Contemporary Artists

beyond earth art: contemporary artists and the environment

This post comes to you from Cultura21

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Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University – January 25–June 8, 2014

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University presents beyond earth art: contemporary artists and the environment, on view now through June 8, comprising separate installations and exhibitions throughout the museum. The project was curated by Andrea Inselmann, curator of modern and contemporary art & photography at the Johnson Museum.

Artist talks and symposium: April 10–11

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Hours: Tuesdays–Sundays 10am–5pm

On Thursday, April 10 at 5:15pm in Milstein Hall Auditorium, Maya Lin will discuss her work, including her recent sculptures and the installation Empty Room, on view in beyond earth artLucy Orta will give a gallery talk during the subsequentreception at the Johnson, from 6:30 to 7:30pm.

On Friday, April 11, the Johnson will host a daylong beyond earth art symposium funded by Cornell’s Atkinson Forum in American Studies Program, with presentations by Suzaan Boettger, art historian/critic; William L. Fox, director of the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art; Amy Lipton, co-director of ecoartspace; and artists Christian Houge and Lucy Orta. Registration is free but seating is limited; email (eas8 [at] cornell [dot] edu) or call +1 607 254 4642 to reserve a space by April 4.

In 1969 the legendary Earth Art exhibition took place at Cornell. Curated by Willoughby Sharp (1936–2008), site-specific installations by a number of international artists were scattered around campus and the surrounding Ithaca area. The commissioned pieces sought to eschew the commodity status of the art object and to question the role of institutions. The dissolution of boundaries in art—between object and context, different mediums, and the work of art and its documentation—was a hallmark of the time, reflecting 1960s counterculture more broadly. It is at this intersection—where art meets life and art becomes activism—that the influence of the 1960s earth artists has had the most significant impact on a current generation of artists working on issues related to ecology.

“The installations and exhibitions included in beyond earth art operate in the gap between the objectivity of scientific data and the subjectivity of creative expression, signaling the interconnectedness of themes that address issues related to the representation of landscape, water supply, food justice, recycling, fair distribution of natural resources, and the nature/culture divide,” said curator Andrea Inselmann.

The exhibition Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta, curated by c2 | curatorsquared and organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, is on view as part of the beyond earth art project. The first comprehensive exhibition of work by Lucy + Jorge Orta in the United States, their sculptures, drawings, installations, and video explore major concerns that define this century—biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change, and exchange among peoples.

Materials related to the 1969 Earth Art exhibition are on view alongside works from the Johnson’s collection by some of the Earth Art artists and others working in a similar mode in the 1970s and ’80s. The Johnson has made the complete 1969 exhibition catalogue, long out of print, available online at museum.cornell.edu/earth-art-1969.

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

The Johnson Museum has a permanent collection of more than 35,000 works of art from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The museum building was designed by I. M. Pei and opened in 1973, funded by Cornell alumnus Herbert F. Johnson, late president and chairman of S C Johnson.

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Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Exposure UNESCO-COAL Adapting to the Anthropocene

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EXHIBITION ORGANIZED BY UNESCO, THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION COAL, COALITION FOR ART AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Monday, November 25 to Friday, November 30 from 10am to 17:30 ●

Opening Tuesday, November 26, at 18h, in continuation of the roundtable  Thinking Anthropocene from 4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room II

On the occasion of the World Day of Philosophy in 2013.

Fourteen projects by contemporary artists involved in environmental issues named in the various editions of the Prix COAL Art & Environment: Ackroyd & Harvey – Thierry Boutonnier and Ralph Mahfoud – Damien Chivialle – Olivier Darné – Nicolas Floc’h – Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean, Nabil Ahmed, Benedetta Panisson, Rosa Barba, Christopher Draeger & Heidrun Holzfeind Marian Tubbs and Drew Denny – Ivana Adaime Makac – Matthew Moore – Liliana Motta – Lucy + Jorge Orta – Zhao Renhui – Anna Katharina Scheidegger – Laurent Tixador – The Migrant Ecologies Project .

Entitled  Adapting to the Anthropocene , this exhibition presented art projects nominated in the various editions of the Prix COAL Art & Environment, which all have in common understanding of the major environmental issues, societal and contemporary, participating in the emergence a new culture of nature and ecology. Each year, through the COAL Art & Environment Award, the association recognizes a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. The winner is named among the ten selected by a jury of personalities from the world of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development artists, through an international call for projects.

The furnishing of this prize has now become a truly international event that attracts many renowned artists and pioneers in the art of ecology. Each year, the Coal Price Art and Environment is a theme of honor. The 2013 edition on the theme Adaptation received nearly three hundred entries from over 50 countries.

Established in 2010 by the COAL association, COAL Art and Environment Prize of EUR 10 000, is placed under the patronage of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Ecology, Sustainable Development and the Energy, and the National Center for Visual Arts. It also receives support from private partners.

For UNESCO, this exhibition provided an exceptional opportunity to promote to the public the ethical principles and responsibilities for climate change adaptation that the Organization seeks to encourage each day through its activities, and in particular through the activities developed by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).

These principles and responsibilities that call for humanity to ensure the sustainability of the environment, encourage people to consider biodiversity and ecosystem integrity as the foundation of life on earth.

Beyond the analytical contributions of the social sciences that may help change human behavior, there is no doubt, for UNESCO, that art can not only be suitable emotional way  to foster new attitudes towards nature and the environment, but it can also be their reflection. This is indeed provided by the example of the  COAL association, founded in France in 2008 by professionals of contemporary art, sustainable development and research to foster the emergence of a culture of ecology.

Video credit: The glacier study group, 2013. Institute of critical zoologists

Via Exposure UNESCO-COAL Adapting to the Anthropocene: COAL.

Walking as Art

This post comes to you from Cultura21

walking-and-mappingMarch 2013, Walking and Mapping, Artists as cartographers, by Karen O’Rourke

Contemporary artists beginning with Guy Debord and Richard Long have returned again and again to the walking motif. Debord and his friends tracked the urban flows of Paris; Long trampled a path in the grass and snapped a picture of the result (A Line Made by Walking). Mapping is a way for us to locate ourselves in the world physically, culturally, or psychologically; Debord produced maps like collages that traced the “psychogeography” of Paris.

Today, the convergence of global networks, online databases, and new tools for location-based mapping coincides with a resurgence of interest in walking as an art form. In Walking and Mapping, Karen O’Rourke explores a series of walking/mapping projects by contemporary artists. Some chart “emotional GPS”; some use GPS for creating “datascapes” while others use their legs to do “speculative mapping.”

O’Rourke shows in this book, the link between all these projects and how they form a new entity and a new dynamic. Karen O’Rourke lives in Paris, she is a multimedia and communications artist whose work has been exhibited in Europe, the United States, and South America.

To read more about : http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/walking-and-mapping

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Exhibition: Trouble the Water

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Nathalie-Meibach-_-ShesComingOnStrong-400x416Legion Arts, 1103 Third Street SE Cedar Rapids, IA (USA), May 3 – June 16 2013

Legion Arts presents an exhibit in which a dozen contemporary artists from around the world explore issues related to water: droughts and floods, climate events and climate change, as well as the economics, distribution, uses and scarcity of this incomparable commodity. Trouble the Water is curated by Diane Barber, Houston, Texas.

Featured artists include Janet Biggs (New York), Erika Blumenfeld (Qatar), Maarten Demmink (Netherlands), Chris Turner with Helen Friel & Jess Deacon (UK), Sant Khalsa (California), Mark Klett (Arizona) & Byron Wolfe (California), Nathalie Miebach (Massachusetts), Carlos Montani (Argentina), Yuka Nakajima (Japan), Lori Nix (New York), Susannah Sayler & Edward Morris (New York), Dustin Yager (Minnesota).

Public reception from 5 to 7 pm on Friday May 3. Read more here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Powered by WPeMatico

Synth-ethic vs Vandana Shiva

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Synth-ethic: Art and Synthetic Biology Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria.

Synthetic biology is at the scientific cutting edge, but also on the ethical edge.  The works in this exhibition explore that edge.  The curatorial essay starts with the principle that synthesis is one of the fundamental practices within art.  As the exhibition title suggests, when moving from mimesis to synthesising with the living, ethics need to be half the work.

Art has always involved synthesis. Uniting disparate elements, putting them into a collage to create new works, metaphors, sensory experiences, or aesthetic genres, however, is also inherent to a curiosity, present in every epoch, for finding new ways of creating with new expressive media. Those contemporary artists, who in recent years have begun to employ laboratory methods and biotechnology for their own purposes in new contexts and to modify living systems, are particularly “close to life”. Here, it would seem, the newly declared discipline of synthetic biology is well-suited to the task, seeking, as it does, not only to modify existing organisms but to design “life” anew, from the ground up. Yet, this biological science is not concerned with living beings but rather with components, circuits, and systems. The language of engineering has been shifted to biology. These new dimensions to our technical ability to act, however, call for a new ethical engagement concerning the question of how and whether we should act simply because we can. The exhibition synth-ethic offers perspectives on human intervention in biotechnology and the responsibility that arises with it. Artists appropriate these technologies for their own purposes, see through the mania of novelty and beyond the constraints of economics to examine the areas of tension between molecular biology and ecology, architecture and biochemistry, technology and nature, cybernetics and alchemy.

[more…]

But reading Vandana Shiva‘s text The Corporate Control of Life (Hatje Cantz, 2011) provides a different and significant critical perspective on these issues.  Shiva sets out the activist work of many years challenging the corporatisation of nature.  She articulates the powerful arguments against the application of IPR to biodiversity and the impact on farmers, women and indigenous people.  Underlying her argument is an epistemological position radically at odds with the economically driven epistemology of Western corporate and governmental cultures which she describes as biopiracy.  She says (2011, p8),

The rise  of reductionist science was linked with the commercialization of science and resulted in the domination of women and non-Western peoples.  Their diverse knowledge systems were not treated as legitimate ways of knowing.  With commercialization as the objective, reductionism becaue the criterion of scientific validity.  Nonreductionist and ecological ways of knowing, and nonreductionist and ecological systems of knowledge, were pushed out and marginalized.

The genetic-engineering paradigm is now pushing out the last remnants of ecological paradigms by redefining living organisms and biodiversity as “man-made” phenomena.  Patenting life was transformed into international law through the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In the context of this epistemological critique, artists need to step with care into the field of Synthetic Biology and the work of the Critical Art Ensemble is, amongst others, exemplary for demonstrating the potential for art to position itself as an effective counterpoint to corporate-political cultures.  One must question carefully the ability of artists to appropriate these technologies, and the form of appropriation must manifest the critique.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

ARTIST AS ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST

Fragile Spring: found cardboard box, India ink, 6

A nice mention of the CSPA and partners in Filter….

Revealing the value of the intangible has long been the domain of shamans, homeopaths, permaculturists and conceptual artists – and is perhaps one of the best hopes we have for rapidly shifting our culture towards one of increased efficiency and sustainability. Many contemporary artists are finding themselves inadvertently part of a new of movement that includes a sense of responsibility for defending the environment. Frustrated by a system based on mindless overconsumption of limited resources, they are choosing to develop creative, alternative ways to live, work, and communicate. Organisations such as EcoartspaceThe Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts , theSheila T. Johnson Design Center at Parsons/The New School for Social Research and Art & Science Collaborations, Inc are assisting in the emergence of this new interdisciplinary field.

via Filter Magazine – filter.anat.org.au.

MAKE:CRAFT closes December 4th

In the last decade we have experienced the convergence of a worldwide financial crisis, two wars, and a developing interest in the sustainability movement. Due to our growing awareness of climate change and limited resources, American culture is responding with an almost romantic return to the basics. Growing your own food, repurposing your old stuff, and making your own accessories and gadgets have become a part of popular culture. Craft is back, although reinvented and redefined. Contemporary artists have joined the ranks of techies and tinkerers by making and crafting unique objects or social settings. Their work is both functional and/or makes sociopolitical statements that address our naïve and insatiable consumption of goods and media and its effects on the world around us.

The artists in MAKE:CRAFT display ingenuity, hand-making and technological skills, and participate in what could be termed an Art & Design-to-Craft Revolution. This activity has its roots in the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 1800s, which responded to the industrialization of goods produced in Europe. At the turn of the 20th Century magazines such as Popular Mechanics and Craftsman began what is now a legacy of self-taught, skill-based knowledge sharing, and inspired current trends in the Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) Movement, a historically American characteristic.

In the 1950s, the craft movement sought to be included in the contemporary art dialogue as it was typically valued as functional or utilitarian. Today many contemporary artists are turning to traditional crafts for exactly that reason, to create socially relevant works that engage communities in practical and empowering ways. It is an opportune aesthetic for the more performative arts including dialogic and relational public practice work that often overlaps with the “green” or sustainability movement.

In 2005, in response to this maker renaissance, MAKE, a quarterly project-based magazine was launched. Its sister publication, CRAFT was introduced the following year, and together they produce the annual MakerFaire in San Mateo, California. This fair, along with other efforts including the Renegade Craft Fair, Anarchist Book Fair, Eyebeam Roadshow, Sewing Rebellion Chapters, and Scrapyard Challenge Workshops are now international in scope. Several artists in this exhibition have been featured in Make and Craft and have initiated these events that operate outside typical art venues.

The artists included in MAKE:CRAFT create work about slowing down, skill-based empowerment, personalization of mass culture, open source sharing of knowledge, and challenging capitalist models of consumption. They want to contribute their skills in ways that break through economic and social confines, and give meaning to what they do. Ultimately, the work presents the many possibilities for making or crafting a new world.

Patricia Watts, guest curator

Artists include Kim Abeles, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Frau Fiber, Garnet Hertz, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Seth Kinmont, Liza Lou, David Prince, Mark Newport, Alyce Santoro, Shada/Jahn (Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn), Eddo Stern and special performance by Crank Ensemble.

Showing at Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles until 12/4

MAKE:CRAFT Facebook page with images from the exhibition HERE

More information on the MAKE:CRAFT Blog HERE

Go to EcoArtSpace

MAKE:CRAFT at the Ben Maltz Gallery opens Oct. 2nd

Ben Maltz Gallery

Otis College of Art and Design

October 2 – December 4, 2010

Kim Abeles, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Frau Fiber, Garnet Hertz, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Seth Kinmont, Liza Lou, David Prince, Mark Newport, Alyce Santoro, Shada/Jahn (Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn), Eddo Stern.

Inspired by the cultural currents represented in the popular magazines MAKE and CRAFT published out of Northern California, MAKE:CRAFT includes contemporary artists who combine handmaking and building techniques to create, engineer and hack unique, mostly functional devices, objects, machines and accessories; making either a sociopolitical statement, creating new markets for individual styled products, or creating inventive ways to experience the tactile world, non-virtual, the “real.”

The exhibition is guest curated by Patricia Watts, founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, who feels that recent trends in the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) movement of making and crafting have empowered contemporary artists and designers to create more socially relevant work that supports sustainable communities.

Go to the Maker blog HERE

Go to MAKE:CRAFT Facebook page HERE

Go to EcoLOGIC LA

Independent Curators International – Experimental Geography

Experimental Geography

Curated by Nato Thompson

The manifestations of “experimental geography” (a term coined by geographer Trevor Paglen in 2002) run the gamut of contemporary art practice today: sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water treatment centers, performers climbing up the sides of buildings, and sound works capturing the buzz of electric waves on the power grid. In the hands of contemporary artists, the study of humanity’s engagement with the earth’s surface becomes a riddle best solved in experimental fashion. The exhibition presents a panoptic view of this new practice, through a wide range of mediums including sound and video installations, photography, sculpture, and experimental cartography.

The approaches used by the artists featured in Experimental Geography range from the poetic to the empirical. The more pragmatic techniques include those used by the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in projects made with students and other non-art groups that aim to strengthen peoples’ roles as agents of change in their own environments. See, for example, their map intended to help longshoremen and truckers identify chokepoints in the cargo trade network. In their similarly empirical projects, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a research organization, examines the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface. CLUI embraces a multidisciplinary approach that forces a reading of the American landscape (such as the disfiguring effects of culling natural resources from the picturesque banks of the Hudson River), thereby refamiliarizing viewers with the overlooked details of their everyday experience.

Experimental Geography is curated by Nato Thompson, curator at Creative Time in New York. It is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, co-published by ICI and Melville House, that includes essays by Thompson, Jeffrey Kastner, and Trevor Paglen.

ARTISTS

Francis Alÿs, AREA Chicago, The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), e-Xplo, Ilana Halperin, kanarinka (Catherine D’lgnazio), Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Lize Mogel, Multiplicity, Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Ellen Rothenberg, Spurse, Deborah Stratman, Daniel Tucker, Alex Villar, Yin Xiuzhen

TOURING SCHEDULE

AVAILABLE

Contact us to book this exhibition
April 22, 2011 – December 31, 2011

Freeman Art Gallery, Bishop’s University

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
January 21, 2011 – April 1, 2011

Museum London

London, Ontario, Canada
October 9, 2010 – January 2, 2011

The James Gallery, The Graduate Center at CUNY

New York, New York
June 24, 2010 – August 27, 2010

The Colby College Museum of Art

Waterville, Maine
February 21, 2010 – May 30, 2010

Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
October 10, 2009 – January 30, 2010

The Albuquerque Museum

Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 28, 2009 – September 20, 2009

Rochester Art Center

Rochester, Minnesota
February 7, 2009 – April 18, 2009

Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University

Greencastle, Indiana
September 19, 2008 – December 2, 2008

TECHNICAL SPECS

via Independent Curators International – Experimental Geography.

Sustainability and Contemporary Art Symposium Budapest

Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Art, Post-Fordism and Eco-CritiqueInternational Symposium

EU Budapest 19-20 March 2010

Ralo Mayer, Multi-Plex Fictions

Ralo Mayer, Multi-Plex Fictions

The 2010 Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art brings together artists, philosophers, environmental scientists and activists to explore the conundrum of capitalism’s remarkable ability to absorb criticism and adapt to new circumstances. According to post-Fordist theory, in the wake of the social upheaval of May 1968 capitalism was able to recuperate radical desires for freedom, creativity and personal liberation through the adoption of the principles of flexibility, horizontality and autonomy, and the shift from industrialism to immaterial labour.

Today, the energy and idealism of the environmental movement is arguably in a similar danger of being transformed into the motor of a green capitalist resurgence that threatens to rescue neo-liberal globalisation from the economic downturn. This symposium asks whether environmentalism is in fact now facing its own ‘post-Fordist moment’, in which the language and values of ecology are at risk of being turned into an ideology of bureaucratic control and a technocratic justification for sustainable growth. It also raises the question of whether the environmental movement has anything to learn from the strategies of resistance proposed by the theorists of immaterial labour and the exploration of these issues by contemporary artists.

In the wake of the debacle of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the question arises whether there might be more to ecological crisis than mitigating the threat posed by climate change to the current global economic system, and whether the danger posed by the depletion of natural resources and the destruction of bio-diversity deserves to be a greater priority. The symposium will try to locate a sense of eco-criticality in the approaches of contemporary artists, and also consider the implications of an ecologically-nuanced, post-Fordist critique for the international art world.

The symposium on Art, Post-Fordism and Ecological Critique is the fifth in an annual series of events organised at Central European University by Maja and Reuben Fowkes of Translocal.org, the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and the Centre for Arts and Culture at CEU. This year’s programme will include an afternoon of presentations and critical conversations in the main auditorium of Central European University on Friday 19 March, and a workshop event with symposium participants on the following day.

A small number of additional places are available for the workshop upon application.

Confirmed speakers include: Stephen Wright (art theorist, Paris), Igor Stokfiszewski(curator/critic/playwright, Warsaw), Branka Cvjeticanin (multimedia artist, Zagreb) and Ralo Mayer (artist, Vienna).

via Sustainability and Contemporary Art Symposium Budapest.