7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
9th June, 2021
Colonial modernity has materially reshaped our world through the force of the line.
Epitomized in the modern cartographic map, the colonial line is deployed as a technology of delimitation and enclosure, often in relation to land, but also to seas and to skies. It is drawn across territories, fragmenting communities and framing populations, and prioritising occupation and ownership over habitation and presence. It authorizes borders, inscribing with pens and walls and satellites an imperial “visuality” onto the surface of the earth. Beginning in the slave plantation and settler colony, evolving through the heights of European imperialism, and calcifying into the military-media complex of our screen-oriented age, visuality has combined the lines of maps with other information-lines – treaties, bureaucracies, infrastructures, code – to contrive colonial modernity into a self-evident and indisputable reality.
However, while the colonial line extends into the present moment by controlling the very crises it has advertently created, it is not the only genre of line. As Tim Ingold has shown, lines can also trace modes and chart histories of resistance. There are hand-drawn lines, sketch lines, story lines, wayfaring lines; lines that carry counter-histories, that index the sway of rebellions lost and revolutions overturned. These lines orient positionalities and denote relationalities, both situating us on and habituating us into the world. As a gesture of encounter, they take place against structures of power, a ground from which “the right to look” might be claimed. This conference will explore the ways in which these lines are manifested and contested in comics, graphic novels, photo essays, zines, picture books, and other combinations of image and text.
Both days are open to artists, scholars, and members of the public, and both are free to attend.