Call for Papers: Art – Image – Politics Symposium

Conference date: 10th March 2012; Call for Papers Deadline: 20th January 2012

Art – Image – Politics is a one-day symposium convened by John Hansard Gallery with SCAN (digital and interdisciplinary arts agency) as part of the extended programme for the exhibition David Cotterrell: Monsters of the Id (11 Feb – 31 March, 2012).

Nation States, world power, economic models, the role of the citizen have all been in a state of change and flux over the last ten years. Historically art has been a good reflection of change and in some cases has led the way in reworking policy. There is a resurgence of art work around new political agendas that either reflects directly current world themes or employs predominant new technologies or other materials and concepts inventively to make more subtle comment. While, since its inception, the photographic image has been questioned for its ‘truth’, it is now accepted that images are routinely manipulated and mediated in order to convey a message or context. This one day symposium will address the ways that artists in 21st Century are using new technologies, reflecting new political agendas, and are constructing imagery or concepts to represent the current world situation.

We are looking for papers that address the following broad themes:

– Image Manipulation and Politics – How much has the ubiquity of image manipulation changed views on current affairs and their authenticity? How have artists responded to this?

– Hacking, art and the political agenda – Artists have in the post WWII decades manipulated software and hardware to convey ideas and concepts. How are they responding now? How are they dealing with the standardisation of proprietary software and hardware? Is the current trend in content and platform separation appropriate for artists?

– New display technologies, art and politics – After decades of working within the constraints of the screen or photographic image, artists are beginning to look at new forms of display. How have artists used new display devices as a conceptual tool? Which artists alongside David Cotterrell are using new displays to convey meaning?

– New Politics and Artist Responses – Artists are beginning to emerge that embody strong political ideas in their work. How are they responding across a range of media? How is this different from previous work that has a strong political agenda?


If you are interested in contributing to the conference, please send proposals of no more than 250 words and your institutional affiliation to the conference convenor Peter Jones by email at by 30 January 2012. Speakers pay no conference fees.

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