Keynotes

Tim Shephard (University of Sheffield)
Space, Sight, and Sound in the Renaissance Palace: Adventures with the MARI Project
Thursday, October 13, 2016
09:00 am to 10:05 am
Hart House Debates Room (2nd floor)
Hart House Building, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON  M5S 3H3, Canada

Joseph L. Clarke (University of Toronto)
Correspondences: On the Imageability of Acoustic Space
Thursday, October 13, 2016
05:10 pm to 06:15 pm
Emmanuel College Room 119 (1st floor)
75 Queens Park Crescent East, Toronto, ON  M5S 2C4 Canada

Simon Shaw-Miller (University of Bristol)
The Modernist Musical Motive: Kandinsky and Duchamp
Friday, October 14, 2016
09:00 am to 10:05 am
Jackman Humanities Institute Room 100 (1st floor)
170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON  M5R 2M8 Canada

Tim Shephard

Tim Shephard is Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Sheffield, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Music, Gender and Identity at the University of Huddersfield. His research into music, visual culture and identity in Renaissance Italy has appeared in numerous journals, including Renaissance Quarterly and Renaissance Studies. He is author of Echoing Helicon: Music, Art and Identity in the Este Studioli, 1440-1530 (OUP, 2014), and co-editor with Anne Leonard of the Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture (Routledge, 2013). He currently leads the three-year research project ‘Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy, 1420-1540’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Keynote Title:

Space, Sight, and Sound in the Renaissance Palace: Adventures with the MARI Project

Keynote Abstract:

Writing in Italy the 1460s, the architectural theorist known as Filarete tells of how a duke collaborates with his architect to design and construct a new city. Surveying the newly constructed buildings in detail, the duke declares that their decorations must be ‘relevant to the place’. He goes on to assign subjects appropriate to each location: good judges in the hall of the podestà; wise counselors of Rome in the hall of the Palazzo del Commune; the inventors of the arts in the guildhall; Venus and Priapus above the entrance to the brothel. From Filarete and others we learn that this relationship of ‘relevance’ between a space and its decorations did not merely satisfy a sense of logic and decorum. Rather, ‘relevant’ decorations presented praiseworthy examples for emulation, inspiring those inhabiting the space—be they city magistrates, government officials, guild leaders or prostitutes—to transact their duties with greater distinction and solicitude, and proposing the meanings they should encode into their respective activities.

The three-year project ‘Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy, 1420-1540’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at the University of Sheffield, investigates how this criterion of ‘relevance’ was met by images in a great range of media to prepare domestic, public and ecclesiastical spaces for the musical activities of their users. Taking examples from the ‘Classicisms’ theme of the project to illustrate our approach, this talk will explore the dialogues created between musical practices, musical meanings and musical images in the spaces of the Renaissance palace in Italy the decades around 1500.

Joseph L. Clarke

Joseph L. Clarke studies relationships between architectural form, technics, and epistemology from the 18th century to the present. His current book project, Reverberation and the Idea of Acoustic Space, explores how acoustic research has influenced the auratic pretensions of architecture since the eighteenth century. Clarke is based in Canada, where he is part of the History of Art faculty at the University of Toronto. His teaching emphasizes the close reading of architecture in its intellectual, social, and technological milieux. He lectures regularly in North America and Europe and often participates in juries for scholarly and design awards. Clarke is also a licensed architect and has worked at Eisenman Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Keynote Title:

Correspondences: On the Imageability of Acoustic Space

Keynote Abstract:

When Marshall McLuhan declared in the 1960s that radio and television were teaching modern humans to live in “acoustic space,” he was elaborating his earlier arguments about the construction of the human sensorium through practices of orality and literacy. But the possibility that certain spatial relationships might be determined more through hearing than vision had been suggested in various forms over the previous 200 years. Since the Enlightenment, the question of sound’s role in the subjective construction of space has complicated the dominant philosophical and psychophysical models linking spatial intuition with visual and haptic perception.

Sound-based spatial relationships have recently emerged as an important concern for a range of disciplines engaged in the study of auditory culture, from geography to anthropology to media studies. My lecture traces this vexed idea of acoustic space through a range of attempts to imagine, draw, paint, photograph, and otherwise visualize the physical motion of sound.

The talk focuses on three episodes in French culture: eighteenth-century debates over the nature of spatial sensation and the graphic representation of acoustic effects, especially in the design of theaters; nineteenth-century fascination with synaesthesia connected with the Symbolist reception of Richard Wagner’s music-dramas; and, in the twentieth century, Le Corbusier’s adoption of “plastic acoustics” as an architectural principle. Underlying each of these cases, I argue, was a debate about the imageability of space that remains a central challenge for research at the juncture of visual and auditory culture.

Simon Shaw-Miller

Simon Shaw-Miller is Chair and Professor of History of Art at the University of Bristol, UK, an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has published widely on art and music topics, from Samuel Palmer and Vaughan Williams, to Ladybird books and Wittgenstein, to Schoenberg opera and film, to synaesthesia and Beethoven.  Most notably this resulted in his books Visible Deeds of Music: Art and Music from Wagner to Cage (2002) and Eye hEar The Visual in Music (2013). He is currently working on a new monograph on jazz, rhythm and gesture in 20th-century painting and art. He was academic advisor and lead author for the San Diego Museum of Art’s major exhibition The Art of Music in September 2015, which toured to Mexico in June 2016. He has been a visiting scholar at the Nam June Paik Center in South Korea and at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. In 2009 he was awarded, in Linz, Austria, the Prix Ars Electronica Media.Art.Research Award for his interdisciplinary research on audiovisual issues.

Keynote Title:

The Modernist Musical Motive: Kandinsky and Duchamp

Keynote Abstract:

This talk considers the idea of music at the birth of modernism in the contrasting conceptions of two artists. I pose the question (also asked by Jean Luc Nancy) ‘why are there several arts and not just one?’ not simply to answer it, so much as to explore some of its implications. I do this historically by looking at the year 1913 and the impact of the idea of music on the work of two artists key to twentieth-century modernism, Kandinsky and Duchamp. Through an understanding of what music signified to these two different artists we can unpick my initial question and perceive the intimate interconnections between art and music, the singular and the plural, the pure and the mixed, and, in passing, modernism and bicycles.

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