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Contemporary Uses of Images in Bali, Indonesia

Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Part of the Ronald and Janette Gatty Lecture Series

Urmila Mohan, Adjunct Faculty, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University

In this talk, I rely on archival research and fieldwork in Bali, Indonesia (2016-18) to apply an anthropological and historical lens to the uses of images by some Balinese. As the historian Adrian Vickers once described it, the study of Bali is a process of unpacking images long created and mediated by various agents. While keeping this in mind, what are some different uses of “images”, such as printed photos and digital media, and how does their usage reflect what one might consider “Balinese” values and concerns? How might the aesthetic and affective value of such images be related to the ways they are created and perceived by Balinese within existing normative and expressive frames such as consumption and identity? What kind of relationality is manifested through the affordances of media, techniques and technologies? In what ways do images in contemporary Bali relate to the anchoring of power (spiritual and otherwise) in actual people, places, materials and actions? While raising these questions, this talk will draw upon examples from a wide range of contexts ranging from pre-wedding photography to the use of “selfies” on social media.

Co-sponsored by the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies.

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History of Art and Visual Studies, Southeast Asia Program

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Urmila Mohan

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