symbolises the distant place attributed to nature in European and Western cultures. Nature, perceived as landscape, is a 'backdrop', even when it is the main subject, aesthetically appreciable and economically appropriable. Photographic and film cameras automate this model and have contributed to transforming the conception of the world into a succession of "world images" (Heidegger), becoming a form of epistemology. On the other hand, the search for immersive forms of communication that simulate merging into the whole landscape has also become a constant desire.

Building on Latour's questioning about production, we can ask: What kind of production? What type of image production should we promote?

W.J.T. Mitchell states that the landscape genre is typical of imperialism and "like money, [landscape] is a natural scene mediated by culture. It is both a represented and presented space, both a signifier and a signified, both a frame and what a frame contains, both a real place and its simulacrum, both a package and the commodity inside the package' (Landscape and Power, 2002: 5). Nature and landscape, as Anne Cauquelin says in L’invention du Paysage (2004), are concepts that tend to be confused, which increases the difficulties of their critique.

However, there are other ways of producing images. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (Cannibal Metaphysics, 2018), while mapping Amerindian cosmologies, proposes that, in conceiving the diversity of ways of life, it is not a question of multiculturalism (one Nature, several points of view about it). Instead, it is a multinaturalism: the perspective creates not different representations of the same world but multiple worlds, multinatures. Adding to this, Isabelle Stengers ("Gaia, The Urgency to Think (and Feel)", 2014) proposes that we confront the intrusion of Gaia: if the monocultural-extractivist mode of production subtracts reality (there is only one world-nature-landscape to be represented), we must instead add realities: "We must learn to tell other stories, neither apocalyptic nor messianic, stories that instead entail what Donna Haraway calls responsibility: accepting that what we add makes a difference in the world and becoming able to answer for the way that difference occurs, for the way that, in so doing, we give our lot to some ways of living and dying and not to others" (Stengers, "Gaia, The Urgency Think (and Feel)", 2014). Hence the importance Stengers gives to fictional practice as "missing thought experiments". In this line, counter-image artistic practices have emerged, such as those that recover obsolete and artisanal technologies in image production, promote archival and collection processes that challenge the capitalist process, and even denounce the nefarious neoliberal ideals for cultures and the environment.

In short, the third edition of Counter-Image aims to reflect on the challenges of expanding reality by creating new images. These images should invent alternative cognitive and imaginative approaches that promote diversity in Nature and its many forms — in a plurality of worlds.

In this Counter-Image, we want to discuss the intersections between Visual Culture and Ecological Thinking. We accept proposals for oral presentations, artistic research workshops, performance presentations, and other forms of expression not exceeding 20 minutes on the following themes, among others:
  • Visualities and Counter-visualities of ecological thought.
  • Genealogies and archaeologies of ecological thinking and capitalism.
  • Ecological perspectives and practices of repair: knowledge production, care and narrative.
  • Eco-criticism and eco-feminism.
  • Colonial and postcolonial visualities of ecology and capitalism.
  • Social sustainability and image practices.
  • Counter-hegemonic narratives.
  • Epistemologic diversities of counter visualities and counter narratives.
  • Archival dynamics.
  • Artistic practices as a strategy of resistance.
  • Uses of vernacular images and processes in artistic production.
  • Obsolete and artisanal technologies as ecological practices.
  • Indigenous and Black Studies.
  • Museums and Colonial Heritage

Abstracts must be submitted by 18th March 2024  30th March 2024. Portuguese, English and Spanish languages are accepted. We encourage proposals of an ACADEMIC, ARTISTIC or HYBRID nature.
Proposals for papers of 20 minutes duration should be submitted via our Easy Chair account here.

After creating a login, write a proposal with a maximum of 500 words, five keywords, and five bibliographic references. Artistic/hybrid presentations should have a maximum duration of 20 minutes and include audiovisual, sound or performative actions. These proposals must be accompanied by a 3-4min short excerpt or an illustrated description, together with the abstract, keywords and bibliographical references mentioned above. In all cases, a separate biographical note should be sent.

Please ensure that your name is not mentioned anywhere in the abstract. Proposals will be selected through a blind peer review system. Sessions will be organised on the basis of thematic affinities, regardless of their nature (academic/artistic/hybrid); all papers will be considered equally valid academic outputs. Successful applicants will be contacted by Friday, 30 April 2024.

Visual works or essays may be submitted to a special issue of an academic journal (to be announced).
Angela Berlinde

The website for this edition of ICCI 2024 features photographs by the artist Ângela Berlinde, from her work Transa (2020). We thank the artist for her generosity.

BIOGRAPHY

Ângela Ferreira, also known as Berlinde, is an artist, curator, and researcher born in Porto, Portugal, in 1975. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Communication with a focus on photopainting and self-representation of indigenous nations from the University of Minho, Portugal. She graduated in Curatorial Studies and completed her Master's in Photography at the Utrecht School of Arts in the Netherlands. Her post-doctoral research was conducted at the School of Fine Arts, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she explored contemporary visual practices that challenge hybrid forms of photography.
Bio Link

PROJECT
TRANSA, Ballads of the Last Sun by Ângela Berlinde

In the vastness of the Amazon rainforest, TRANSA invites us to an aesthetic and existential dance through the hybridism of photography, surprising us with indigenous myths and tales, such as that of Iracema, the "virgin of honey lips " from José de Alencar's novel, personifying the creative and fecundating grace of nature. TRANSA emerges as a reflection on contemporary existence, threatened by the limbo and brutality of colonization processes that are now being reversed. In this suspended time, the Earth seems to echo a silent cry that encompasses all civilizing forces—oppressive and subaltern, those of the mainstream history and the minorities, women, blacks, indigenous people, and colonizers.
Project Link

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