CFP Transdisciplinary Imaging Conference 2020 : DARK EDEN

The Sixth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections between Art, Science and Culture


6 – 8 November 2020


Location: Artspace, 43 – 51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, Sydney

Call for Papers

Deadline for abstracts extended: 31 July 2020


We are pleased to announce conference keynotes:

Professor Barbara Bolt – Director, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne

Professor Laura U. Marks* – School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University

Professor Timothy Morton* – Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University

*Live-streamed via video conference

The Sixth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections between Art, Science and Culture, to be held at Artspace, Sydney, is calling for papers that explore the darkness of the contemporary image through the concept of Dark Eden. Is the Dark Eden a Counter-Enlightenment? Is it a shadow zone, a spectral landscape, a cemetery or a zombieland? Is it the debris of an image culture, or does it provide the material for a new culture?

Eden was a mythical, bright paradise at the start of time—an original fullness of body and spirit, of image and substance, of nature and language—from which, so the myth goes, we have all been exiled for all of history. But, turning this story in reverse, what now might lie behind those closed gates of Eden, with its divine creator and caretaker absent, presumed dead? A garden gone to seed or a seething wilderness? An abandoned amusement park; a lost world? Or is it a derelict museum, shrouded in the darkness of disuse and of stagnant time?

This is not just idle speculation. The cultural movement and moment now dubbed simply but absolutely as “Contemporary” is defined by the networked saturation of images: fullness, dissemination and inundation of frictionless image production, image hacking, image consumption and image commerce on social media and in platform capitalism; of 24/7 crisis news and uncritical web influencers; of CCTV and drone surveillance; of massive multiplayer online gaming; of “deepfake” hoaxes and simulations that augment reality and contribute to the relentlessly cynical campaigning of our 21st century political twitter “newspeak”. Is not this cornucopia and unprecedented availability of mediated imagery a kind of Eden? If so, it is a dark Eden, metaphorically fertile as a forest that is so thick with its tentacular edicts that any light that penetrates cannot escape its web; or perhaps, that its mutated growth is now dependent on a black rather than bright light. Its darkness might be that of the pall of ash-filled smoke shrouding a burning continent.

The conference invites papers that respond to this provocation in areas related to: visual arts, new media, cultural history and theory, curating, cinema and video, computer visualization, real-time imaging, scientific imaging and modelling, intelligent systems and image science. The aim of the conference is to bring together artists, theorists, scholars, scientists, historians and curators.

Submissions (as abstracts) for proposed conference papers may address the general topic from any angle (direct or oblique); however proposals should consider at least one of the following areas:

  • Expanded image
  • Remediated image
  • Hypermediacy
  • Expanded film
  • Imaging science
  • Computer vision
  • Networked image
  • Immersion
  • Speculative realism
  • The invisible, the subliminal, the inaudible or subaudial
  • Infraworld
  • Enlightenment and the post-truth era
  • Augmented reality
  • Artificial intelligence, or intelligent systems
  • Material image


You are invited to submit an abstract for an individual paper relevant to the conference theme as described above. Deadline for abstracts extended: 31 July 2020. Abstracts for individual papers should be no longer than 250 words.

Refereeing papers will be done by members of an expert review panel (to Australian DEST refereed conference paper standards). All selected peer reviewed papers will be published in the online conference proceedings.

Please submit your application via Easychair here. If you do not have an Easychair account, you will need to set one up (follow the instructions directly on Easychair).

Conference Chair: Professor Paul Thomas, Art and Design, UNSW Sydney

Co-Chairs: Dr David Eastwood, Art and Design, UNSW Sydney | Dr Chelsea Lehmann, National Art School

Proceedings Chair: Dr Edward Colless, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne

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