The three major strands are:

A) Material Matters
B) Viewing Time Based Practice Through Time
C) Challenging Fine Art Pedagogies

How are artists contesting legacies in their art practice and research and how does artistic education implement pedagogies that assimilate both tradition and modernity? How do the Fine Arts practices, research and education add qualitative factors, such as the promotion of social understanding, rapprochement between cultures and a way of understanding the world through art?


Material Matters; on material as a matter of meaning and meaning as a matter of material

Attitudes to the use of media and processes in the making of fine art have shifted considerably in recent times. Each generation has challenged the previous generation’s norms and approaches. Both ´new media´ and traditional skills are matter of contemporary debate. The materials used by artists and designers are chosen carefully for their particular properties. In diverse contemporary art practices we can observe a renewed interest in matter; structurally and methodologically.

How do artists interrogate the processes and materials they have inherited? Are we witnessing a return to ´craft´ and the ´hand made´, in order to find specific value within the fine arts? How does new technology exert its materiality? Why does a material convey meaning and for whom? What does this [re-]turn to materiality in itself signify?

This strand welcomes contributions that promote discussion of the ways in which materials have been a matter of particular focus in the fine art curriculum and further develop new understanding in fine art practice and theory.

Conveners: Stephanie James (UK), Maia Rosa Mancuso (Italy) and Christina della Giustina (Netherlands)



Viewing Time Based Practice Through Time

Looking back on the time-based practices of the 1960s and 70s, critical questions are now emerging regarding how to represent the history of this art through the prism of time itself.
 Radical performance, video and event-based works face serious threat, either canonized or potentially made impotent, circumscribed within the museum. Should these de-materialized art practices rail against the institution yet again if in doing so they risk the chance of being written out of art history?

How do contemporary practitioners engaged in relational and other non material art practices preserve their legacy? What is the role of documentation within the artists process?

Papers and other forms of presentations are welcome that address this and other related archival challenges to temporary art practice. We are interested in exploring creative forms and insights that offer a way forward to the problem of finding new ways of looking back.

Conveners: Kevin Atherton (Ireland), Corinne Peuchet (France) and Andrzej Syska (Poland)



Challenging Fine Art Pedagogies

Recent debates in the art world have explored the notion of what has been called the ‘educational turn’ both in curating and art practice. For instance: Summit Kein (2007) Theory and Practice, Art Education Today at Freize Art Fair (2008) and the Salon Discussion: You Talkin’ to me? Why art is turning to education at London’s ICA (2008). Curators like Anton Vidokle and artists such as Copenhagen Free University have investigated the notion of pedagogy as practice. As Irit Rogoff (2008) has pointed out, what constitutes this ‘turning’ is not yet fully explored, but is based on a notion of positioning education ‘as a space of experiment and exploration’. Crucially she asks, ‘How might we extract these vital principles and apply them to the rest of our lives?’ (2008: 2). For artist-educators, this ‘educational turn’, however, has begun to change how it is possible to conceive of, and discuss, the practice- teaching interrelationship.

The function of the tutor’s ongoing practice within teaching-learning encounters can now be seen to have a much broader application than the traditional models of teaching by example (beaux-arts or atelier tradition) or the notion of apprenticeship allows. Quite how this shift towards pedagogy as an art practice in itself might play out within the academies remains to be seen.

This strand welcomes contributions that promote discussion of the ways in which artist-teachers have challenged and developed their pedagogical approaches based on recent shifts in fine art practice and theory. We are particularly interested to hear of case studies and reflections that explore the notion of audience within fine art teaching as well as attitudes towards the learning environment, specifically the teaching studio.

Conveners: Rebecca Fortnum (UK) and Christine Pybus (Ireland)