International Conference on Artistic Research, The Hague 28-29 April 2016

Society for Artistic Research

University of the Arts The Hague & Leiden University
Followed by the General Assembly of the Society for Artistic Research 30 April 2016
Venues: Royal Conservatoire and Royal Academy of Art

Conference theme: WRITING

Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History,
University of Amsterdam
Alva Noë, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley
Redell Olsen, poet and artist, Reader in Poetic Practice, Royal Holloway,
University of London
Michael Schwab, artist and philosopher, editor-in-chief of JAR
Salome Voegelin, artist and writer, Reader in Sound Arts, LCC, University of the Arts London

1.    Poetics of Critical Writing
Workshop leader:  Julieta Aranda, artist, editor of e-flux journal, Berlin & New York
2.    Writing Sound Art/Music
Workshop leader: Daniela Cascella, writer, Assistant Professor in Writing, Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Associate Lecturer in Sound Arts, LCC, University of the Arts London
3.    Writing Art in Digital Space
Workshop leaders: Barnaby Drabble, curator and writer, Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais, managing editor of JAR, and Julian Klein, director and composer, Institut für künstlerische Forschung, Berlin, editor of JAR
4.    Art, Philosophy, Writing and Speech
Workshop leaders: Alva Noë, and Henk Borgdorff, University of the Arts, The Hague, president of SAR

Moderators: Daniela Cascella and Kate Briggs, writer and translator, Lecturer Paris College of Art and Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam.

Alexander Damianisch, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, former manager of the Austrian programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK), board member of SAR

About the conference

The relationship between artistic practice and writing in the context of research is a challenging and much debated topic, both in and outside the framework of art degree programmes. Often the relationship is felt to be one of friction, opposition or paradox. Writing gives an explicit verbal account of the implicit knowledge and understanding embodied in artistic practices and products while at the same time art may escape or go beyond what can be expressed by words and resist (academic) conventions of accountability. A 'written element’ is almost always asked for in the context of higher arts education, as well as by funding agencies, so the artist-researcher in that context often feels cornered, and has to meet opposing demands at the same time.

However, in the debate on art practice and writing the fact that writing itself is a practice is often bypassed. Giving a linguistic expression to one’s research is work that demands as much dedication and commitment as creative work does. Moreover, writing is not just practice, but itself creative work, a constructive process that enables the emergence of the new and the unforeseen. What is the role of writing in artistic research and what type of voices may emerge?

Furthermore, while writing can be seen as a form of practice, the same is true for the inverse: in the context of artistic research, practice is a form of writing; a non-propositional form of writing, to be sure, but in artistic research material practices and products not only embody knowledge and understanding, but as agents in a methodological sense, are also the vehicles by which that knowledge and understanding is produced and conveyed. Here practice is making a case, a claim; a discursive practice that comprises (paradoxically?) non-discursive, i.e. non-propositional material.

This years SAR conference will address writing in relation to artistic research from these perspectives: writing as practice and practice as writing. How do both writing and practice operate as ways to convey new knowledge, understanding and experiences by which we (re)organize our lives? In workshops, demonstrations, performances, discussions, open sessions and on-the-spot encounters we will contribute to the ongoing development of the relationship between practice and writing in the context of artistic research.

The conference, along with the keynote presentations, will include parallel workshops in the four strands mentioned above. We invite you to submit a proposal for a contribution to one of the strands and intend to provide space for in-depth discussions and active involvement of all participants. We are therefore asking for proposals of 5 to 10 minutes for statements, performances, short papers, interventions, and proclamations. Although we are not following the traditional format of a longer paper followed by Q and A we will accept a few proposals for longer papers (up to 20 minutes) if it is relevant to the intended strand. All of this will provide the ground for intense discussions during the conference on its theme: the relationship of art practice and writing in the context of research.

Please submit your proposal, of no more than 300 words, before 11 January 2016. Indicate which strand you are submitting for and the duration of what you are proposing as well as any special requirements you may have for your contribution. E-mail your statement to, including your name and e-mail address and, if applicable, your affiliation and relevant web link.
The selection of proposals will be completed by 15 February 2016.

Conference committee:
Henk Borgdorff - The Hague, Netherlands
Marcel Cobussen - Leiden, Netherlands
Alexander Damianisch - Vienna, Austria
Johan Haarberg - Bergen, Norway
Anya Lewin - Plymouth, UK
Frans de Ruiter - Leiden, Netherlands
Janneke Wesseling - The Hague/Leiden, Netherlands


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