In the space of a few decades, social, political, technological, and economic forces have transformed the planet. The past thirty years have seen an erosion of the boundary between urban and rural, a major restructuring of nation-states, and the disappearance of easy distinctions between human and natural agency. New media technologies collapse distance, bringing us images of a world of uncertain boundaries. In an era of digitally-enabled, synchronous histories and shifting geopolitical realities, landscape has changed its nature. No longer straightforwardly linked to nationalism or aesthetics, landscape in the twenty-first century is an emergent form, shaped by globalization, conflict, and environmental change. Focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the synergies between the disciplines of photography and architecture, this international conference will examine and critically reassess the interface between production and representation in the creation of contemporary landscape.

Landscape is posed variously as a discourse that mediates our relations to the land and to others, a dynamic medium, and a cultural practice. It incorporates ideology – social and political discourse, history, and myth – and phenomenology –lived experience and memory. It is linked historically, technologically and aesthetically, to ways of seeing. Informed in large part by changing definitions of landscape in the social sciences, the past few decades have seen profound transformations in the understanding of landscape across a range of disciplines.

The conference asks practitioners, writers, critics, artists, and others working in the broad fields of the built environment (i.e. architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design) and the represented environment (i.e. photography, film, and the visual arts) to reconsider the idea of landscape by interrogating the relationship between space and image. We invite participants from these and related disciplines to explore the synergies that exist between landscape representation – the imaginary and symbolic shaping of the human environment – and landscape production – the physical and material changes wrought on the land.

Emerging Landscapes proposes a platform on which practitioners and researchers working in landscape-related disciplines can engage in a mutual and productive exchange – of ideas, practices, paradigms, and theories, but also of methodologies and histories. It asks contributors to examine the potential intersections between the theoretical/critical discourses developed in these fields, and to consider those points where the interactions between viewing and making open out onto broader ethical or philosophical terrain.

Call for Papers

Papers are invited on any aspect of the conference theme. Topics may include but are not limited to:

• globalization, national identities and contested landscape

• changing visions of landscape in photography, film, and visual art

• landscapes of the everyday

• non-places, junkspace, unprogrammed urban spaces, interim and temporary landscapes

• the influence of digital technologies and new media

• ecology; changing notions of nature and ‘the natural’

• the impact of visual images on the way landscapes are perceived and lived

• landscape, the body, and the senses

• the relationship betwee landscape representation and landscape design

• subjectivity and the politics of viewpoint

• memorializing landscapes; sites of memory and sites of trauma

• landscape and narrative