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Liquid Crystals: A Roundtable

Candela, Emily et al.

Journal of visual culture. Volume 17:Number 1 (2018); pp 22-67 -- Sage Publications

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  • Title:
    Liquid Crystals: A Roundtable
  • Author: Candela, Emily;
    Cubitt, Sean;
    Dicker, Barnaby;
    Drew, Benedict;
    Leslie, Esther
  • Found In: Journal of visual culture. Volume 17:Number 1 (2018); pp 22-67
  • Journal Title: Journal of visual culture
  • Subjects: Arts and society--Periodicals; Culture--Periodicals; Graphic arts--Periodicals; Image (Philosophy)--Periodicals; Mass media and the arts--Periodicals; Popular culture--Periodicals; Visual communication--Periodicals; Visual sociology--Periodicals; DNA--earth minerals--life--liquid crystals--media ecologies--screen-based media--tactile vision--X-ray crystallography; Dewey: 700.5
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Sage Publications
  • Abstract:

    This Roundtable began life as a public event on the subject of liquid crystals in our visual, material, media, scientific and artistic cultures. The event's premise was that liquid crystals are the ur-form that constitute and govern Modernity and its after-shocks. For sure this is because the dialectic of liquidity and crystallization, of flow and refraction, is key to the advent of screen-based media (LCD TVs, computers and mobile devices) and thus how we perceive, image and imagine the world. As such, liquid crystals as a 'phase of matter' are epochal. But more than this because, while the emergence of such a brave new world is manifestly contemporary and their 'discovery' is comparatively recent (1888), the very fact of liquid crystals goes back at least 4.5 billion years: water, for instance, is crystalline and thus our planet, our ecology and we ourselves are always already liquid crystal. Such a self-evident but under-acknowledged fact, discerned and foregrounded superbly by Esther Leslie in her recent book Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (2016), becomes an occasion to bring together historians, theorists and practitioners of the convergences of design-science, media-ecology, political-aesthetics, and graphic-technologies. Using Leslie's book as a springboard, each of the five contributors, including Leslie herself, were invited to deliver a 10-minute presentation, an opening statement to set the scene, and raise fundamental questions to be considered further in the ensuing discussion. This structure is retained here, along with some of the informality that live conversation affords.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100073271137.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1470-4129; 10.1177/1470412918766921
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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