CfP: Placing Experiment: Losing Gaining and Shifting Ground Bangor University 3 December 2022

Saturday 3rd December 2022

Bangor University

Placing Experiment: Losing, Gaining and Shifting Ground


Prof Zoë Skoulding and Dr Sarah Pogoda

This one-day interdisciplinary colloquium will explore ways in which experimental process and procedure in art, music, performance and writing, influenced by avant-garde legacies of the twentieth century, may be newly imagined in a local and global context. Artistic avant-gardes are defined by contested conventions, by looking both to the past and and future, and their relation to political activism is rarely straightforward. Their methods and strategies are no longer bound to specific groupings, but they offer a means of exploring potential in language and materials, and relationships with the environment and place. Techniques based on chance or algorithms may be appreciated anew as a means of critiquing and understanding the limitations and potential of human autonomy, including the large-scale effects of humans on the environment. Avant-garde practices have challenged the separation between art and life, or art and politics, as they contest boundaries, yet they have often been seen within a predominantly European frame. How might they be understood within a more global perspective? What do we gain from adopting avant-garde perspectives and from stepping beyond conventions, including disciplinary boundaries?

We invite informal, exploratory presentations of 20-25 minutes related to a range of disciplinary practices. Questions to be explored might include, but are not limited to the following:

  • What specific places and/or constellations have been conducive to the emergence of avant-garde practice, and why?
  • How can artistic critique of subjectivity help to inform intellectual, scholarly, scientific processes?
  • What role do experimental artistic practices play in contesting ideas of place?
  • How do forms of knowledge that are embedded in practice, such as writing and performing, suggest ways of understanding relationships between humans and the nonhuman world?
  • What forms of interdisciplinarity does avant-garde practice draw on, or enable?
  • What forms of creative translation might enable artistic and scientific knowledge to inform each other? What forms of transgression are involved in this encounter?
  • How does the re-use and re-appropriation of texts and materials suggest new forms of place and placing?
  • How can dialogues be developed between non-Western epistemologies and the ways in which Western writing and art practices question human subjectivity?
  • How can artistic practices help us to understand the wider distribution of agency and meaning beyond the human? Could this lead to better ecological understanding?

Please email a 250 word proposal to the organisers by October 31st, with a short biographical note, indicating whether you would prefer to present in person or online.

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