CFP : "Art and Invention in the U.S."

Call for Papers :

Art and Invention in the U.S.

College Art Association Annual Conference, February 3-6, 2016 Washington, DC

A few years after the exhibition of his Gallery of the Louvre, painter Samuel F. B. Morse adapted one of his canvas stretchers to create the prototype of a telegraph receiver, literally transforming a tool of his art practice into a medium of technological experimentation and invention. Over the course of the industrializing 19th century, the U.S. government revised and formalized procedures for granting patents and copyright, thereby changing public perceptions about creativity, invention, and intellectual property while creating entirely new careers for artists : patent examiners, model-makers, technical illustrators. The very act of perception was altered by technology as well, via new visual spectacles, environments, and experiences.

This session will explore the explosion of inventiveness from art historical perspectives and will consider works of art through the lens of the history of technology. How did new media alter expectations for art and industry ? What relationships developed between artists and inventors, and what was at stake in the dialogues between art and invention ? How did inventions and patent processes change the look of modernity, and how was American identity shaped by the production of art and inventions ?

Please send proposals to organizers Ellery Foutch and Hélène Valance by May 8, 2015. For more information, see or contact the organizers : ;