Call for Papers: The Meteorological Impulse in Art…

Deadline: August 30th**

CFP: The Meteorological Impulse in Art: Modernity, Postmodernity, and the Atmospheric Turn

Chairs: John A. Tyson and Ellen Tani

Call for Papers for Session at College Art Association (CAA) 105th Annual Conference (New York, NY, February 15–18, 2017)

Deadline for abstracts: August 30, 2016

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Session Abstract

Meteorology, the science of atmospheric conditions and phenomena—especially related to weather—emerged as an area of study in the seventeenth century. Weather reports have regularly appeared in newspapers since the late 1800s. With the rise of the ecology movement in the 1960s, weather’s intersections with other systems became an ever more urgent issue; calls to recognize our embeddedness in the atmosphere came soon after space travel enabled its first images to circulate. This panel will analyze artistic corollaries to meteorology, a field with a history deeply intertwined with modernity’s.

Weather is metaphorically rich. In many romance languages the word refers to time and climate conditions. From trade winds and Schumpeter’s Gale, to political storms and racial climates, meteorological invocations occur in conjunction with systematic shifts in economics and politics. Artists have depicted weather for numerous reasons: Frederic Church imagined patriotic cloud formations in Our Banner in the Sky (1861); Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings reflected society’s fascination with meteorology. From the 60s onward, artists transitioned from representing weather to drawing on its processes. Works with a meteorological impulse, such as Carolee Schneemann’s Viet Flakes (1965) or Robert Barry’s gas releases (1969), radically acknowledged flux and subverted the certainty of vision. New understandings of environments, works with a “systems esthetic” (Jack Burnham), or “dematerialized” art (Lucy Lippard) emerge when considered in light of an atmospheric turn. We welcome papers that plot art’s meteorological impulses, expand notions of art as atmosphere, or examine the role of weather in art from c.1850 until today.

Please send 250-word abstract and other items detailed below to Ellen Tani (Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and John A. Tyson (National Gallery of Art, 

Session Specializations:
Art History-Contemporary Art
Art History-Critical Theory/Gender Studies/Visual Studies
Art History-General Art History


  1. You must be current CAA members through February 18, 2017, and must register for the conference. Conference registration opens in mid-September.
  2. You may not participate in more than one session as a “speaker,” but you may give a paper in one session and serve as a chair, moderator, or discussant in another session. Exception: An individual who participates in a Professional Development Workshop as a speaker may present a paper in a general session.
  3. A paper that has been published previously or presented at another scholarly conference may not be delivered at the CAA Annual Conference.
  4. You must inform session chair(s) if you are submitting one or more proposals to other sessions in the 2017 Call for Participation.
  5. If your individual paper proposal was accepted to an open/un-chaired paper session in June, but you would prefer to participate in one of the chaired sessions listed in the

2017 Call for Participation, you must: (a) inform the chair(s) of this previous acceptance in your application form, and (b) inform CAA of this intention by August 30, 2016, via email to Katie Apsey, CAA manager of programs ( You will not be removed from the open/un-chaired session unless your paper is accepted by the chair(s) of the chaired session. Please note: Previous acceptance to an open/un-chaired paper session does not guarantee acceptance to a chaired session. You may only give a paper in one session.

  1. Acceptance in a session implies a commitment to follow the deadlines outlined in this document, register for the Annual Conference (single-session registration is required; full conference registration is encouraged), attend that session, and participate fully in person.



Due August 30, 2016

Proposals for participation in sessions should be sent directly to the appropriate session chair(s). If a session is co-chaired, a copy of the full application packet should be emailed to each chair (,

Every proposal should include the following five items:

  1. Completed session participation proposal form, located at the end of this brochure. Make sure your name appears EXACTLY as you would like it listed in the conference program and conference website. Make sure your affiliation appears as the official, recognized name of your institution and do not list multiple affiliations. No changes will be accepted after September 15, 2016.
  2. Paper abstract (strict 250 word maximum) in the form of one double-spaced, typed page with final title for paper at top of page. Make sure your paper title and abstract appear EXACTLY as you would like them published in the conference program and Abstracts 2017; no changes will be accepted from you or your session chairs after September 15, 2016.
  3. Letter explaining your interest, expertise in the topic, and CAA membership status (all participants must be current members through February 18, 2017; inactive or lapsed members will be pulled from participation by December).
  4. Shortened CV with home and office mailing addresses, email address, and phone and fax numbers. Include summer address and telephone number, if applicable.
  5. Documentation of work when appropriate, especially for sessions in which artists might discuss their own work.


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