Thursday, May 2, 2013

Camouflage Cultures | 2013 Conference

Bruce Bairnsfather, Fragments from France (1916)

Figure disruption (as shown above in one of Bruce Bairnsfather's famous World War I cartoons) is one of a rich range of topics explored at an upcoming conference and exhibition on camouflage at the Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney, Australia, August 8-11, 2013. Here is a conference overview—

CAMOUFLAGE CULTURES: SURVEILLANCE, COMMUNITIES, AESTHETICS, ANIMALS: An international conference and exhibition co-convened and co-curated by Ann Elias and Nicholas Tsoutas

Rich in history, aesthetic possibilities, political suggestion, and metaphor, camouflage also expresses the spirit of contemporary life. Strategies and acts of blending, assimilation, invisibility, disruption, mimicry, and masking proliferate today in art, war, and society. Camouflage’s diverse contexts include surveillance, fashion, and nature. It crosses boundaries of human and animal, traverses disciplines of military science, biology, anthropology and sociology. And at the intersections of disciplines it provokes innovative thought and practice. Camouflage is inseparable from the histories of science and art, but in addition it represents a powerful conceptual tool for negotiating everyday life and politics in the 21st century.

The conference and exhibition address two key principles of camouflage—concealment and deception—in relation to four themes: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, and animals. The theme of "surveillance" includes war, defense, militaries, and conflict; "communities" embraces society, the everyday, government, and identity; "aesthetics" incorporates art, architecture, film, and popular culture; "animals" includes human and non-human beings, nature, evolution, pattern, and optics.

The conference and exhibition offer an exciting range of interpretations and understandings, research and investigation into the subject of camouflage and in relation to visual representation and the contemporary world. The event showcases the work of staff from the SCA and other leading national and international artists, academics and writers

For a detailed schedule of events and information on how to register, click here.