Texture as an interdisciplinary concept in arts

September 28.29-2017

Initiator: Amit Gur

The interest in ‘texture’ in various artistic fields has intensified considerably in recent times and references to texture in various art forms, similar in their nature, appear frequently in the discourse on fine arts and music. It is also apparent that the various manifestations of texture share a similar essence: it is a perceptual phenomenon in which multiple elements are perceived as one entity, characterised by a sense of unity. Unlike a shape which is defined by boundaries, texture exists between boundaries – but is not defined by them. This ‘boundless’ nature of texture contributes to its unique aesthetic quality; it diffuses and surrounds us by a sense of ‘sameness’, and gives an experience of a surface in which boundaries of time and space are obsolete.

This seminar will be dedicated to the exploration of textures in various arts. We will begin by defining texture and discussing the conditions necessary for this perceptual phenomenon to occur. Following this, we will learn about a theoretical framework for analysing diverse textures, and explore textural structures in visual and auditory mediums.

The seminar is an inspiring and eye-opening experience for artists from any field, and for filmmakers, visual artists and musicians in particular. Since it provides a new and original approach to understanding art, it has great relevance for artistic researchers as well.

Contributions by:

  • Elad Keidan
  • Prof. Reuven Tsur (via Skype)
  • Amit Gur

 Venue: ARIA, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp



  • 10:00 - 11:15 Texture, a perceptual phenomenon (Amit Gur)
    • Introduction to the seminar.
    • Defining the term texture and laying foundation for a theoretical framework on texture.
    • Exploring ‘texture’ as an interdisciplinary concept in art
  • 11:15 - 11:45 Break: coffee and pastry
  • 11:45 - 12:45 Musical Texture (Amit Gur)
    • The manifestation of texture in music: texture on the medium of time; how do composers create textural structures with sounds; examples and analysis.
  • 12:45 - 14:00 Lunch break
  • 14:00 - 15:15 Is texture possible in poetry (Prof. Reuven Tsur via Skype)
    • How do poets create textural structures in poetry; exploring the prosodic methods poets use to create textural forms.
  • 15:15 - 16:00 Final discussion of the day, presentation of the second day activities.


  • 10:00 - 11:30 Texture and the nature of cinema
    • The fundamental ‘paradox of control’ in cinema: a medium that requires constant limiting and suppression of the background elements, as well as a feeling of movement and development.
    • Cinematic texture - how it is created and for which aims. The character and backdrop as figure-ground relationship.
    • Notable filmmakers that implemented textural structures in their films.
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Break: coffee and pastry
  • 12:00 - 13:30 The cinematic treatment of social texture
    • Screening: Anthem / Elad Keidan (short film - 36 min’)
    • Discussing the different ways by which cinema has dealt with the fabric of society, sometimes encouraging a textural comprehension of it, sometimes breaking it down into sub-textures.
    • Final discussion, open questions.