Back to Opportunities

CFP: APS / CAA Session “Now you see it, now you don’t: Materialism and Ephemeral Prints” (21-24 Feb 18, Los Angeles)

“Now you see it, now you don’t: Materialism and Ephemeral Prints”
Chair: Yasmin Amaratunga Railton, PhD

Ed Ruscha’s 1969 print portfolio Stains signifies a paradigm shift in the artist’s practice, marking a departure from painting in favour of experimental printmaking using ephemeral materials. An experiment in West Coast Conceptualism, each of the portfolio’s seventy-five pages of cotton paper was permeated with an unusual pigment, which included Los Angeles tap water, Coca-Cola, sulphuric acid, and human blood.

This session will explore the material culture of ephemeral prints. Research into the production, function, and reception of ephemeral materials in printmaking has recently become a fertile line of enquiry. From the early modern period, such as the use of blood in early color printing, to artistic interest in materiality in 21st century practices, recent theoretical approaches to matter offer new insight into the production and consumption of prints historically.

Contributing papers may range from all chronological and geographic areas related to print history. For this proposed session, contributors may put forward papers that investigate the relationship between artists’ choices of ephemeral materials and the theoretical rhetoric that dominated their practices. Papers that consider New Materialisms, object orientated ontology, or thing theory may offer new ideas of ephemeral matter. From a museology perspective, various models of institutional support that encompass archival repositories, preservation and conservation could be addressed. Focusing on the physical history of ephemeral prints, papers may investigate the conception, acquisition, condition issues and conservation. Technical conservation examinations of prints may illustrate the challenges presented by ephemeral pigments.

At the intersection of art history, museology, conservation, and archival theory, this session seeks to contribute new knowledge on materialism by situating ephemeral materials and printmaking practices within current art historical research and criticism.

Please submit your abstracts including a brief C.V. (two pages max.), and full contact information by August 21st 2017 to Panel Chair Yasmin Railton at

CAA Guidelines
- All sessions will be 90 minutes in length at CAA 2018. Please plan accordingly.
- All session participants must be current individual CAA members to participate in the Annual Conference. -
Please send us your CAA Member ID as this is a required field on the submission form. If you are not a current individual member, please renew your membership or join CAA.
- All session participants must also register for the conference.
- CVs are required for panel proposals.
- Session and paper/project abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length.


Leave a Reply