Keynote Speaker: Johanna Drucker
Love and Terror
Terror haunts our personal and public lives. Love does not define a binary opposite, but intertwines. Like twisted strands of some apocalyptic double helix unraveling the familiar structures of our lives, these two powerful forces exist in a constant struggle. What are artists' responses to the insidious tensions of violence, undertones of constant suggestions of infiltration and surveillance? Intimacy and proximity become terms of military strategy. Themes as old as the Bible, and currently mapped once more onto those ancient territories, resurface in media and images all around us. The shape of the symbolic environment shifts. What is the role of love in this condition? Salvation? Release? Comfort? This talk focuses on book works that address the current situation or its historical precedents as document, outcry, testimonial, or critical engagement. The offerings of artists to the age of love and terror contribute to our understanding of that imaginary landscape we inhabit as reality, providing frames to make sense of the incomprehensible condition of our lives.
Johanna Drucker, Ph.D., Robertson Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia