Re-Thinking Artistic Knowledge Production (Heidelberg, 23-24 Mai 2013)


Symposium of the DFG-Network “Media of Collective Intelligence” in co-operation with the Cluster Professorship of Global Art History, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: The Dynamics of Transculturality”, Heidelberg University

The production of knowledge in artistic or aesthetic practices has recently been discussed in relation to scientific research. While contemporary art takes over scientific methods and practices, it still leaves the question open whether or not aesthetic practices should be judged differently from scientific experimentation and what exactly the outcome of artistic knowledge is. The aim of the symposium is to re-think aesthetic knowledge production from a new vantage point, focusing on the importance of distributed creativity and globally entangled media cultures.

The production of artistic knowledge in shared or even collective creative processes is a phenomenon that is often associated with the latest “global turn”. This turn is described as the spectacular rise of economic, socio-political and technological entanglements around the world since the end of the 1980s. Emblematic for this process was the rise of the World Wide Web that began to dominate what used to be diverging and not necessarily related mediascapes. However, shared knowledge production also has a long tradition in the arts and literature and can be discussed in relation to the much earlier rise of mass media such as printed books, film making or television. Yet, while researchers have been quick to note the accelerated circulations of goods, agents, and concepts that seem to easily cross national, geographic and cultural borders, which had been firmly established and often seemed impermeable during the Cold War era, scholars of art history, media studies and visual anthropology have only recently begun to suggest theoretical approaches that respond to the increased complexity of processes involved.

The symposium will 1) address media based processes of distributed creativity 2) discuss how the global turn has transformed practices of professional artists and creative amateurs alike who engage in what can be called transcultural mediascapes. Some of the key questions of the symposium are: Are there new ways of collectively producing and sharing artistic knowledge which would transcend earlier practices by which artist groups and artistic media were able to overcome the ideals of single authorship? Has the utopian potential of the web been realized (also in other creative media practices) with its promises of global interconnectivity, unbound participation and the idea that collectively produced knowledge results in more than the sum of individual contributions? Or do we see historical conflicts of (authentic) authorship, unequal power relations and cultural misunderstandings taking on a new look and becoming viral on a new, global scale?

Pour accéder au programme:

Arts With(out) Borders (Berne, 6-8 Juin 13)


ARTS WITHOUT BORDERS: Rethinking Methodologies of Art and Culture in the Global Context. 6-8 June 2013 Universität Bern

Keynote Lectures:

Ursula Biemann, artist / writer / video essayist, based in Zurich: “Videogeographies: Artistic practice in the field”

Prof. Dr. Arnd Schneider, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo: “For a New Hermeneutics in the Art – Anthropology Encounter”

Conference Summary:

In recent decades, global processes have had a profound impact on the humanities and social sciences. These processes are defined by an increasing migration and mobility of people, objects, and ideas across cultures and borders, a phenomenon that signals a need to address the contact zones of exchange and clash, and the energies or tensions produced in the process. While the impact of these phenomena on artistic production is acknowledged, the specific effects on our modes of analysis of those productions have yet to be addressed. Under the heading Arts With(out) Borders, this conference connects to theoretical and methodological challenges within the study of arts and culture. It furthermore asks whether borders — both physical and symbolic — have been built up or dissolved within the practice of research due to the increased mobility of culture and ideas and an expanding global interwovenness. Such issues have become relevant across disciplines, but they have not been satisfactorily recognized or addressed. This conference presents a diverse range of approaches to these questions and future directions for the study of arts in a global context. Spanning the fields of art production, art history, and anthropology, a platform will be opened to discuss the effects of global cultural processes on the analysis and study of artistic production, and the broader implications in political, social and cultural issues.

Le programme est consultable sur le lien suivant:

The Itineraries of Art Topographies of Artistic Mobility in Europe and Asia 1500-1900 (Berlin, 23-25 mai)


Annual Conference of the DFG Research Unit 1703 Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art. Comparative Perspectives on Historical Contexts and Contemporary Constellations

Organized by Project Area B Transgressive Itineraries and Transcultural Aesthetics of Artistic Exchange in cooperation with the DFG Research Project Landscape, Canon and Intermediality in Chinese Painting of the 1930s and 1940s

The conference discusses the interaction between routes as channels of communication and as modes of artistic experience in Europe and Asia. While recent scholarship has devoted attention to the economic and political historiographies of road-systems, this conference will focus on routes as stimuli of cultural transfer and artistic production. Addressing interactive overland and maritime networks as itineraries of contact and catalysts of artistic exchange will underscore the cultural agency of routes and interconnections. Framed in the historiography of longue durée, routes may be addressed as trajectories that cut across culturally determined geographies and periodizations. The conference concentrates on the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries and thereby foregrounds a period characterized by the unprecedented expansion and transformation of pre-existent route-networks. In the wake of the first global circumnavigation in 1522, the connection of overland-roads and maritime routes triggered new dynamics of transcontinental entanglements.

The conference aims at parallel perspectives on both Western Europe and East Asia, geographical regions that imagined each other as ›natural‹ terminus points of the ancient Eurasian trade networks. Consequently, new combinations of transcontinental telluric and nautical routes profoundly affected such predominant cultural topographies and symbolic paradigms. The rise of Asian and European port cities as nodes of maritime systems and prosperous cultural contact zones, often at the expense of inland metropoles, bespeaks this fundamental shift. By the end of the nineteenth century this process entered its end-stages; it is hardly coincidental that in this period, marked by colonialism and nationalism, some of the most enduring narratives of pre-modern routes evolved. To relate the proliferation of routes in the Early Modern era to art and artistic practices is also to engage with not only the actual translocation of persons, animals and objects, but with protocols and mechanisms of control and constraint. Furthermore, it is crucial to pose the question of how the visual arts in diverse historical and cultural contexts contributed to the fabrication of collective imaginations about routes past and present, as well as long-distance journeys. Parallel enquiries of practices and tropes of artistic mobility in Western Europe and East Asia enable the reconsideration of previously separate research in the agency of routes pursued at the intersection of the histories of art, cross-cultural transfer and entanglement.

Informations et programme:

Cultures of Things in Early Modern Antwerp (New York, 27-29 March 14)

CFP/Appel à contribution

New York, RSA, March 27 – 29, 2014

Cultures of Things in Early Modern Antwerp: Values, Identities, and Transformations

In the past years there has been a growing interest in the circulation of precious objects in the early modern world. Taking these recent studies on early modern cultures of making, collecting, and representation as its point of departure, this panel focuses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Antwerp as the site of a particularly rich and diverse ‘culture of precious things’, including tapestries, gold- and silverware, glass works, jewelry, books, prints, musical and mathematical instruments, and paintings. In the course of the sixteenth century Antwerp developed into an emporium of foreign trade and a center of artists’ knowledge and expertise. With the arrival of new artifacts (both local and foreign) new types of specialty markets (panden) emerged. Collections and images of collections reflected and reinforced an increased preoccupation with the values and identities of various crafts and arts. Papers may focus, among other topics, on the making, collecting, and circulation of precious objects, whether individually or as groups; on strategies of describing and representing Antwerp’s culture of things; on competing and shared interests between different craftsmen and artisans, creators of images and creators of things, or artisans, merchants, and consumers. How did Antwerp’s luxury industries respond to and shape collecting desires, connoisseurship, and taste? How did merchants’ and artists’ abilities to ‘imitate what is foreign’ (Guicciardini) affect notions of ingenuity, innovation, knowledge, and skill?

Please send a brief abstract (maximum 150 words), keywords, and a 300-word CV to Christine Goettler:  christine.goettler(at) The submission deadline is 27 May 2013.

Studientag: World Art History (Dresde, 16 mai 2013)


Gemeinsame Veranstaltung des Instituts für Kunst- und Musikwissenschaft der Technischen Universität Dresden und der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Kunstgeschichte ist eine Wissenschaft, die im Abendland entstanden ist und ihre Wurzeln in der Antike und der Renaissance hat. Deshalb erforschte sie für lange Zeit auch hauptsächlich die Geschichte der Kunst des Abendlandes. Doch – bereits beginnend mit der Aufklärung, – im Zuge der Globalisierung aber endgültig – wurde erkannt, dass Kunst universal ist und es demzufolge nicht nur eine abendländische Kunstgeschichte gibt.

Dresden ist für einen erweiterten Blick ein wichtiger Standort: Seit der frühen Neuzeit wurden Exotika in der Kunstkammer gesammelt; unter August dem Starken wurden Schlösser nach der damaligen Vorstellung vom Orient oder von Ostasien gebaut oder ausgestattet; die aus der Kunstkammer hervorgegangenen ethnographischen Sammlungen waren für die Kunst der frühen Moderne, z.B. die „Brücke“, sehr anregend.

Heute wird am Institut für Kunst und Musikwissenschaft zur Kunst des Islam und des lateinamerikanischen Raums geforscht; die Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden haben durch die Integration der Sächsischen Ethnographischen Sammlungen eine neue Dimension erhalten: Die Kunst der Welt wird hier seit langem gesammelt, inszeniert, künstlerisch verarbeitet und erforscht. Daher bleibt das Thema für Dresden, wo Weltkunst stets präsent war und ist, dauerhaft virulent.

Der Studientag „World Art History“ versteht sich als ein Auftakt. Weitere Veranstaltungen, in denen vor allem über die Rolle der Dresdner Institutionen nachgedacht wird, sind vorgesehen.


Prof. Dr. Henrik Karge (TU Dresden): „Die universalen Anfänge einer Disziplin – Weltkunstgeschichte im 19. Jahrhundert“

Prof. Dr. Bruno Klein (TU Dresden): “Globale Gotik – Kunstgeschichte wird Weltkunst”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann (Universität Princeton): “World Art History: A Brief Proposal”

Anschließend Podiumsdiskussion mit den Referenten und Vertretern der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Ort & Zeit: Dresden, Residenzschloss, Hans-Nadler-Saal, 13-16 Uhr.

CFP/Appel à contribution: Global Encounters: Exchanges and Transfers of Knowledge in the Early Modern World

Conference: UAAC/ AAUC (Universities Art Association of Canada/l’association d’art des universités du Canada)

Location: Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, October 17-20, 2013

This panel considers the exchange and transference of artistic and architectural knowledge in the early modern global world. Specifically, it reflects upon how such encounters instigated new and transformed prevailing perceptions about early modern visual artistic culture. Thus, this panel invites papers that consider these concepts not only from intercontinental perspectives (Spain, England, Italy, Hungary, and so on), but also among transoceanic environments (Americas, Europe, Asia, etc.). The panel seeks to break traditional perceptions about the flow of information among disparate territories and peoples. Topics could include, but are not limited to: 1) the ways the colonial encounters altered European art and architectural forms; 3) how the many European courts engaged with the Renaissance and Baroque styles; 2) how indigenous and colonial peoples crafted new artistic forms that hallenged or unsettled European perceptions of the colonies; 3) the interconnections between colonial territories or various royal courts are encouraged.

Session Chair: C. Cody Barteet (PhD)

Affiliation: University of Western Ontario

Each proposed paper must include: name of individual submitting the paper and their email contact, paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); keywords; and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) that specifies their rank and institutional affiliation (if applicable).

For further details:

Art History in a Global Context (Zurich, 6 Mai 2013)

Conférence inaugurant le séminaire de Master “Art history in a global context”

Universität Zürich, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Rämistrasse 73, Zürich,RAK E 8, May 06, 2013


The University of Zurich is delighted to announce the coming of its new Master of Arts Program: Art History in a Global Context. Globalization, the increasing worldwide exchange and mobility of people, goods and information have an impact on our scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The rapid transformation of our societies and economies draws attention to the inter-relational dimension of arts. Correspondingly, new methodologies and fields of expertise arise in art history, such as postcolonial and geographical approaches. In August 2013, the University of Zurich starts the two-year Specialized Master of Arts “Art History in a Global Context” to address cross-cultural disciplinary entanglements and to explore the potential and limits of our field. The program focuses on issues of global, glocal, international, and interregional exchange and transculturation. To inaugurate this new program, the Kickoff Meeting will address questions to past and contemporary art, as well as the global challenges of teaching and research for European universities.

6. Mai 2013, 16:15-18:00

16.15-16.30: Introduction: Prof. Dr. Tristan Weddigen

16.30-16.40: Moderation: Dr. Noémie Etienne


16.40-17.00: Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja, University of Heidelberg: Reflections on Art History’s shifting global geographies

17.00-17.20: Prof. Dr. Gregor Stemmrich, Freie Universität Berlin: Politics of Attention

17.20-17.45: Roundtable