Remote Access: The Philosophy, Anthropology, and Archaeology of Remote Visual Conspicuousness

September 27, 2018 - September 28, 2018
Department of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin

Alte Bibliothek
Habelschwerdter Allee 30
Berlin, Berlin, Germany 14195


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Selected speakers:

University of York
University of San Diego
Humboldt-University, Berlin
University of Basel


University of Basel

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Human societies have always produced artefacts and events intended to stand out visually, to command visual attention. In describing the achievements of remarkable or unusual visibility, the archaeologies and ethnographies of visual conspicuousness have traditionally assumed cultural distance between the researcher and her subject such that the researcher ought to mistrust or resist her own evaluative sensibilities – rooted as they are in a different visual culture. The conference will address the present standing of this heuristic stricture by discussing the procedures and theoretical underpinnings of reconstructing the visual conspicuousness or authority of artefacts from remote cultures.

Gregory Currie (York), Whitney Davis (UC Berkeley), Jonas Grethlein (Heidelberg), Marilynn Johnson (FIU Miami), Marion Lauschke (HU Berlin), Lambros Malafouris (Oxford), Sam Rose (St. Andrews), Jakub Stejskal (FU Berlin), Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge)


27 September

10:00am – Introduction

10:15am – MARILYN STRATHERN, Making Invisible: The Limitations of Enquiry

11:15am – coffee break

11:45am – LAMBROS MALAFOURIS, Material Engagement and the Prehistory of Pictorial Skill: A Cognitive Ecology of Forms and Material Signs

12:45pm – lunch break

2:30pm – MARION LAUSCHKE, What Images Afford

3:30pm – coffee break

4pm – WHITNEY DAVIS, Pictorial Authority: How It Looks and What It’s Like

28 September

10:15am – JONAS GRETHLEIN, Aesthetics in Greco-Roman Antiquity? Ancient Visual Culture and the Phenomenology of Pictorial Seeing

11:15am – coffee break

11:45am – GREGORY CURRIE, Bowers, Handaxes, Depictions

12:45pm – lunch break

2:15pm – MARILYNN JOHNSON, Philosophical Perspectives on Communication by Prehistoric Bodily Adornment

3:15pm – coffee break

3:30pm – SAM ROSE, The Expansion of the Author

4:30pm – coffee break

5:00pm – JAKUB STEJSKAL, Alien Aesthetics: The Heuristic Implications of Radical Remoteness

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September 20, 2018, 11:45pm CET

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