Light touches – Tickling discussions on photography and philosophy

10-11 June 2009
Starting on both days at 13.00

In Western culture, touching is articulated both corporeally and metaphorically. Its scope covers both mental and corporeal as well as social processes. As a domain of sense experience its status is ambivalent. In our knowledge-based society the sense of touch has been subordinated to ‘higher’ forms of sense experience but it has also served as the sense that supports the conception of reality leaning on immediate palpability. In addition to sense experience touching is met in phrases that concern a mental or social contact, e.g. ‘to keep oneself in touch’, etc.

In recent discussions, touching is figuring in numerous ways that transgress the scope of its traditional confines determined by established disciplines. Figures of touch are tangible, and yet they seem to be beyond grasp. Images hold a special place within the nexus where metaphorics and tangibilities intertwine. While the passions, the sorrows and the humour of images inevitably touch us, the world of the image always remains at a distance, untouchable.
Program (pdf):

Wednesday 10th June 2009

University of Art and Design (Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki), Lecture hall 8th floor
Moderator: Leena Saraste
13.00 – 13.15
Opening words, Leena Saraste
13.15 – 14.30
Mika Elo
“Figures of Touch in Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida”
School of Visual Culture
University of Art and Design Helsinki
(break 15 min)
14.45 – 15.30
Elina Brotherus, photographer’s presentation
15.30 – 16.15
Kari Soinio, photographer’s presentation
(break 15 min)
16.30 – 17.15
Asta Kuusinen
“Becoming Divine: The Ritual Process in Chicana Photography”
University of Joensuu

Thursday 11th June 2009

University of Art and Design (Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki), Lecture hall 8th floor
and Kiasma Theatre (Mannerheiminaukio 2, Helsinki)
Moderators: Mika Elo and Harri Laakso
13.00 – 13.15
Opening words, Harri Laakso
13.15 – 14.45
PhD Michael Schwab
“At a Distance”, researching artist’s presentation
(break 15 min)
15.00 -16.30
Michael Wetzel
“Pictorial Humorism. Marcel Duchamp on the infrathin difference between the dramatic and the Ridiculous”
Professor für Neuere deutsche Literaturwissenschaft und für Medienwissenschaft
Universität Bonn
break 1:30 (moving to Kiasma)
18.00-20.00 Note: At Kiasma Theatre
Simon Critchley “A puppet or a god? On Zidane”
Professor and Chair of Philosophy
New School for Social Research
New York

(Presentation includes a projection of Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (by Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, 2006)
Enrollment: Seminar assistant Vappu Jalonen,