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CALL.14.08.2017: Molds as Cultural and Material Mediators (CAA 2018) - Los Angeles (CA, USA)


Conference session at College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles (Feb. 21-24, 2018)

Molds, used in a variety of artistic and artisanal practices, are understood as a means of creating an exact likeness. Through the use of the mold the maker is able to pull forth an (supposedly) unmediated image of a subject that already exists — the wrinkled face of a deceased person, the scales of a lizard, or the ornament of an ancient monument. But beyond the transmission of the form mediated by the mold, the touch of the mold to the subject it imprints has been seen in different historical moments as having particularly potent social power in not only capturing the subject’s likeness, but also its interior qualities. In the case of death masks, for instance, the mold that imprinted the face was also seen to facilitate the transfer of their essence into the cast positive, thereby making the absent person present. By freezing the fleeting subject, the mold thus creates temporal stasis. It is due to molds that we are able to study plaster casts of ancient monuments that have since been destroyed or worn away by time.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Convention Center, Los Angeles (CA, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Hannah Wirta Kinney (University of Oxford); Emily Knight (University of Oxford).

INFO: PDF - web - ;


Considering molds’ social, and not simply practical, function therefore opens up broader questions about mimesis, temporality, memory, and presence, as well as the influence of likeness and creativity upon them. This session seeks papers that explore the mold as more than a tool, but instead a means of making that is integral to the way in which the objects that result from it functioned and were understood. Deadline for submission is August 14 by email to Hannah Wirta Kinney, University of Oxford,; Emily Knight, University of Oxford, Please see the CAA call for papers for complete submission requirements [PDF]

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPANTS 1. You must be an active individual CAA member through February 24, 2018, and must register for at least the session in which you participate. Early conference registration at the discount rate opens in early October. Institutional membership does not confer individual membership status. 2. A paper that has been published previously or presented at another scholarly conference may not be delivered at the CAA Annual Conference. 3. Acceptance in a session implies a commitment to follow the deadlines outlined in this document, maintain active CAA membership, register for the Annual Conference in some capacity (at least a single-session ticket is required; full conference registration is encouraged to take full advantage of all the conference offerings), attend that session, and participate fully in person in LA. 4. You may not participate in more than one session in the role of “speaker” or “presenter,” but you may present a paper or project in one session and serve as a “chair” or “discussant” in another session (i.e. you may only present one paper/project per conference). Because of this, you must inform session chair(s) if you are submitting one or more paper/project proposals to other sessions in the 2018 Call for Participation. 5. If your Individual Paper/Project proposal was accepted to a Composed Session during the spring open call, but you would prefer to participate in one of the chaired sessions listed here the 2018 Call for Participation, you must inform the CFP chair(s) of this previous acceptance in your application form. You will not be removed from the Composed Session unless your paper/project is accepted by the chair(s) of the CFP session. Upon acceptance to a CFP session, you must inform CAA of your need to be removed from the Composed Session. Note: previous acceptance to a composed session does not guarantee acceptance to a chaired session.

PROPOSALS FOR PAPERS/PROJECTS TO SESSION CHAIRS Due: August 14, 2017 Proposals for participation in sessions should be sent directly to the appropriate session chair(s). If a session is co-chaired, a copy of the full application packet should be sent to each chair, unless otherwise indicated in the abstract. Every proposal should include the following four to five items: 1. Completed session participation proposal form (located at the end of this brochure). a. Make sure your name appears EXACTLY as you would like it listed in the conference program and conference website. b. Make sure your affiliation appears as the official, recognized name of your institution (you may not list multiple affiliations). c. Make sure to include an active CAA Member ID (all participants must be current members through February 24, 2018; inactive or lapsed members will be pulled from participation on August 28, 2017). 2. Paper/project abstract: maximum 250 words, in the form of a single paragraph. Make sure your title and abstract appear EXACTLY as you would like them published in the conference program, Abstracts 2018, and the CAA website. 3. Email or letter explaining your interest in the session, expertise in the topic, and availability during the conference. 4. A shortened CV. 5. (Optional) Documentation of work when appropriate, especially for sessions in which artists might discuss their own practice.

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