Stone Summer Theory Institute at SAIC - What Is an Image?

Stone Summer Theory Institute at SAIC: What Is an Image?

From July 13-19, the second annual Stone Summer Theory Institute at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will present a forum for some of the world's foremost art theoreticians to address unsolved issues in the field. This year's Institute is focused on three fundamental questions: What is the nature of the visual? What are images? What are pictures? A combination of public events and private discussions, the Summer Theory Institute invites fifteen young scholars to explore issues in art conceptualization with renowned international scholars, artists, and authors, this year including Gottfried Boehm, W.J.T. Mitchell, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, and Marie-Jose Mondzain. The week's events will result in the second of an ongoing series of books.

Jim Elkins, professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at SAIC and noted author (Visual Studies, 2003; Is Art History Global? , 2006), serves as organizer of the Stone Summer Theory Institute, and will deliver the introductory lecture, "Who Needs Words?" at 1pm on July 13 in the Art Institute of Chicago's Morton Auditorium.

The Stone Summer Theory Institute is supported by a generous grant from Howard and Donna Stone, longtime friends of SAIC. With the help of the Stones, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago intends to further the quality of art theory and criticism with a series of seven books engaging over 250 art scholars worldwide.

Open Events
Jim Elkins's introductory lecture "Who Needs Words?" on July 13 in the Art Institute's Morton Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, 1pm.

The opening roundtable discussion, Monday, July 14, in the SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Avenue, 9am-12pm.

An evening lecture, "What Does Seeing an Image Mean?" by Marie-Jose Mondzain (L'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences socials, Paris). Monday, July 14, 7:30pm, in the SAIC Ballroom. The lecture will be proceeded by a rare screening of Willy Zielke's 1935 documentary Das Stahltier (The Steel Beast).

An evening lecture, "Up Close and from Afar: Image and Painting" by Jacqueline Lichtenstein (Universite de Paris IV Sorbonne). Wednesday, July 16, 7:30pm, in the SAIC Ballroom.

An evening lecture, "Sounding the Idols of the Present: Terrorism and Cloning" by W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago). Thursday, July 17, 7:30pm, in the SAIC Ballroom. The lecture will be proceeded by a screening of Errol Morris's 2008 documentary Standard Operating Procedure.

The closing roundtable discussion, in which the faculty will discuss the results of the week of seminars. Saturday, July 19, Price Auditorium, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, 9am-3pm.

Tickets range from $10 to $25 and can be bought online or at the door. To buy online, visit

Art Institute of Chicago

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