TWG 2: Visual Communication and Culture

About the division

The notion of visual truth is arguably an especially urgent topic today, given emerging technological possibilities to create, play with, alter, manipulate and circulate visualizations, some grounded in and representing real events while others created digitally, such as AI imagery. At the same time, visuals are instruments of truth claims and may contribute to raising public awareness, such as in the media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, where they present media organizations with opportunities as well as challenges: to show, verify and fact check visuals, emanating from old and new sources—including tik tok videos, drone and satellite imagery. The temporary working group Visual Communication and Culture interprets the conference theme– Technological Takeover? Social and Cultural Implications—promises and pitfalls—as an opportunity to address and problematize technology within the visual field. The visual, especially mediated visualizations, is in fact intrinsincally connected with and dependent on technology, a circumstance reflected in visual scholarship and practices. Thus, the TWG welcomes submissions that address the conference theme focusing on the visual as it intersects with technology. The politics of visual communication, and the visual in mediated and cultural processes, may be particularly poignant at this historical moment of multiple global crises, including conflict, forced migration, climate change, and the economic, political and social effects of these (e.g. a seeming return to the national). Technology may be addressed for example in connection with visual ethics, truth and lies, and credibility in visual communication processes and practices. The group welcomes empirical research and critical engagement with visual storytelling, innovative creative practices, and also encourages contributions considering how visual communication processes may address and engage the imagination and visual agency. Furthermore, given its aim to contribute to the development of theory and method, the group invites theoretical papers and contributions engaging with and developing methods for visual analyses, including workshops and panels.
While papers, abstracts, panel and workshop proposals addressing the conference theme are encouraged, other proposals are welcome as long as an investigation of—or through—the visual is the primary focus.

A broad spectrum of theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to the visual, are possible and encouraged, within the broad umbrella of Visual Communication and Culture, in areas including, but not limited to, multimedia, photojournalism and documentary storytelling, television, social media, advertising, visual design, data visualizations, visual literacy and education, and visual aspects of political communication. With its interdisciplinary approach, the working group brings together expertise on visual communication that, through exchange and discussion of research, may inform future scholarship in various disciplines by foregrounding visual communication processes and practices. This working group accepts full papers, long abstracts, panel presentations and workshops

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