[artinfo] Media Art Conference: ANNOUNCEMENT & CALL FOR PAPERS

medienkunst-datenbank.de info at medienkunst-datenbank.de
Tue Aug 16 15:14:17 CEST 2005

Call for Papers

Do we have an Image Problem?
Performance and Media Art caught between Art History and Visual Culture 

The first Media Art Conference in Osnabrück will take place from the 15th 
to the 17th of May 2006 as a three-day specialist symposium at the 
University of Osnabrück and is sponsored by Department of  Kultur- und 
Geowissenschaften. It will be held immediately following the 19th European 
Media Art Festival (EMAF, 10th to 14th May 2006), one of the largest media 
art events in Europe.

The conference will focus on the growing affinity between art forms 
produced, experienced and distributed by the media on the one hand and the 
highly debated iconic or pictorial turn on the other. One of the central 
issues will be to question whether the recently developed aesthetic 
terminology can sufficiently deal with the time- and action-oriented art 
forms of performance and media art.

In addition to a number of distinguished experts invited to present papers, 
the speakers will include young scholars as well as contributors selected 
on the basis of the abstracts they submitted to this call for papers.

Enclosed you will find further information concerning the background and 
objectives of the conference. Please do not hesitate to ask us questions at 
any time.

We would be very pleased to include you among the speakers or authors for 
our planned publication.

Topics for Talks and Articles

1.	Performance and media art in the context of the contemporary debate 
between art history and Visual Culture Studies and where art history is 
positioning itself in relation to Visual Culture Studies, Media Studies and 
Cultural History.
2.	Media art, art history’s cultural orientation and the scientific modus 
operandi given the wide range of methodologies and the overlap of genres.
3.	Examples of art historical and media studies descriptions and analysis 
of performance and media art.

In addition to a description of content, the abstracts for papers (c. 400 
words) should clearly demonstrate both their relevance to the theme of the 
conference and their originality.

A publication of the conference findings is planned. All contributions will 
be considered.

Please submit your abstracts by 30 October 2005 to the EMAC office:

Media Art Conference Osnabrück


Universität Osnabrück
Fachbereich Kultur- und Geowissenschaften
Katharinenstraße 5
49069 Osnabrück

Juniorprofessor Dr. Slavko Kacunko (Organisation)
skacunko at uni-osnabrueck.de

Priv. Doz. Dr. Habil. Dawn Leach (Organisation)
dr.leach at kunstakademie-duesseldorf.de

Björn Brüggemann (Büro)
bjbruegg at uni-osnabrueck.de

Phone: +49 (0)541 969-6041
Fax: +49 (0)541 969-4103


The first Media Art Conference in Osnabrück will direct attention to timely 
questions confronting art history, in particular the multimedia aspects 
concerning the production, critical appraisal and dissemination of 
performance and media art. Thus the following aspects will be addressed:

·	art history’s repositioning itself in relation to Visual Culture Studies, 
Media Studies and Cultural history

·	the development of a modus operandi which takes into consideration a wide 
range of methodologies and the interpenetration of different genres

·	the description and analysis of media art in the face of the instable 
status of the work concept in Media Art, and art in general

The key issues to be addressed by the first Media Art Conference in 
Osnabrück can be summarised by the following question:
Given the increasingly complex demands which the wide range of visual, 
media, critical, performance, cultural and gender studies exert on the 
teaching and research environment, how can the history of art maintain its 
ability to deal aptly with representations, new media and art and 
simultaneously incorporate interdisciplinary strategies?

By focussing on time- and action-oriented art forms, the traditional 
discourse will be broadened to include the following questions: Can an 
(inter)active beholder play an integral role in the making of a work of art 
without jeopardising its intrinsic artistic value or reducing the “autonomy 
of the work of art” to a mere attribute? Where exactly do performance and 
media art fit into the already inflated body of terminology for denoting 

A glance at the large number of university graduates dealing with art and 
visual culture (Berlin, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Basel) documents the current 
popularity of the image-discourse. Similarly, the flood of specialist 
literature in recent years as well as related conferences (e.g. Art 
Historians Day, Bonn 2005) confirm this trend.

If we take a look at the origins of performance and media art in the 1960s 
and 1970s and the subsequent development of the iconic/pictorial turns, the 
suspicion arises that recent efforts to expand the boundaries of art 
history to absorb current visual culture occurred in part to circumvent the 
challenges posed by these new art forms.

By investigating art forms which defy traditional definition while 
exploring the definitions themselves, this conference will attempt to graft 
these two ambivalent discourses. At the same time it will lay the 
foundations for a reinterpretation of the relevant academic fields. An 
impressive series of arguments presented by artists, art historians and 
experts in media studies address the need to conjoin these conflicting 
fields of study.

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