Call for papers. “The Anthropology of the image: mutual intrusions between art,
philosophy, and anthropology”
Guest editors: X. Andrade (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia), and Tarek
Elhaik (University of California, Davis, United States)
The anthropology of the image is an emerging field of inquiry. It is the result of three separate yet closely interconnected lines of flight: the reconfiguration and expansion of the conversation between art, philosophy, and anthropology; anthropology’s shift beyond the classic focus on ethnos towards strategies of assemblage; and the recognition of the need to curate the daily practices of anthropology itself.
Decisively not the result of developments rooted in visual anthropology – which are noticeably dependent on the ethnographic documentary and its offshoots, as well as trapped in issues regarding representation – the anthropology of the image is based on the activation of several strategies and logics which work against the grain of ethnographic method and manuals of methodology. The reshaping of the figure of the anthropologist as a conceptual persona and the mutual intrusions of anthropology and contemporary art—both prominent features of the anthropology of the image—ultimately amount to a radical redefinition of the nature of fieldwork and the empirical approach. In fact, fieldwork is being transformed by design and curatorial practices and redefined as image-work. The curation of images also emerges as a surrogate, among others, to the comparative method.
The anthropology of the image questions the reduction of anthropology to ethnography, and the image to “visual culture” and the senses. Different from both visual anthropology and sensorial anthropology, it calls for a study situated between the humanities and the social sciences in order to challenge modernist oppositions, such as concept and materiality, art and crafts, ethnography and curatorship, feeling and rationality, among others. In creative conversations with different philosophical perspectives – from Delouse and Guattari’s assemblages and Duchamp’s “ready-mades,” to the iconology of Aby Warburg, philosophies of the sensible and sensation, the ‘pataphysics of Alfred Jarry, among others – the anthropology of the image is concerned with broadening the frontiers of the practice of the image-worker.
A basic line of work in this volume is to pursue a meditation on the multiple historicities that make up different genealogies of the anthropology of the image, setting a passionate search for new terms in motion beyond methodology, in order to open the way to other concepts, like logic, process, procedure, installation, ready-made, and others which are still emergent.
Another promising line of work is mapping the interplay of ideas on the borders between anthropology and curatorial practices, understood as a two-way street: the curating and the cure of the human, going beyond the figure of the New Man imagined by the historical avantgardes of the 1920s/30s and the political modernisms of the 1960s, and the cultivation of experimental forms – simultaneously scientific and artistic – which aim at the de anthropologization of the discipline.
The volume is equally interested in revisiting different inter-medial traditions –inspired, for example, by Fluxus, Expanded Cinema and different conceptualist practices– by works which focus on experimental writing or film, installations, multi-media platforms and photoessays. A look at diverse forms of appropriation and the problems unleashed by the trafficking between anthropological, artistic, and curatorial practices are of obvious interest. Finally, since the anthropology of image operates from a field dealing with networks, assemblages and objectual production, discussions on the ethics and politics of the emerging strategies are welcomed, as well as the concept of ethnography as an area of turbulence.
Antípoda. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología calls for the submission of articles which include the images under study not as mere objects/illustrations but devices whose own montage with texts and other resources activate possible conceptual assemblages. The articles may be presented both in conventional academic formats and as collective essays, metalogues, conversations, disagreements, false interviews, manifestos, or other creative strategies derived from the mutual intrusions of art, philosophy, and anthropology. Regardless of the format, articles should conclusively expose the author’s conceptual strategies used and their echoes in anthropology.
The essays may be submitted between September 15th and October 31st, 2017. Articles written in Spanish, English, and Portuguese will be accepted. All the information about the editorial procedures and norms for the authors are available on our website: Editorial policy