05 Jun 2023 - 06 Jun 2023
10:00  - 15:00

Forum eikones, Rheinsprung 11, 4051 Basel

eikones - Zentrum für die Theorie und Geschichte des Bildes, Universität Basel

Kongress / Tagung / Symposium

Fragmented Evidence: The Social Life and Death of Images

Conference organized by A.K.M. Skarpelis, former NOMIS Fellow and eikones, University of Basel

Images are core to the construction of evidence. Beyond having the function of straightforward proof and incrimination – recall the moon landing, or photographs of atrocities like Nazi concentration camps (Didi-Huberman) and Abu Ghraib (Sontag) – they more mundanely but no less impactfully sustain, advance and legitimize political and social projects, whether in medical history and anthropology but also military technological development and colonialism.

Images, especially photographs, are not straightforwardly indexical. We will depart from this commonplace understanding and privilege the optic of fragmentation and synthesis to better understand images’ role in constructing evidence: How do multiple layers of representation allow for different forms of visual processing? How is narrative cohesion produced from fragmented component parts? And more generally, how are historical and contemporary actors making theoretical and empirical claims on the basis of a fractured and limited body of evidence?

The workshop brings together an interdisciplinary set of scholars from the fields of anthropology, art history, media studies, political science and sociology to investigate questions of fragmentation, epistemic boundaries and synthesis across different semiotic systems. Our speakers present empirical work on issues as diverse as environmentalism, military technology, law enforcement, race, and artificial intelligence.

We will begin the workshop studying the material minutiae of fragmentation and synthesis and end on larger epistemological questions about the nature of representation. Conversational “lightning rounds” that bring together all participants and the audience around key questions and provide the ligature between the different panels.

Confirmed speakers: David Bucheli,Alison Gerber, Lila Lee Morrison, Aïcha Revellat, A.K.M. Skarpelis, Matthew Vollgraff, Stefanie Walter, Anne-Katrin Weber


Day 1

10:00 Coffee

10:30 Welcome & Introduction

10:45-11:45 Session 1: Nature, Nurture, Gesture: Debating the Heredity of the Expressive Body in 1930s Social Science. Matthew Vollgraff

11:45-12:45 Session 2: What is it like to be a Nazi? Racial Vision and Scientific Selves in German Portrait Photographic Practice. Anna Skarpelis

12:45-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:00 Session 3: Pars pro toto: On Hannah Villiger’s Practice. Aïcha Revellat

15:00-15:30 Lightning Round 1

15:30-16:00 Coffee

16:00-17:00 Session 4: Critical disfigurations. A prehistory of the text-based CAPTCHA. David Bucheli

17:00-18:00 Session 5: Modeling the truth: Inquiry and convincement in forensic visualizations. Alison Gerber

18:15 Apéro


Day 2

08:30 Coffee

09:00-09:30 Lightning Round 2

09:30-10:30 Session 6: How do images of climate change and emotional responses vary across the world? A computational analysis of images shared by Twitter users. Stefanie Walter

10:30-11:00 Coffee

11:30-12:00 Session 7: “Machinic Landscapes: Aesthetic entanglements of nature and technology” Lila Lee Morrison

12:00-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Session 8: Creating Lunar Views: Simulators, Television, and the NASA in the 1960s. Anne-Katrin Weber

14:15-15:00 Conclusion and Send-Off.

Veranstaltung übernehmen als iCal