The 2015 Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute

Sights + Sites: Memory, Monuments and Place After the Digital Turn

Professor Shelley Hornstein
GS/ARTH 6020.3
GCFA Room 130

The annual Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts, now in its seventh year, offers York University graduate students and the wider community the opportunity to engage with prominent international theorists, artists, curators and critics through seminars, workshops and public lectures. This intensive format is an opportunity for graduate students to engage deeply with each other, Professor Hornstein, and international guest faculty for a two-week period from May 4 – May 15, 2015. This course will explore the writings of our distinguished speakers to investigate the assumed invisibility or heightened visibility of the material and digital presence of communities, performers and things, and the inevitable and multiple interfaces between them.

The theme of this summer institute will explore the pervasiveness and shifting landscape of screen-based images in our everyday lives and the feverish pace at which we create, disseminate, upload, download, remember, forget, save and delete them. Concurrently, we will examine what monuments, memorials and public art mean as material objects in urban and rural space. Can we seek new identities and cultural contexts through mediated images on screens? What does it mean to recognize the mobility of the image and its autonomy from physical place and material culture? How does a digital or virtual image situate people and place: networks, context, cities, and geographies? What is the relationship between an ephemeral image and a material one? When images disappear, what do we remember? Are we and our images and places, truly mobile and connected? What is the enduring relationship of tangible to intangible heritage? And what constitutes our cultural and collective memory? Can digital images trigger memory as effectively as physical objects in land- and cityscapes?
Visiting Guest Speakers:

  • James Young
  • Marita Sturken
  • Melissa Shiff & Louis Kaplan
  • Paula Amad and Nick Yablon
  • Carol Zemel