CfP:Visualising abstract flows: devices and practices of seeing financial markets

October 14, 2008

This session is part of the Visuality/Materiality conference. Info anout the conference comes after the session’s call for papers.  Yuval

Visualising abstract flows: exploring the devices and practices of seeing financial markets

The session seeks to bring together researchers from range of disciplinary backgrounds to develop an agenda for further research into the growing use of and reliance upon various techniques of visualisation and the development of visualisation software in financial markets. The session also encourages speculations about the possible consequences of the growing reliance on various visualisation techniques in preparing some of the world’s key financial markets. Papers are welcomed that seek to explore: 


  • – the materiality of the visual and the forms of sociation surrounding the revisualisation of markets
  • – visualisation as a practical activity
  • – the techniques of visualisation as means to‘re-cognise’ rather than simply the re-present market data.
  • – the phenomenology of the screen and ‘screenness’, and the changing ‘sensings’ of space and time achieved through financial market practices
  • – the cross-over between everyday visualisation and the development of software for all sorts of computer games, and what’s happening on the fringes of finance
  • – beyond ‘mere visualisation’: how the visualisation of financial data helps to constitute financial knowledge of the world, and how knowledge in large part produced visually shapes the relationship between financial markets and the world
  • – techniques to ‘see’ risks in financial markets

If you are interested in taking part in this session then please send a 200 word abstract either to Michael Pryke at or

Visuality/Materiality: Reviewing Theory, Method and Practice

Organizers: Professor Gillian Rose and Dr. Divya P. Tolia-Kelly


An international conference to be held in London 9th-11th July, 2009

at the Royal Institute for British Architects, London.


This conference takes as its starting point the apparent exhaustion in much critical theory of the term ‘representation’ as a means of grasping the effect of the visual in contemporary times (although, in contrast, ‘representation’ remains a key driver in advertising, geopolitical policy and military practice).  Conventionally, critical interpretation has concerned itself with the meaning of images by situating their connections to broader discursive formations, but for many this is now a reductive analytical schema. There are suggestions that these approaches have become formulaic; that they ignore the physical materiality and political and cultural power of visual imagery and visualities; and that this approach can reinstate the power structures it intends to critique. The aim of the conference is to consider where representation and the need for a new interpretive paradigm may coalesce/intersect. 


Visuality/Materiality attends to the relationship between the visual and the material as a way of approaching both the meaning of visual and its other aspects. The image as sign, metaphor, aesthetics and text has long dominated the realm of visual theory.  But the material role of visual praxis in everyday landscapes of seeing has been an emergent area of visual research; visual design, urban visual practice, visual grammars and vocabularies of domestic spaces, including the formation and structuring of social practices of living and political being, are critical to 21st century networks of living. The relationship between Visuality/ Materiality here is about social meaning and practice; where identity, power, space, and geometries of seeing are approached here through a grounded approach to material technologies, design and visual research, everyday embodied seeing, labour, ethics and utility.


This conference is aimed at providing a dialogic space where the nature and role of a visual theory can be evaluated, in light of materiality, practice, affect, performativity; and where the methodological encounter informs our intellectual critique. One strand will invite sustained engagements with the theoretical trajectories of the ‘material turn’, the ’emotional/affective turn’ and the ‘practical turn’ away from the ‘cultural turn’.  Where are these turns taking us, exactly?  What are we leaving behind when we turn, and does that matter?  The organisers are also keen to encourage contributions based on research experience and practice into specific aspects of visuality and visual critique including:

  • What is the relationship between the material and the visual?
  • How do we develop new theoretical approaches to new visual practices? 
  • What can we learn from everyday visualities?
  • How can we approach the ethical through visual practices?
  • How valuable are theories of materiality, performance, embodiment in research on the visual?


We welcome participation from all disciplines and from varying research approaches. To participate in the conference please send a 200 word abstract before December 1st 2008, to:

The two-day conference fee will be approximately £180 (waged) /£85 (students).

All details will be updated on the conference web site:


Conference organisers:        Professor Gillian Rose (Geography, Open University)

                                             Dr Divya P. Tolia-Kelly (Geography, Durham University)


Organising committee:         Dr Paul Basu (Anthropology, University of Sussex)

Professor David Campbell (Geography, Durham University)

Professor Nick Couldry (Media and Communications, Goldsmith’s)

Dr Stefano Cracolici (Modern Languages, Durham University)

Dr Mike Crang (Geography, Durham University)

Professor Elizabeth Edwards (University of the Arts)

Dr Ruth Fazakerley (Visual artist, Adelaide)

Dr Paul Frosh (Communication and Journalism, Hebrew University)

Professor Marie Gillespie (Sociology, Open University)

Dr Agnieszka Golda (Visual Arts, Wollongong)

Professor Christopher Pinney (Anthropology, UCL)

Dr Michael Pryke (Geography, Open University)

Dr Nirmal Puwar (Sociology, Goldsmith’s)

Dr Mimi Sheller (Sociology, Swarthmore College)

Dr Marquard Smith (Art and Design, Kingston University)

Niki Sperou (Visual Artist, Adelaide)

Professor Teal Triggs (University of the Arts)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: