Image Science

Year: 2020
Image Science
Class of the Arts

Steering Committee of the Thinkers Programme Image Science

Barbara Baert
Tom De Mette
Inez Dua
Freddy Dumortier
Willem Elias
Frank Merkx
Tom Mitchell
Elisabeth Monard
Peter Swinnen
Hilde Van Gelder
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Géry van Outryve d'Ydewalle
Bart Verschaffel
Johan Wagemans
Nele Wynants



This programme was initiated by Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven) and Bart Verschaffel (Ghent University), members of the Class of the Arts. The aim was a discursive project, reflecting on the exhibition ‘Metapictures’ (Beijing 2018) curated by Thinker-in-residence W.J.T. Mitchell, followed by discussions and events on the topic of ‘Image Science’ (publication by Mitchell). 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 all activities were cancelled. An alternative programme was set up and consisted of two digital lectures of Thinker W.J.T. Mitchell, both reflecting on a highly relevant theme followed by a debate with a broad audience.    




Mental Traveler: W.J.T. Mitchell speaks to Omar Kholeif about Madness, Cinema and the Panopticon
February 17th 2021, digital lecture with W.J.T. Mitchell and Omar Kholeif followed by debate. Watch now

Present Tense 2020: An Iconology of Time
October 21st 2020, digital lecture with W.J.T. Mitchell followed by debate. Watch now


This programme would have initially taken place March-May 2020. Due to the international COVID-19 crisis, the meetings and activities were cancelled.

CANCELLED: Metapictures, Vandenhove, Gent

  • Installation of the ‘Metapictures’ exhibition
  • March 26th: inaugural lecture by W.J.T. Mitchell and public event with Anthony Gormley

CANCELLED: Palace of the Academies, Brussels

  • Exhibition ‘Metapictures’
  • May 12: workshop with Norman McLeod
  • May 18: public debate with W.J.T. Mitchell and Jacques Rancière at BOZAR
  • May 19: finaly symposium at the Academy Palace with W.J.T. Mitchell (Thinker-in-Residence), Horst Bredekamp (HU, Berlin), Xavier Wrona (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne), Mieke Bal (Amsterdam), Marie-José Mondzain (Paris). Performance by Janice Misurell-Mitchell.
W.J.T. Mitchell

W. J. T. Mitchell is Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of art, literature, and cinema at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as a founder of the field called “visual culture and iconology”, the study of images across the media. His many books include Picture Theory, Image Science, What Do Pictures Want? Seeing through Race, Iconology, and Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to the Present. His memoir of his son’s twenty year artistic struggle with schizophrenia, Mental Traveler, will appear in the spring of 2020, to be followed by Seeing through Madness: Insanity, Media, and Visual Culture in 2021. He is currently working on a new book entitled Present Tense: An Iconology of Times. Professor Mitchell has also edited numerous books, including The Politics of Interpretation, On Narrative, The Language of Images, and Landscape and Power. He has served as editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal, Critical Inquiry, since 1978. Personal Home Page

Photos on this page: Courtesy of OCAT Institute