CONFERENCIA INAUGURAL: “El puesto de la cultura en el paisaje”

En geografía se ha denominado tradicionalmente “paisaje” a la configuración adquirida por los hechos territoriales y sólo en escasas ocasiones o de modo secundario o en momentos muy recientes se ha sumado a ello el importante peso de la cultura en ese concepto. Al contrario, en el ámbito artístico se viene entendiendo por paisaje exclusivamente su representación estética o el lugar estetizado. Sin embargo, en cualquiera de los dos casos, el paisaje integra otros contenidos  y, por supuesto, los culturales, que son amplios, incluso morales, y todos ellos lo constituyen sobre su básica morfología. Como geógrafos, tenemos la necesidad de completar y fusionar todos los componentes del paisaje para dar respuesta al concepto de modo intelectualmente satisfactorio.


Eduardo Martínez de Pisón es Profesor Emérito de Geografía de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Sus trabajos tratan especialmente de paisajes naturales y culturales, geografía medioambiental, geografía de cordille­ras, y pensamiento geográfico. Especializado en geografía de montaña. En 1991 recibió el Premio Nacional de Medio Ambiente. Entre 1991 y 1995 presidió el Comité español del “Scienti­fic Committee on Antarctic Research”. Fue corresponsal para España del “World Glacier Monitoring System” (WGMS; Zurich). En 2003-2005 ha sido director del Plan de Ordenación de Recursos Naturales de la Sierra de Guadarrama (Comunidad de Madrid). Ha sido miembro del Comité MaB español (Hombre y Biosfera / UNESCO) y  vocal del Comité Científico de Parques Nacionales españoles. Es Director del Instituto del Paisaje de la Fundación Duques de Soria.





PLENARY SESSION: "Maxwell Street: Fragments of an Attempt at Writing Place"

This presentation consists of sections of a book length attempt at writing place. The place is the Maxwell Street area of Chicago, the site of North America’s largest open-air market though most of the 20th century. The book consists of two essays of fragments drawing on the writing techniques of Walter Benjamin in his Arcades Project as well as experiments in hybrid form in contemporary poetry (Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Susan Howe etc.). The essays are written in fragments – paragraphs that introduce and then return to recurring themes including waste, lists, materiality, the senses, and memory. The presentation will be a reading of a selection of these fragments.

Tim Cresswell is Professor of American Studies, Dean of Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Trained as a cultural geographer, Cresswell’s research focusses on the role of mobility, place, and space in the constitution of social and cultural worlds. Recent work has centered on the relations between forms of mobility and power in modern life. He is currently completing a book on the 100-year history of the Maxwell Street market in Chicago framed as an account of interactions between place and mobility. Cresswell is the author, co-author or co-editor of a dozen books including On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World(2006) and Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects (2011). As a poet he is the author of two collections: Soil (2103) andFence (2015) which continue his explorations of place and mobility. He is co-editor of the AAG journal GeoHumanities: Space, Place, and the Humanities.






PLENARY SESSION: “Icy Encounterings: A feminist geopolitics of climate change”

Climate change requires that we rethink the global order of politics by developing a formulation and practice of geopolitics that takes seriously the dynamism of earth’s systems and their differential effects. This is a geopolitics that not only demands we rethink what constitutes the ‘geo’ but also that we rethink how we understand what ‘politics’ is, does and consists of. Using case studies drawn from the UK climate change arts organisation Cape Farewell, and in particular their Arctic voyages, I explore how geoaesthetic practices offer a way to experiment with thinking such a geopolitical reformulation. In order to advance this contention, I draw contemporary scholarship on elemental geopolitics together with broader work that aims to reframe the ‘geo’ as a political force. Taking seriously the manifold challenges that such a proposition poses to methods, to understandings of the politics of the intra and inhuman, and to compositions of bodily relations, I turn to feminist geopolitical scholarship where bodies – human and non-human – are an important geopolitical site. Experimenting with geoaesthetics as tools to think and feel with, I don’t claim that the feminist ‘geo’politics of climate change proposed is the only possible feminist geopolitics, nor does it have all the answers to the problems posed by taking seriously the ‘geo’ within formulations of geopolitics. It does however, offer a productive and provocative place from which to begin to create a geopolitics adequate to the challenges of climate change.


Sallie Marston explores the interactions of politics and culture with a particular emphasis on the complex ways "the state" is a part of this relationship. In her work she investigates a range of issues, practices and objects from ethnic, gender, and sexual politics to the politics of domesticity and social reproduction. Her work, as well as that of her students, has emphasized the everydayness of state practices from desire, love and marriage to citizenship, militarism, nationalism and violence. More recently, as a geohumanities scholar, she has explored art-science collaborations with a team of colleagues. This project investigated how and why artists engage with science and how such collaborations might tackle the ethical and political dimensions of complex contemporary problems. She also supervises the University of Arizona graduate-run, you are here: a journal of creative geography, which will celebrate its first twenty years in 2017. In her free time she writes fictional short stories and screenplays that take as their subject people’s everyday experiences of the state from gay marriage to war.







PLENARY SESSION:  "Geopolitics of War and Pain: Suffering with Charles Bell"


How is the pain and suffering of violent conflict ‘brought home’ via diverse mediums that facilitate ‘imaginative proximities’? My talk addresses this question by outlining the time spent by Charles Bell, Scottish surgeon and artist, treating the wounded of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815, a conflict often referred to as the first modern war, relying on regimented soldiery, grand strategy as well as in situ tactics, and the cultivation of public support for a national push against the enemy. Violence, Bell wrote, could be felt in witnessing the chaotic, seething mass of flesh, bone and metal left on the battlefield, as well as a digital examination of the suppurations, fragments and cavities of the wound before him; and, it was to be felt in the red pencil and charcoal strokes he put to paper. Bell’s anxieties and efforts, his science and his art, need be considered in light of a haptic field of apprehension and discernment, I argue, animated by biology and art as much as by political and philosophical discourse, that precedes Bell, that informs his approach and his sentiments, and to which Bell contributes.  This is an apprehension of a human subject and its others; and more specifically, a discernment of the biological and elemental underpinning of the subject, the nature of the state of which that subject is a citizen, and the appropriate practices through which that citizenship is expressed.  This haptic field of apprehension and discernment  established a formal geopolitics of which Bell was very much a part; but also, as we shall see, of a sentimental, sympathetic, excessive geopolitics that both framed and threatened the former. In such a field, it is not only the touch of the surgeon that mattered, but of the wound also.


Deborah Dixon is a Professor of Geography at the University of Glasgow, and is the founding editor, along with Tim Cresswell, of the AAG’s new journal GeoHumanities. Deborah’s primary research lies in geopolitics, and the material ‘making’ of Earth and its inhabitants (Dixon, Feminist Geopolitics: Material States 2015, Routledge). She also works on the confluence of arts and science in the medical humanities, and in geoengineering, and is currently preparing a monography on ‘Earth Futures’. The author of over 75 articles and chapters, Deborah maintains a strong editorial profile: in addition to GeoHumanities she is also the editor of Environment and Planning A, and is a former editor of Gender, Place and Culture.






Jaume Plensa nació en Barcelona en 1955 donde cursó estudios en la Llotja, Escola Superior de Disseny i Art y en la Escola Superior de Belles Arts Sant Jordi. Ha sido profesor en la École Nationale des Beaux-Arts en París y colabora asiduamente como profesor invitado en la School of the Art Institute de la Universidad de Chicago. Ha impartido numerosas conferencias y cursos en universidades, museos e instituciones culturales en todo el mundo.

Ha sido galardonado con numerosos premios nacionales e internacionales como la Medaille des Chevaliers des Arts et Lettres del Ministerio de Cultura francés en 1993, el Premi Nacional de Cultura d’Arts Plàstiques de la Generalitat de Catalunya en 1997, fue Investido Doctor Honoris Causa por la School of the Art Intitute de la Universidad de Chicago en 2005, en España, recibió el Premio Nacional de las Artes Plásticas en 2012 y en 2013 fue galardonado con el prestigioso Premio Velázquez de las Artes.

Expone su obra regularmente en galerías y museos de Europa, Estados Unidos y Asia. Algunas de estas exposiciones han marcado su trayectoria, como la gran exposición que se realizó en la Fundació Joan Miró de Barcelona en 1996 y que viajó a la Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume en Paris y a la Malmö Konsthall de Malmö, Suecia en 1997. Varios Museos en Alemania le han dedicado exposiciones, como fue Love Sounds en la Kestner Gesellschaft de Hannover en 1999 o la reciente The Secret Heart, expuesta en tres espacios museísticos de la ciudad de Augsburg durante el año 2014. La exposición Human Landscape ha itinerado durante los años 2015 y 2016 por varios museos norte americanos,Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art y Frist Center of the Visual Arts en Nashville, TN, el Tampa Museum of Art en Tampa FL i el Toledo Museum of Art en Toledo, OH.

Una faceta muy importante de su obra se desarrolla en el marco de la escultura en espacios públicos. Sus obras en ciudades de España, Francia, Japón, Inglaterra, Corea, Alemania, Canadá, Estados Unidos, etc…, han cosechado diversos premios y menciones como el Mash Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture que recibió en Londres en 2009 por su obraDream. The Crown Fountain, inaugurada en 2004 en el Millennium Park de Chicago, ha sido uno de sus grandes proyectos, y sin duda uno de los más brillantes, este proyecto dio paso a numerosos encargos que han ido engrosando la lista de obras de Jaume Plensa en los espacios públicos hasta el más reciente, Roots en 2014, instalado en el centro de Toranomon en Tokyo.

En 2015 participó en la 56 Bienal de Venecia con la exposición Together en la Basílica de San Giorgio Maggiore, evento colateral de la Bienal que mereció el “Global Fine Art Award” en la categoría de mejor exposición de arte en espació público en 2015. La obra de Jaume Plensa se puede ver regularmente en la Galerie Lelong de Paris, en la Galerie Lelong de Nueva York, y en la Richard Gray Gallery de Chicago y de Nueva York.