This interdisciplinary symposium explores how the arts represent, critique or occupy the urban. Thinking of the town and city as sites in motion – marked by fleeting encounters, wandering trajectories, acceleration and migration – we consider how art operates within (or against) the spatial and temporal conditions of urbanism. Oscillating between past, present and future, the city may be read as a palimpsest, written and re-written by successive generations. This symposium addresses the rhythms of the urban, from the acoustic patterns of footsteps and machinery, to the ebb and flow of passers-by, and the activities of eavesdropping and people watching. As a spectacle itself, the city is at its most spectacular during festivals and carnivals, events that exhibit the urban and turn it into a site of visual display. Looking ahead, this symposium asks “what next?” Is urbanism sustainable, what is at stake, and what role do the arts have to play?
Jaspar Joseph-Lester, artist and Reader in Fine Art (Art, Urbanism and the Moving Image) Royal College of Art (keynote)
Karen Janody-Khan curator and commissioner, Creative City.
Stephen Pritchard, art historian and art activist, researcher Northumbria University
Gillian McIver filmmaker and researcher in Film, University of Roehampton, author of Art History for FiImmakers (Bloomsbury)
Solène Heinzl, researcher in Ethnomusicology, Royal Holloway University of London
Rachel Hann, author of Beyond Scenography (Routledge) co-founder of the research network Critical Costume, Lecturer in Scenography, University of Surrey
Jamie Harper, researcher on Applications of Play in participatory art at Newcastle University
Will Osmond Researcher in Theatre and Performance, Larp Studies and Performance Philosophy, University of Surrey
Eleanor Slade Researcher in Scenography, University of Surrey
Chair: Rosie Ram, Researcher in Curating, RCA
Art Works by
Jill Newman - photographer (will be presenting)
Photos by Elam Forrester of Bobbie Fenwick's sculpture work
Nazir Tanbouli painter
The symposium is funded by the AHRC under the TECHNE partnership