CONF: Reloading Catalogs – New Perspectives on Critical and Computational Approaches to Art Catalogs (18-20 September 2019, Málaga, Spain)

The catalogue is one of the narrative and epistemological structures that has had the greatest impact on the construction and modelling of artistic knowledge, and on the creation of its narratives and discourse (by legitimizing or delegitimizing them). In fact, the construction of art history is based on a process of categorizing cultural products, and on a dynamics involving inclusions and exclusions, the formation of hierarchies and silences, of which the catalogue is a fundamental instrument. Therefore, unveiling the mechanisms underlying the processes of producing catalogues as generators and mediators of knowledge, materialized in diverse narratives and discourses; and, investigating the model of knowledge involved in them is of vital importance to be able to understand, on the one hand, the reason why we know (and hence study) artistic facts in a 2 particular way and, on the other, how the complex and variable epistemological and discursive framework of Art History has been constructed throughout the 19th , 20th and 21st centuries. The new frameworks and issues that have emerged since the beginning of the 21st century (technological intermediation, change of scale, local-global tensions) produce new complexities and epistemologies that urge us to rethink our working categories, and to envision what epistemologies we must deploy to approach the re-organization of cultural reality.

Under the title Reloading Catalogs: New Perspectives on Critical and Computational Approaches to Art Catalogs, the purpose of this international forum is to explore the conditions, genealogies and histories underlying the production of catalogs up to now, in order to be able to open a discussion about the new directions that research on catalogs and cataloguing practices will take –or should take- in years to come.

The forum will have a dual approach: critical, dealing with issues related to classification systems as colonial epistemologies, catalogs as power structures and legitimizing discourses, genealogies of catalogs, alternative catalogs, etc.; and techno-digital, more oriented to computational problems, databases, digital editions, or new forms of computational classification with Artificial Intelligence.
The forum will be structured around two sections:

September 18-19, sessions will follow a traditional format with presentations, discussions and round tables.

September 20, the workshop Digital Catalogs. Toward Interoperability, under the coordination of Nuria Rodríguez-Ortega and Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, will take place. This workshop continues the discussion initiated in Paris at École normale supérieure inFebruary 2019. The white paper about catalogues’ databases interoperability coming up from that meeting will be presented and discussed.