IMAGES: SIGNS AND PHENOMENA OF TIME

A trans- and interdisciplinary conference at the University of Hamburg

12—14 November 2015

Nodes in the timeline. On the temporal structure of image formation


Images, in the sense of artefacts, emerge from processes that are both formative and educative in as much as the creator and his work depend on each other. A creating subject (e.g. a painter) experiences the specific mediality of a concrete development of an image (e.g. a painting). These experiences are based on the intertwined momentums of acting and perceiving. Their permanent repetition gradually establishes a creative practice and therefore new individual horizons. If we consider the formation of the image and that of the creator to impel each other, it seems natural that both reciprocally trace that mutual impact.
The inner traces left in an individual through a formative process are surely difficult to display, whereas an image can be understood as a repository of such traces. However, for two basic reasons, images cannot chart a chronological sequence of events that constitute their creation. Firstly, the potential effects of those events do not comply with a sequential temporal logic. Secondly, representations of such events are highly indirect, they are obviously rather visual than verbal and can, at the most, be reconstructed by their visual traces.
Along some examples of painters and paintings I want to show that the creation (Bildung) of an image (Bild) and the formation or education of a subject (Bildung) are structurally just as close to one another as the German language suggests. Analogously to the temporal structure of Bildung, images may be seen as visual fixations of “achronical“ cause-effect relationships.


Ole Wollberg (*1988) is a doctoral scholar at the faculty of Educational Science at the University of Hamburg. He researches and teaches in the domains of arts education, visual education, performativity, tacit knowing. In his thesis he examines representations of tacit knowledge in painting. He studied French, fine arts and educational science and teaches arts classes at high school.

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