History of Art
Published: Oct 3, 2014 2:10:33 PM
Published: Sep 18, 2014 11:13:43 AM
Published: Jul 31, 2014 8:57:55 AM
Call for Papers
Curiosity 2.0: The Cabinet of Curiosities in Contemporary Art
16–17 January 2015
Since the 1990s there has been a more pronounced interest within contemporary art in exploring the Kunstkammer and the cabinet of curiosities as models; the lure of this theme continues unbroken among researchers, artists and curators. The interdisciplinary conference Curiosity 2.0 will seek an overview of current debates and of artistic and curatorial strategies. It is to be held in conjunction with the exhibition Mark Dion: The Academy of Things, which opens on 24 October 2014 and – marking the 250th anniversary of the Art Academy in Dresden – will stage the college’s collections as a contemporary cabinet of curiosities at the Octagon in the Lipsius Building. The show includes another two interventions: one in the permanent collection at the Albertinum and the other in the Green Vault, once the treasure chamber of the House of Wettin.
The term ‘cabinet of curiosities’ has become almost hackneyed in contemporary art criticism. This conference, therefore, will seek to delineate the concept more precisely and encourage some historical sensitivity. After all, not every idiosyncratic, chaotic or outlandish horde of objects is necessarily a cabinet of curiosities. But Curiosity 2.0 is not concerned with market-oriented self projections by the occasional contemporary collector hoping to acquire princely kudos with the aid of precious or obscene objects.
The aim, rather, is to explore links with things that accompany us in our everyday lives and to examine the interplay between our fascination with curiosities and the rise of the Internet. In this context, the Kunstkammer might be defined as a collective and deliberately amateur project, because in the digital era curiosity, inquiring minds and the thirst for knowledge cannot be tamed, amid the spawning of websites and the computerised collections of the cyberworld.
This contemporary version of the cabinet of curiosities is playful about things and the networks they form. It is a machine for alternative world views. A chamber of wonders allows us to put the primacy of rationality to one side and to focus on models of knowledge rooted in obsession or magic. Besides, the time has come for a critical examination of the Eurocentrism inherent in the field. What – in the light of postcolonial theories and a revision of the category ‘exotic’ – are the curiosities of the 21st century? Who are the freaks, what the monstrosities and where the mirabilia of the digital age? How do artists and curators attune historical vibrations to the present? How do things and materials relate to digital worlds? How does artistic research subvert the epistemologies of official order? What fuzzy fields emerge when these disciplines cross, and what are the politics, ideologies and dynamics of today’s Kunst- and Wunderkammer?
send a short abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline is the 15 October 2014
Marxism in Culture
This seminar series was conceived to provide a forum for
those committed to the continuing relevance of Marxism for cultural
analysis. Both "Marxism" and "culture" are conceived here in a broad
sense. We understand Marxism as an ongoing self-critical tradition,
and correspondingly the critique of Marxism's own history and premises
is part of the agenda. "Culture" is intended to comprehend not only
the traditional fine arts, but also aspects of popular culture such as
film, popular music, and fashion. From this perspective, conventional
distinctions between the avant-garde and the popular, the elite and the
mass, the critical and the commercial are very much open for scrutiny.
All historical inquiry is theoretically grounded, self-consciously or
not, and theoretical work in the Marxist tradition demands empirical
verification. We welcome contributions that are concerned primarily
with principles and methods as well as those that focus on the
interpretation of particular cultural practices, historical or
contemporary. As with all the best examples of Marxist work, we hope
to provide a forum for analysis that while it looks to the past is also
marked by an urgent sense of present realities.
Potential Contributors should contact: Larne Abse Gogarty