Venue: Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong: June 7-9 2019

The 2019 international Association of the Study of the Arts of the Present symposium is presented by the School of English and the Department of Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong, with venue at Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts (https://www.taikwun.hk/en/).

Call for Proposals:

The 2019 ASAP symposium will take place in Hong Kong, a city that embodies the program’s theme: “Old Lands, New Ground”. Located at one of the most charged historical and geo-political fault lines of the early twenty first century, Hong Kong offers a unique vantage point onto the arts of the present - Hong Kong experiments daily with the competing ideologies, social dynamics, contradictory spatial-temporal impulses, and economic realities of living in the postcolonial complexities of old lands, new ground. In other contexts across Asia, for example, we might consider Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija’sLand Foundation agenda in Chiang Mai, Thailand to blend artistic and architectural practice to foster social engagement with the ground through agriculture. Lands and grounds might also feature in shamanistic practices, one might think of Park Chan-Kyong’s restaging of Korean shamanistic rituals as a practice in order to evoke community and address collective tragedy. One might also think of futuristic reimpressions/visualisations of groundwork, perhaps in Chinese artist Cao Fei’s RMB City in which a virtual city in China is re-imagined in Second Life.  Globally, indigenous movements, ecological precarity and other developmental struggles “ground” the arts of the present in ways that can be productive and unsettling in relation to past, present and future contexts.

The symposium welcomes abstracts on all forms of the contemporary arts from the 1960s to the present that interpret the theme, “old lands, new ground”, as widely and imaginatively as possible.  Participants are invited to relate the symposium theme to their own cultural, aesthetic, generic and disciplinary areas and contexts.

Some topics for consideration may include but are not limited to:

  • Relationship of old lands and new ground to the arts (land art, earth works, geology and the arts, ecological arts, earth-derived material in art, map art, sampling aesthetics, postcolonialism in the arts, land sculpting/scaping) and the works of individual artists, designers, writers, film-makers, collaboratives and performers
  • Exploring old lands, new ground as futures in the arts: land reclamation, artificial islands, terraforming, wilderness return, eco-catastrophes, crises of the Anthropocene, artists as agent of change, Latinx-/Afro-/Sino-futurisms, Transpacific/Middle Passage epistemologies and other oceanic frames
  • Old land, new ground and arts of the city: privacy and surveillance, practices of sousveillance, the aesthetics of public and post-public space, public art, ownership and exclusion, (anti-) development and social cleansing, gentrification, architecture and urban design, the infrastructural turn
  • Contesting old lands and/as new ground: arts of migration, arts across the diaspora, borderscapes, arts of territorial conflict and exile, decoloniality 
  • Old lands and/as new ground for capital: contemporary forms of “primitive accumulation”; resource extraction; biocapital, outsourcing and surrogate economies; carceral states and surplus labor; social and anti-social reproduction
  • Arts of old ground[s] in new land[s]:  indigenous knowledge, aural/oral traditions, epics and mythologies in the digital age; land rituals; land dispossession and sacred ground, eco-cosmology, planetarity and species history
  • Old lands, new ground and technology: digital arts and beyond; game worlds, drone art, coding, soundscapes, geolocative arts, kinetic arts, posthuman approaches and other intersections between art, science and technology
  • Epistemological and theoretical "groundings" of the contemporary arts ie.  making ground, covering new ground.

Abstract Submissions:
Participants should submit a 250-word abstract and short biographical note by December 15 2018 to the organizers at:   asap11hk@gmail.com. Participants will be informed of acceptances by January 5 2018.

Organizing committee:
Melissa Lee, Elizabeth Ho, Yeewan Koon, Edgar Schmitz

Should you have any questions, please contact us at: asap11hk@gmail.com

ASAP: https://www.artsofthepresent.org/