[ARENA] Call for papers | Tickle Your Catastrophe!
Quarta-Feira, 15 de Outubro de 2008 - 17:08:24 WEST
(Apologies for cross-posting - please forward to anyone who might be
interested in submitting a proposal)
Call for papers |Conference 2009 | Tickle Your Catastrophe!
We cordially invite you to submit a proposal for the Tickle Your
Catastrophe! conference, which will take place from 6 to 7 March 2009
at the Vooruit Arts Centre, in Ghent, Belgium, during the arts
festival The Game is Up! How to Save the World in Ten Days (from 4 to
14 March 2009). This conference is a joint initiative of the NGE
(Dutch Aesthetics Society), Ghent University, KASK/Hogent (Academy
of Fine Arts, College University Ghent) and Vooruit.
Whereas the twentieth century was dominated by political extremism
and (coping with) trauma, it is the fear of the inevitable and
complete catastrophe that reigns at the beginning of a new century.
Although worst-case scenarios have always been part of our cultural
identity, the catastrophe has taken on a different form at the
beginning of a new millennium. The impending depletion of the world’s
oil resources and the implosion of the global economy, international
terrorism, the breakdown of the financial market, overpopulation,
unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, pollution, major
climate change, disastrous floods and new epidemics… Not only have we
become increasingly aware that the threat of a catastrophe is real
and inevitable, we also realize that we are not exactly innocent when
we consider the causes of these catastrophes, and therefore cannot
blame divine providence, fate or forces of nature. Yet we know that
we alone cannot change the world.
Tickle Your Catastophe! doesn’t want to wallow in doom and pessimism,
but wants to question our idea of a catastrophe and the role it plays
in philosophy, art and science today. As the original meaning of the
conference title suggest, we want to give this concept ‘a kick up the
bum’ in order to discover how the catastrophe was and is represented
in art and philosophy. What is its significance when we shed the
light of tomorrow on it, and when we compare it to the shadows of the
past? What is the point of these visions and what is their
disadvantage? Does this vision paralyse us with fear or can we see it
as a comforting release? Do we have a death wish or do we simply see
it as a great excuse to embrace hedonism in the here and now? Does it
offer us the illusion of a chosen downfall or does it force us to act
and take up responsibility, right before it is too late?
Starters: To face this many-headed monster, we start with the
introduction of two antagonistic images of our downfall. We use them
as a starting point, to stimulate our mind, as something to go on, or
never to return to.
1# The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
In 2007, on the Spitsbergen archipelago (Norway), the Svalbard Global
Seed Vault was opened, or rather, sealed off. In this underground
vault, deep in the arctic rocks, specimens of seeds of millions of
plants are preserved to assure the diversity of vegetation in case of
a global crisis. This futuristic-looking complex, which was built to
resist any possible catastrophe - from global warming to a nuclear
holocaust - functions as a sort of time machine. It should enable us
to turn back time and return to a past unaffected by the catastrophe.
The Seed Vault raises some important questions: can we imagine a
‘Noah’s Ark’ for philosophical ideas, scientific theories or works of
art? What is the value of a masterpiece or the Western canon in light
of a catastrophe? And what do we NOT want to save for the next
generation? What’s the difference between plants and weeds? Isn’t the
idea of a new beginning, a life after the future, nourished by our
lack of initiative and our inability to take action now, whether it
be on a political, environmental or economic level? Are we being held
hostage by traumas of the past, making it impossible for us to dream,
and instead only safeguarding what we might lose? Are the arts
condemned to a similar immobility, as they are locked behind the
doors of the market and the museum? Or is art where we’ll find a
seed, ready to grow and bring forth new life?
Keywords are (but are not limited to): art and commitment,
messianism, transhumanism, the environment, revolution; art as time
capsule; creativity and scientific survival strategies
2# Albert Speer’s ruin value
As the chief architect of the Third Reich, Albert Speer designed
Germania, the future capital of the new world. Speer tried to mirror
Hitler’s power in his architecture. Hitler wanted the ruins of his
empire - should it one day collapse – to rival those of the ancient
Greek and Roman empires, and remind future societies of its past
grandeur. To meet with these demands, Speer developed the theory of
the ruin value: by using the right materials and construction
methods, you can ensure that today’s grand buildings will become
tomorrow’s sublime ruins, after the downfall and decay.
The idea of the ruin value is a complex and dark, but also powerful
metaphor. If the seed vault raises questions about art, philosophy,
and science as strategies to survive the inevitable catastrophe, then
Speer’s ruin value celebrates the aesthetics of destruction, where
beauty, knowledge, and culture can ultimately be found in decay. It
conveys a dark vitalism: it is a perverse antidote for the catharsis
of forgetting and our mortality, a Pandora’s box. The vision of the
ruins of the apocalyptic landscape after the catastrophe paves the
way for an ode to decay, for a rebellious aesthetic of the downfall,
a therapeutic revolt by mutilation, an orgy of destruction.
Keywords are (but are not limited to): the aesthetics of destruction,
the destruction of aesthetics, cyberpunk, dystopia and utopia,
cultural pessimism, trauma.
Call: The conference committee welcomes proposals for papers,
presentations, roundtable debates and sessions exploring these themes
or any other topic relevant to the theme of the conference.
Contributions from a variety of disciplines are welcome: fine art;
media art; philosophy (of art); performance art and theatre; film
studies; art history; cultural studies; science factions,...
Interdisciplinary papers are especially welcome.
Papers or presentations can be in English or Dutch, but sessions will
be monolingual. A detailed programme and a list of invited speakers
will be announced in January 2009.
A selection of participants will be invited to submit an essay,
either for the online review Esthetica. Tijdschrift voor Kunst en
Filosofie, or for a book that will be published at the occasion of
Please send a summary of your project (400-word limit) and a short
biography to catastrophe ugent.be.
Deadline: 1 December 2008. You will be notified of the acceptance of
your proposal before the end of 2008.
Conference Committee: Dominiek Hoens (Jan van Eyck academie, KASK),
Frederik Le Roy (Ghent University), Mia Vaerman (NGE), Robrecht
Vanderbeeken (KASK, Ghent University), Nele Wynants (University of
Antwerp), Tom Bonte and Eva De Groote (Vooruit).
-------------- próxima parte ----------
Um anexo em HTML foi limpo...
Mais informações acerca da lista ARENA