The conference Art & Activism aims to understand the force of art to engage and express political sentiment. At the heart of any art that can be called activist is a firm revolutionary belief in the possibility of societies reforming and improving. Behind its obvious involvement with present issues and concerns, activist art is always oriented to shaping an ameliorated future. This public role is not uncontested. The arts are (perpetually) under attack. A sense of crisis, moreover, is widely felt among contemporary artists and activists, who experience precarity, marginalization, and vulnerability on a daily basis and may put their bodies on the line. The idea of crisis, both in the arts and in society, has been widely articulated by scholars and critics. This interdisciplinary conference aims to create a space in which participants from scholarly, artistic and activist backgrounds can learn from and collaborate on a horizontal plane. Within this context, I have been invited to moderate a round table on the 13-15th December 2017 in Leiden, the Netherlands.
Frame is a biannual journal of literary studies, run by (former) students of Utrecht University, which publishes articles by international theorists along with important lectures, interviews, and critical reviews. Since its establishment in 1984, it is the only Dutch publication forum that allows for a centered discussion on comparative literary studies. For their next issue (Fall/Winter) sociologist Pascal Gielen and myself are working in a collaborative article that will question the Art field as a laboratory for organizational alternatives to cultural precarity.
What’s the Use?co-edited by Steven Ten Thije, Nick Aikens, Thomas Lang and Jorinde Seijdel and published by Valiz.