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Cleveland Institute of Art announces a call for participants in a national conference set for November 6, 7, and 8, 2014, with Shannon Jackson as keynote speaker and Jen Delos Reyes as special respondent.
What does it mean in contemporary art and design to be socially engaged? Are we talking about art that resists the conventional structures of the art world as a continuation of the critical interlocution of institutions; art that reimagines a new, unwieldy public sphere of social activism in the face of media spectacle and profit motives? Or can social practices in art reconcile aesthetic bearing and focus with external forces or agencies with regard for communities, perhaps affecting a timely catalyst for change? The recent spate of publications on what has been variously called community-based art, participatory art, collaborative art, relational art, social practice or socially engaged art, indicates that such questions have provoked a variety of studies that intellectually tackle what Shannon Jackson has noted as the "social turn."
The conference proposes to examine various approaches to social practices in both art and design in an effort to understand the concepts, terms, and varieties of engagement of the past two decades or so. Among our primary objectives is to facilitate public discourse on the feasibility of interventionist projects in art and design in urban environments, with special attention to “rust-belt” cities like Cleveland.
We invite presentations of conventional and unorthodox forms from artists, designers, and scholars on the topic. Prospective participants may submit proposals for short papers or examine specific works or activities that address the questions as noted. Suggested related themes may include but are not limited to:
Please submit PDF formatted abstracts of no more than 650 words, along with letter of interest and CV to: Gary Sampson and José Carlos Teixeira. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unruly Engagements is a key component of Community Works: Artist as Social Agent, CIA's yearlong commitment to exploring social agency and the visual arts.
The deadline for proposals is July 14, 2014.
Shannon Jackson is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in the Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. She is also the Director of the Arts Research Center. Professor Jackson was recently selected to receive a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for 2014/2015.
Her most recent book is Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011), and she is working on a book about The Builders Association. Her previous books are Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, and Hull-House Domesticity (2000) and Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004).
At the conclusion of Unruly Engagements, Jen Delos Reyes will serve as special respondent to the conference, offering an assessment with personal insights. Delos Reyes is an artist, author, and assistant professor at Portland State University who teaches socially engaged art and has participated in numerous conferences and symposia on the topic. She has conducted research on the history of socially engaged art, group work, band dynamics, folk music, and artists’ social roles. She has exhibited works across North America and Europe, and has contributed writing to several catalogues and institutional publications. She has received numerous grants and awards, including a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
A registration page will be posted shortly. Please check back in September.
George Gund Building
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland OH 44106
Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts (JMC)
11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OH 44106
The area hosts an array of lodging choices, ranging from large hotel chains near the airport and in downtown Cleveland to small inns and historic mansions closer to campus.
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