ART VAPOURS @ THINKING WITH BERGER – Conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University – 4-5 Sept 2014

Art Vapours – Ways of Seeing, Hearing and Speaking Again

by Juliette Kristensen and susan pui san lok



susan pui san lok, 5 Women (Gestures) (19'30"), 2014
Image: susan pui san lok for Art Vapours, Five Women (Gestures) (19’30”), 2014, photoshopped screenshot



Engaging  with the Thinking with Berger conference themes of drawing and writing, theory and practice, this paper focuses first on a special issue of the Journal of Visual Culture published in 2012 (marking the 40th anniversary of Ways of Seeing), co-edited by Raiford Guins, Juliette Kristensen and susan pui san lok. The issue comprises 18 short contributions and reflections from historians, theorists, writers, thinkers, curators and makers, from across the fields of art history, visual culture and practice. It also includes an interview by Kristensen with Mike Dibb (producer, filmmaker and collaborator on Ways of Seeing), and a selection of visual essays commissioned by lok. In addition, lok produced a visual response to Dibb’s personal archive, called Making Ways, under the rubric, ‘Archivery’.

The second part of the paper introduces a new collaboration between lok and Kristensen, under the name Art Vapours. The current project in development revolves around two points of departure, or two moments of discursive self-effacement, self-assertion, and interruption: a letter written to Berger in response to Ways of Seeing, from an apologetic ‘ordinary housewife’; and the women talking in the second episode of the series – who speak to Berger, to each other, and before but not to the camera. How might their words be un-archived, uncut and re-scripted, performed or re-staged? How might we recover and listen, re-imagine and re-cast our personal, cultural and political genealogies, in ways that see, hear and speak, to past and present feminisms?


Thinking with Berger, 4-5 September 2014, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB

Organised by Professor Jeff Wallace, School of Education, with keynotes by Professors Peter de Bolla (University of Cambridge) and Bruce Robbins (University of Columbia). Registration (2 days): £170  (Standard rate) / £120 (Student rate)