[artinfo] "Between the DISCURSIVE and the IMMERSIVE": a symposium at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen

Art&Education edu-news at mailer.e-flux.com
Fri Apr 3 20:28:17 CEST 2015

"Between the DISCURSIVE and the IMMERSIVE: a 
symposium on research in 21st-century art museums"

3-4 December 2015 

Organized by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 
Copenhagen; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and 
Aarhus University

Research occupies a greater and more autonomous 
role in the modern and contemporary art museum 
than ever. No longer restricted to supporting 
exhibitions and the collection, this type of 
knowledge production in the museum has become an 
independent, often interdisciplinary form of 
programming with its own curators and budget. In 
this regard, Paul O'Neill talks of a 
"curatorialization of education" and Miwon Kwon 
of a "discursive turn" in the museum sector. At 
the same time, a major part of the knowledge 
production in the 21st-century art museum results 
in the creation of spectacular exhibitions and 
collection displays, designed to offer audiences 
a unique and immersive experience. Whereas 
didactic exhibitions and the focus of collection 
preservation may have previously prevailed, 
museums are thus increasingly embracing a 
synaesthetic dispositif, an experiential model of 
curating, to engage their publics. 

Moreover, what to think of the growing 
participation of the public in the selection, 
presentation and interpretation of art in 
museums? And the increasing use of new media 
technologies such as online video, blogs, 
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share 
curatorial knowledge? In other words: knowledge 
production in museums of modern and contemporary 
art oscillates between the discursive and the 

In this landscape of changing paradigms of museum 
programming and institutional outlook, the 
alliances between museums and universities are 
solidified. In the past years, governmental 
policies are encouraging, if not demanding 
academia to get out of its ivory tower and 
"valorize" itself by collaborating with partners 
beyond the conventional outreach of the 

Thus, the modern and contemporary art museum has 
become an increasingly interesting partner for 
academic teaching and university research 
programs. This is in many ways a welcome and 
timely development; however, museums should 
consider that this does not merely lead to an 
"academic turn," in terms of measuring the 
research output of a museum solely on the number 
of peer-reviewed articles published by its staff. 
On the contrary: it should result in more 
knowledge about, and development of the specific 
potentialities of museums to produce knowledge at 
the intersection of academic discourse, artistic 
inquiry and artistic research, the display of 
objects, and the broad publics addressed by 
museums; the institutional specificities the 
modern and contemporary art museum. 

The conference 
The organizers of the conference aim to 
stimulate a critical debate on the potentialities 
of the art museum as a research-based 
institution-between the discursive and the 
immersive. The conference will focus on the 
significance of hybrid forms of research and 
curating in modern and contemporary art museums, 
dealing with questions such as: How can 
exhibitions function as mediums for research? How 
can artistic research contribute to art museums? 
What is the research value of (immersive) 
exhibitions? What is the role of the sensory 
experience in gathering and disseminating 
knowledge in the museum? What is the function and 
position of "public programs" as curatorial 
models for research and knowledge production? 
What does the public contribute to the museum's 
knowledge production?

The conference welcomes theoretically founded 
contributions as well as practice-based 
contributions that contribute with model cases or 
concrete experiments in the field.

A selection of the contributions to the 
conference will be shared in forthcoming issue of 
Stedelijk Studies, the new online peer-reviewed 
journal of the Stedelijk Museum.

Call for papers 
In addition to keynote lectures and panel 
discussions, the organization welcomes "Pecha 
Kucha-style" papers as contributions to this 
conference on the following topics: 
- Theoretical versus sensorial/experiential knowledge 
- Museum research and the "medium specificity" of the institution 
- Research-based exhibitions: models, topics, strategies, experiments 
- Innovative ways of integrating research and collection display 
- Knowledge production in the "user-generated age" 
- Discursive/educational turn and growing role of 
public/interpretation programs 
- The impact of new media on the development and 
communication of museum research 

These contributions should be eight minutes long 
and share an interesting topical case study or 
thought based on a maximum of 16 slides. 

The call for papers for this conference is open 
to both institutional and independent curators 
and researchers. For the "Pecha Kucha-style" 
papers, applicants are expected to submit 
abstracts of 300 words (plus short resume of 150 
words) as a word or PDF document.

Abstracts for the "Pecha Kucha-style" papers 
should be emailed before 15 May 
to <mailto:conference at louisiana.dk>conference at louisiana.dk. 

A committee comprised of representatives of the 
organizing institutions will assess the abstracts 
by the end of May and determine the final 

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Francesco Manacorda, Director, TATE Liverpool
Maria Finders, Creative Director and Cultural 
Advisory at Office for Metropolitan Architecture 
(OMA, Rotterdam)
Glenn Adamson, Artistic Director, MAD Museum of Art and Design, New York (USA)
Anselm Franke, Head of Visual Arts and Film, Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Chus Martínez, Head of the Institute, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel
Johanna Burton, Director and Curator of Education 
and Public Programme, New Museum, New York
Molly Nesbit, Professor of Art History, Vassar College

Questions about the conference can be addressed 
to Irene Campolmi 
at <mailto:ica at louisiana.dk>ica at louisiana.dk.

Registration will be possible through our website 
until November 25 2015. A limited number of 
travel bursaries will be available for people 
travelling from countries outside Europe. Please 
checked the website for updates and contact the 
organizers for more information.

Organizing Committee: 
Marie Laurberg, Curator at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Dr. Margriet Schavemaker, Head of Research at the Stedelijk Museum 
Irene Campolmi, PhD Fellow at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 
Hendrik Folkerts, Curator, dOCUMENTA 14
Jacob Wamberg, Professor in Art History, Aarhus University

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Gammel Strandvej 13
3050 Humlebæk 


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