Symposium: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, March 19-21, 2014



Georges Didi-Huberman • Jonathan Hay • Jacques Rancière (all confirmed)



The aim of this symposium is to contribute to our understanding of what the image does (its pragma). The awkward entanglement of being and non-being (Plato) calls for an examination of the image as an act or event. Through its event, the image-act instigates an image-related reflection upon the issues of being and non-being, physis and semiosis, actuality and potentiality. The concept of iconic difference as coined by art historian and philosopher Gottfried Boehm is vital to our concern. Iconic difference embraces an internal effect in the formation of images as an entanglement of being and non-being, matter/perception, imagination/representation, but also externally in the relations between images, language, and concepts.

Today, educational institutions within the fields of art, design, and architecture may no longer simply approach image making intuitively, but are requested to engage in a dialogue with academic research and science. Such primarily verbal discourse may, at best, support rather than suppress insights into the unique potentials of the image. Yet a prolific dialogue would not sustain the identity of the image as an already established reality (as re-presentation), but moreover articulate the particular behaviours of the image.

This three-day symposium brings together scholars from the fields of art, design, and architecture in order to discuss images theories and their implications to these fields. Papers will address topic such as:

• Iconic difference
• The epistemology of images
• The affect of images
• Images and time
• Art and the image
• Architecture and the image
• Design and the image

WHAT IMAGES DO follows upon the work of an international research network established in 2012 in collaboration between NCCR Iconic Criticism ‘eikones’ in Basel, TU Delft, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The network and its activities are funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research, Humanities (FKK).



Charlottenborg Palace
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Schools of Visual Arts
Kongens Nytorv 1
1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark

WHAT IMAGES DO is organized by The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Art in collaboration with Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, NCCR Iconic Criticism ‘eikones’ in Basel and TU Delft.

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Art is an internationally-oriented educational and research institution continuing a more than 250-year-old tradition of developing artistic talent and enterprise to the highest standards, based upon the independent work of each individual student. Through the years, many leading artists have been trained and nurtured here, from Caspar David Friedrich and Bertel Thorvaldsen through Vilhelm Hammershøi to Olafur Eliasson, Kirstine Roepstorff and Jesper Just. The overriding objective of the Academy’s Fine Arts Schools is to provide an academically ambitious platform for the development of all aspects of the arts.

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation are located at Holmen, the former dock area for the Danish navy. The School of Architecture is one of the world’s oldest of its kind. The school educates architects in the fields of architectural design and restoration, urban and landscape planning, and industrial, graphic, and furniture design. For more than 135 years, The School of Design has contributed to the development of Danish design with an international reach. The school is founded on the Nordic design tradition, where functionality and aesthetics go hand in hand with business sense, and today it is a modern, business-oriented design school where ground breaking partnerships, ambitious visions and new technologies go hand in hand with creative artistic development and professional innovation.

Charlottenborg Palace was built in 1672 as the residence for the Norwegian governor Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, the illegitimate son of the Danish King Frederik III. At the turn of the century the dowager Queen Charlotte Amalie bought the castle and her name has remained with it since. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts took over most of the building by its inauguration in 1754. Kunsthal Charlottenborg – an exhibition space for contemporary art – is part of the Academy and situated in an adjacent exhibition building, which opened in 1883 and also holds The Danish Art Library.



Registration fee: € 120 / DKK 900. The fee is flat rate and covers lunches, coffee and participation in the conference dinner on the evening of Thursday, March 20, 2014. Registration deadline is March 5, 2014. To register, please follow the three steps below:

1. Send a registration email to Martin Søberg, martin.soberg@kadk.dk, including your a) name b) title c) affiliation and d) email address. Please let us know of any special requests regarding your diet.

2. Transfer the registration fee of € 120 / DKK 900 to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. The participant must cover any transfer costs. Please write the activity number 9390, your name, and WHAT IMAGES DO on your transfer.

Bank: Danske Bank
Reg. No.: 0216
Account: 4069022014
IBAN: DK0902164069022014

Bank's address is:
Holmens Kanal 6-12
1260 Copenhagen K,

Branch number is:

3. Once we have received your registration email and the registration fee, we will email you our confirmation of participation.




09:30-09:45 Welcome and introduction

09:45-11:00 Jonathan Hay: Keynote address

11:30-13:00 Session 1


Image Acts. Chair: Michael Renner

Nicoletta Isar: The Playing Image – Staging Bildakt

Katharina Wloszczynska: What re-done images do

Alena Alexandrova: Strange Apparatus: the Potential and the Pan


Architectural Drawing. Chair: Sabine Ammon

Pari Riahi: From Precision to Profligacy: Architectural Drawings' Affecting Power in the Post Digital Era

Anna Katrine Hougaard: Drawing vs. Image

Piotr J. Lesniak: Unfolding Image: Towards Architectural Imaginary as Critique


Transgression. Chair: Martin Søberg

Marc Boumeester: Meta-media and non-anthropocentric desire; what does the medium want?

Daniel Blanga-Gubbay: Before/Under the Image: for a topography of possible through aesthetic experience


13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Session 2


Imperceptibility. Chair: Toni Hildebrandt

Jan Bäcklund: The Invisibility of Images and Images of Second Order

Daniel Rubinstein: The latent Image: hidden, non-transparent and un-theorised

Troy Rhoades: The Incipiency of Images: Experiencing the Imperceptible in Bridget Riley’s Paintings


Thinking Through the Architectural Image. Chair: Deborah Hauptmann

Peter Bjerrum: The affective images of architecture poetics

Valeria Guzman Verri: Seeing and Reasoning in Architecture

Sophia Banou: Materiality of the Visual: Reimagi(nin)g the city


Atlas. Chair: Charlotte Warsen

Luis Burriel Bielza: Le Corbusier’s postcard collection: poetical assemblage as a “porous” classification system

Anette Højlund: The vanishing image. Image accumulations in contemporary artworks

Henrik Gustafsson: The Art of War, or, Sophie Ristelhueber’s Anatomy Lesson


16:00-17:30  Session 3


Image Ontology. Chair: Ludger Schwarte

Michael Kjær: Modern images as a creating of epistemological visibilities

Jesús Segura Cabañero and Toni Simó Mulet: Critical Temporalities in the Contemporary Visual Image

Louis Schreel: The Erewhon of the Image: The Immanent Sublime in Deleuze's Aesthetics


Matter and Disruption. Chair: Marc Boumeester

Sofia Nunes: On the disruptive praxis of images: the Abissology’s films by João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva

Maria Mitsoula: Fleuri-Cut, Vein-Cut and the Third-Cut: Imaging an Epistemology of Marble

Ulrik Schmidt: Abstract-Concrete Images: Mediality and Materiality in 1920s Avant-Garde Film


Scale and Dimension. Chair: Henrik Oxvig

Lise Skytte Jakobsen: The inter-dimensionality of image making: An investigation of 3D printing in contemporary art

Dag Petersson: Photographic Space – Photographic Scales

Andrej Radman: 3D perception ≠ 2D image + 1D inference

THURSDAY, March 20

09:30-11:00 Session 4


Motion/Emotion. Chair: Toni Hildebrandt

Marie-Luise Angerer: From Vision to Motion

Sjoerd van Tuinen: Parmigianino and the Hysteria of Mannerist Self-Portraiture

Maria Fabricius Hansen: The Affect of Images: Morto da Feltro, Signorelli, and Moving Creativity in the Art of the Grotesques c. 1500


Design Skills. Chair: Michael Renner

Beata Makowska: Sketches which Develop Creative Thinking Skills and Imagination

Claire Reymond: Image Relations and Dominant Pictures — a practice-led Iconic Research

Troels Degn Johansson: The Function of Pictures in the Design Programme as a Pedagogical Instrument in Higher Design Education


Agency. Chair: Ludger Schwarte

Marko Gylén: The ”not” in Art

Mark Dorrian: Drone Semiosis

Devika Sharma: The Humanitarian Image and the Problem of Spectatorship


11:30-13:00 Session 5


Orientation and Memory. Chair: Andrej Radman

Tommaso Guariento: The work of the memory. Survivals of the “figura elementalis” as Weltbild. Images as orientation and cure

Anne Mette Frandsen: Death has no scale

Vlad Ionescu: Spatial experience as the criterion for a semio-aesthetics of visual arts: Wölfflin and Worringer 


Architecture and Image. Chair: Sabine Ammon

Lutz Robbers: No Pictorial-Detour: Architecture as Bildwissenschaft?

Doreen Bernath: China and the Configuration of Reality-Effect

Hélène Frichot: Architecture as Real-Estate: Our Contemporary Image of Thought


Image and Illness. Chair: Marc Boumeester

Floriana Giallombardo: The unnecessary image

Jadwiga Kamola: Image, Illness, Foucault

Kathrin Friedrich: What images will do – How the visual engenders the material


13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Session 6


Photography. Chair: Charlotte Warsen

Stella Baraklianou: When the night sky becomes a photograph: August Strindberg's Celestographs and Benjmamin's Trauerspiel 

Helga Aichmaier: What is Coming to Mind? Potential of Design Processes of Documenting Public Places

Mika Elo: Notes on photography and architectonics of sense


Word and Image. Chair: Henrik Oxvig

Emília Pinto de Almeida: On poiesis: image making according to Mário Cesariny

Angela Breidbach: Sebald’s Austerlitz: How images misbehave in the dark

Michael Renner: Word and Image again! Attempts to leave the schema


Portraiture. Chair: Martin Søberg

Wolfram Bergande: Against Contingency – or: Necessity and the Pictorial Space

Sria Chatterjee: The portrait problem: epistemology and images in global art history

Andrei Pop: Dreaming and Agency


15:45-17:15 Session 7


Embodied Images. Chair: Deborah Hauptmann

Aud Sissel Hoel: The Image at the Limits of Phenomenology

Léa Barbisan: Animation: Image and Body in Walter Benjamin's and Maurice Merleau-Ponty's work

Claus Bohn: Launching Architecture Through Image


Image Politics. Chair: Troels Degn Johansson

Asbjørn Grønstad: Resistance as Form: Art, Activism, and Adorno

Katharina D. Martin: White wall and black hole: Micropolitics of the hidden face

Jacob Lund: The Pensive Image in the Work of Alfredo Jaar


Traces. Chair: Jan Bäcklund

Santiago Fernández-Mosteyrín: The trace as a transtemporal representation of action

Helle Brabrand: What Images Do – drawing architecture?

Toni Hildebrandt: The Image Made by Chance in Renaissance and Modern Thought


17:30-18:45 Jacques Rancière: Keynote address 

19:30-23:30 Conference dinner


FRIDAY, March 21

09:30-11:00 Session 8


Projections. Chair: Andrej Radman

Anna-Lena Carlsson: Images and Sketching

Arthur Steijn: The In-between: Exploring perspective in digital projections

Andreas Broeckmann: Considering Image Machine Art


Disturbances. Chair: Jan Bäcklund

Peter Muir: The hollowness of the image (the image as an economy of attraction and evasion)

Christian Mieves: Illegible Paintings: Blocked Vision and Self-reflexitity in Contemporary Painting in recent Works by Idris Kahn, David Schutter and Chris Ofili

Charlotte Warsen: Politics of the Formless Image


11:15-12:30 Georges Didi-Huberman: Keynote address

12:30-14:00 Panel debate and closing remarks



Danhostel Copenhagen City

Booking code: 231175 for a special WHAT IMAGES DO discount.
Please contact Danhostel for current prices.

Arp-Hansen Hotels

Phoenix Copenhagen, standard single: DKK 935. Booking code: 1456251, bookphoenix@arp-hansen.dk 

71 Nyhavn, standard single: DKK 1030. Booking code: 1456252, 71nyhavnhotel@arp-hansen.dk

Copenhagen Strand, standard single: DKK 890. Booking code: 1456253, book.strand@arp-hansen.dk

Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel, standard single: DKK 470; standard double: DKK 640; sky standard single: DKK 570; sky standard double: DKK 740; heaven single: DKK 670; heaven double: DKK 840
Prices include breakfast. Please refer to WHAT IMAGES DO when booking.


Symposium Organizing Committee

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation and Schools of Visual Arts

Henrik Oxvig
Jan Bäcklund
Troels Degn Johansson
Martin Søberg

Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Ludger Schwarte
Charlotte Warsen

NCCR Iconic Criticism ‘eikones’

Michael Renner
Sabine Ammon
Toni Hildebrandt

TU Delft

Deborah Hauptmann
Marc Boumeester
Andrej Radman


Banner illustration: Constantin Hansen, A Group of Danish Artists in Rome, 1837. Detail. National Gallery of Denmark