Streets, Routes,
Methods I

5th – 6th May 2017

Reflections on Paths, Spaces and Temporalities

Paths can be serpentine, straight and anything in between; they might traverse barely accessible mountains, like the Inca Trail, or be straight, like desire lines. Paths come before roads, survive into the time of roads, or reappear in response to them. Paths tend to be overgrown, to disappear – in the desert sand – to be overbuilt or abandoned. They have their temporalities, seasons and spatialities, between proximity and distance. Paths are therefore not purely spatial affairs. Paths have a genuine temporal dimension beyond the duration of a traveler‘s journey. Paths can be seen as chronotopoi, with literary, pictorial and cinematographic histories. Paths must be trodden in order to survive, exemplifying the Heraclitian formula μεταβάλλον αʼ ναπαύεται («it is in changing that things find repose»). The temporal dimension of paths ultimately allows us to overcome the sterile dichotomy between real and imagined paths (metaphors, alle-gories, models). They have a rich life in the world of metaphors, intrinsic to the notion of met-hodos, based on the Greek word for way, or path. This allies paths to language and, more specifically, writing, whose elements are also repetitions, tracks that are «inked in»; it is the remembered, the described, and thereby the reusable and transferable path. Paths within language can become ritual tools for the creation of new ones.

Beyond the above mentioned approaches to paths, the conference will explore their relationship to the environment, in line with the eco-art historical project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. How do paths, trails and routes shape or even create landscape? What is the interplay of geomorphology, flora and fauna, animal and human agency? Paths introduce directionalities, itiner-aries and nets into the environment, they are linked to technologies of transport and movement; they offer viewpoints, changing hori-zons or deep immersion into flora or architecture; experiencing them is a multisensorial endeavor. Under the hodological conditions of global urban environments and post / industrial landscapes, paths run across streets, they can be subversive, democratic or pragmatic. They can be reinstalled as nostalgic evocations of a lost or overcome past, of rural or pastoral life, or serve mass tourism as well as new ecological approaches. 

Organized by Hannah Baader, Adam Jasper, Stefan Neuner,
Gerald Wildgruber and Gerhard Wolf

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, 
Max-Planck-Institut Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, 
Via dei Servi 51, 50122 Firenze, Italia

Friday, 5th May, 2017

09.30Hannah Baader (Florence / Berlin) and
Stefan Neuner (Basel): Welcome and Introduction           
10.15Philip Ursprung (Zurich): Volcano Walks:
Following the Explorer Franz Junghuhn on
the Island of Java
11.00Bas Princen (Rotterdam): (Central) Perspectives
Chair: Hannah Baader (Florence / Berlin)
12.00Catalina Ospina (Chicago): At a Crossroads:
the Emergence of Mopa Mopa Images in
the Colonial Andes
12.45Marco Musillo (Florence): The Ecology of
Silent Descriptions: Semantic and Symbolical
Paths towards the King of Trees
Chair: Stefan Neuner (Basel)
13.30Lunch Break
15.00Himanshu Burte (Mumbai): Path, Place, and
Network: The Politics of Roads in Mumbai
15.45John Xaviers (Noira, Uttar Pradesh):
Mattancherry Jew Street
Chair: Peter Christensen (Berlin / Rochester, NY)
17.00Maia Mania (Tbilisi): «Le chemin des
anes, le chemin des hommes...»
17.45Lutz Robbers (Oldenburg): Paths and Lines:
Negotiations in Architectural Image Practices
Chair: Philip Ursprung (Zurich)
18.30 Break
18.45Presentation of Works by Bas Princen (Fototeca)
19.15Joseph Rykwert (London) and
Francesco Pellizzi (New York): A Conversation

Saturday, 6th May 2017

09.15Fabian Horn (Munich): The Conceptualization
«Life is a Journey» in Early Greek Poetry
and Thought
10.00Velizar Sadovski (Vienna): The Roads of
Indo-Iranian Ritual: Multidimensional Sacred
Space and Topology of Transcendence
Chair: Gerald Wildgruber (Basel)
11.15Gérard Chouin (Williamsburg, VA): (Im)Materiality,
Diachrony, and Spatiality: Preliminary Thoughts
about Three Dimensions of Long-Distance «Trade»
Routes in Medieval to Early Modern West Africa
12.00João Carlos Nara Jr. (Rio de Janeiro):
African Diaspora in Guanabara Bay: Slave Paths,
Maritime Routes and Trade Streets in the
Rio de Janeiro of 18th Century
12.45J. Lorand Matory (Durham, NC): At the Crossroads:
Afro-Atlantic and Central European Ethics of
Chair: Adam Jasper (Basel)
13.30Lunch Break
15.00Martin Thiering (Berlin/Rome):
Implicit and Tacit Knowledge in Flavio Biondo's
Historiographical and Geographical
«Italia Illustrata»
15.45Antonieta Reis Leite (Coimbra): Paths, Spaces
and Temporalities in the Azores Islands
Settlement (Sixteen Century). Methods Towards a
New Landscape
16.30Nuno Grancho (Coimbra): Representation of Urban
Spaces and Temporalities in the Colonial City of Diu
Chair: Gerhard Wolf (Florence)
17.15Gerhard Wolf (Florence):
Concluding Remarks & Final Discussion

Concept: Stefan Neuner, Gerald Wildgruber, Adam Jasper Smith, Hannah Baader, Gerhard Wolf

Speakers: Stefan Neuner, Philip Ursprung, Gerald Wildgruber, Hannah Baader, Himanshu Burte, Gérard Chouin, Peter Christensen, Nuno Grancho, Fabian Horn, Adam Jasper, Antonieta Reis Leite, Maia Mania, J. Lorand Matory, Marco Musillo, Catalina Ospina, Francesco Pellizzi, Bas Princen, João Carlos Nara Jr., Lutz Robbers, Joseph Rykwert, Velizar Sadovski, Martin Thiering, Gerhard Wolf, John Xaviers

Downloads: Poster, Program