Sophia Journal

Crossing Borders and Shifting Boundaries

Image, body and territory

Sophia¹ is a peer reviewed Journal published by scopio Editions², specifically designed to address theoretical work on Architecture, Art and Image. I am very pleased to introduce its 3rd  number from the series Crossing Borders, Shifting Boundaries, with the theme: Image, Body and Territory, being the Invited Editor for this number Iñaki Bergera.

This publication has three major peer-reviewed essays, where its authors challenge our understanding on issues related with the theme of this 3rd number. Introducing the notion of a vernacular of economic growth, Kallen McNamara borrows the eyes of Gavin Brown in order to uncover aspects of our daily urban environment that are culturally out of focus, but may be more expressive of our contemporary world than we might like to admit. Campbell Drake in turn shows how the project Spatial Tuning explores the potential of performance to open up unexpected encounters between landscapes and the public. In Disintegration culture, André Correia takes us in a photographic journey throughout the northern coast of Viana do Castelo, in a exercise of reconstruction of the history of the place through the critical observation of its marks and fragments. The visual metaphors brought by these authors explore the relations between the body and territory, showing the potential of image to unveil the reflexive culture of our times.

Conceived as a tetralogy, this first series of Sophia will be completed in the upcoming number that we are also pleased to announce, with the theme Crossing Borders, Shifting Boundaries: Visual Spaces of Change, which will be devoted to the ongoing research project Visual Spaces of Change (VSC): a trans-disciplinary and original research in Architecture, Art and Image, with a significant component of Contemporary Photography combined with complementary research in Information Technology and Space Syntax, investigating emerging dynamics of change in the Metropolitan Area of Porto (AMP).

In the upcoming 4rd number of Sophia, which is Crossing Borders, Shifting Boundaries: Visual Spaces of Change, we are especially interested in articles that investigate how contemporary photography can be used to produce visual synthesis of emerging dynamics of urban change. Within these themes, contemporary photography is explored as a meaningful instrument of research, in order to render visible aspects of urban change, as well as how architectures, places and spaces are used and lived, aspects which are difficult to perceive without the purposeful use of image and photography. This means, besides other things, to inquire and study the possibilities offered by photography for oscillating between reality, poetry and utopia, rendering visible innovative visions, and creatively introducing new links between realistic representations, fictional worlds and symbolic meanings, articulated in conceptual discourses that are communicated through the specific grammar and visual syntax of photographic image.

Our magazine is now accepting abstracts within these fundamental themes that may try to unveil how an image, a photograph or a series, critically and poetically build their own narratives and thoughts about different territories, and how they contribute to the understanding and appear engaged with contemporary dynamics of urban change.