Call for Papers

Aesthetics and Techniques of Lines between Drawing and Writing

International Conference (CIHA Colloquium), Florence 30 June – 2 July 2011

Lines and lineaments are fundamental concerns in many cultures. They can be constitutive elements of pictorial and scriptural systems, as well as a combination of both. Lines can separate or intersect, they can connect or link. Drawn, inscribed, incised or woven into a surface they create or articulate space, denote orientation or movement, they present or represent, they signify or carry out meaning, they cancel or cross out. Lines are, geometrically spoken, one-dimensional, but in scripture and drawing they are material as is the ground on or in which they appear. In this sense one can speak of techniques of “making lines” which condition the aesthetics of lineaments as much as the latter contribute to the invention and transformation of such techniques. The conference will discuss the differences, similarities and open borders between writing and drawing, their techniques and aesthetics, especially in European, Islamic and East Asian cultures. Given that lines play an important but not exclusive role in this relationship, papers could also discuss the limits of linear systems or explore alternative models, for example, the transition between line, brush stroke, mark or spot. The major aim of the conference is to create a dialogue among specialists of different cultures and academic  fields, questioning the role of lines in an intercultural perspective, from an historical as well as theoretical point of view.

The following list of arguments which could be addressed in the conference is far from being exhaustive,  further thoughts and critical considerations are welcome:

– Visualizing language, picturing texts, iconic letters and words, texts as icons, writing in pictures, scriptural drawings, signatures, profiles etc.
– Pictograms and graphic signs
– Techniques of drawing and writing in relation to various supports (papyrus, parchment, paper, walls etc.)
– Scribbling, sketching, etc.
– Modes of correcting and reworking
– The art of calligraphy and the aesthetics of writing in a comparative perspective
– Ornament between scripture, decorative lineaments and figurative elements
– Techniques and aesthetics of reproduction for written text and images
– Delineating the past (and the future): pictorial and scriptural memories
– Delineating Nature: writing and drawing between art and science
– Modes and media of intra- and intercultural transmission
– Self-reflection of writers, draughtsmen and visual artists
– Ontologies and theologies of the line, in relation to scripture and image
– Non-linear concepts of writing and imaging.

The conference, organized by Gerhard Wolf and Marzia Faietti, will be hosted by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut and the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi.

Scholars interested in participating in the conference are invited to send a proposal of 250 words, their CV and a list of publications to the following address by 15 December 2010:

The conference languages will be: Italian, German, English and French.

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf
Via Giuseppe Giusti 44
50121 Florence