Uncanny Landscapes

4th-8th March 2013
The Centre for Creative Collaboration
16 Acton Street,

Uncanny landscapes is a week long series of events consisting of workshops, symposiums, a conference and exhibition, bringing together artists and academics whose work addresses the ambiguity between subject, object and landscape relations.

The uncanny (unheimlich) was perhaps most famously sketched out by Freud (1919). Defined as ‘”everything that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light.” (Schelling), the uncanny represents that which upsets, disrupts or disturbs our engagement with the world around us. ‘The Uncanny’ was a unique work in Freud’s oeuvre; unstable, oscillating between analysis and fiction itself blurring the distinction between the real and the imaginary. The idea of the uncanny has since been revisited and reworked in numerous ways, from the architectural to the technological uncanny. At its heart there remains the question of ontological ambiguity. Where are the boundaries between the self and the environment? The uncanny demands that this question is always answered with uncertainty and dissolution.

‘Uncanny Landscapes’ repeats these questions, asking how ambiguity is experienced and understood in terms of landscape and the perceiving subject. How does ambiguity or porosity between subject and landscape arise? How did subject and landscape ever come to be seen as distinct in the first place? Is the uncanny an affective trope or can it be considered as a by-product of distributed agency, a glimpse of a decentred self? Can the Freudian rubrics of the uncanny, such as doubling, compulsion to repeat, apparent telepathy, coincidence, omnipotence of thought, still translate to readings of landscape or is the uncanny located in a particular historical moment? How does the idea of return (e.g. Derrida’s revenant) create an ambiguous body/landscape? Does Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoid finally and gleefully jettison the subject in favour of an uncanny multiplicity?

These theoretical perspectives are intended merely as momentary guides or loose anchors. The real questions revolve around how geographical thought can approach ambiguity as a framework through which to describe the experience of place and landscape.

All events are free but admission is by ticket only and places are strictly limited. We suggest booking early to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be reserved by following the link to the Uncanny Landscapes Eventbrite homepage:

Whilst the workshops are open to all, they are primarily aimed at PhD researchers and early career academics and restricted to a maximum of 15 participants per session.

For more information including timetable, abstracts and venue information, please visit the Uncanny Landscapes website at http://www.uncannylandscapes.wordpress.com.

Please contact the organisers at uncannylandscapes@gmail.com with any further questions.

Uncanny Landscapes is organised by PhD researchers Rupert Griffiths (RHUL) and James Thurgill (RHUL) and is supported by Landscape Surgery (RHUL) and the Centre for Creative Collaboration.