Opportunity: Open Call for Presentations at Agents in the Anthropocene Symposium

7th December 2016

The Master Education in Arts, Piet Zwart Institute is pleased to announce an open call for presentations for the two-day symposium Agents in the Anthropocene: Trans/disciplinary Practices in Art and Design Education Today.

The Anthropocene is both a widely acknowledged and fiercely debated term for a new geological era caused by humankind’s destructive influence on the planet. A growing number of exhibitions and publications are studying the intersection of the so-called Anthropocene with artistic and cultural practices. Often they advocate for modes of trans-disciplinary research that incorporate visual, cultural, artistic, technological, architectural, ecological and political categories. There seems to be an urge for a new kind of aesthetics for narrating the contemporary global reality—whether measured by a scientist or framed by an artist, or collaboratively developed by both of them. This collaborative narration transforms separate creative disciplines into a new multi-disciplinary field, whose future appearance remains speculative.

Is there an urge for ‘new mental equipment’ that will allow us to imagine the Human-Nature partnership differently? There is certainly growing engagement and activism among artists and designers—a motivation to work together as collectives within cooperative projects, laboratory research settings and the like. What can we learn from these new modes of operation and trans-disciplinary research?  How are artists and designers able to act? How do we educate them in the face of the ‘Anthropocene’? What repercussions might these kinds of discussions even have for secondary art education? Or, how do we imagine ourselves as environmental humanities?

In addition to keynote presentations and brainstorm sessions, we would like to open up the symposium to presentations of exemplary practices and research from students, tutors, artists, designers, scientists, collectives and et cetera. We gladly invite anyone interested in the topic of the symposium to participate and to submit a project or paper proposal before the 16th of December (this can be theoretical research, journalistic investigation, an artistic or design experiment, or an educational programme).

Main themes:
Trans-disciplinary research and co-operations
– Exemplary practices, forms of collaborations, vocabularies and mediums.
– Specialism in the context of trans-disciplinary knowledge (students as interdisciplinary colleagues or specialists? Exemplary practices of experimental pedagogies, curriculum building and interdisciplinary practices in secondary art education).

Trans-disciplinary activism
– Artistic or design contributions to activist practices and manifestations of addressing environmental problems also in relation to alternative structures of living, new commons, and locality in production and consumption.
– Media production, informational control (research into the circulation of media, information, and images that frame the visual culture of environmentalism and its related aesthetics).

The presentation of the selected projects will take place during the Open Call presentations and will be a maximum of 20 minutes long. The proposal should be written in English and should contain a maximum of 450 words, including: title and authors of the presentation; summary of aim and content; format of presentation; relation to the theme of the symposium; specifications or requirements. The proposal should be submitted online via email info@anthropoceneagents.nl (attachments up to 10MB). The submitted proposals will be reviewed and the selected applicants will be informed about the selection before the 24th of December, 2016. For further information please don’t hesitate to contact the organisers.


More information can be found on their website.

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