International Symposium on
Sustainability and Contemporary Art
Central European University Budapest
Thursday 30 – Friday 31 March, 2006
Sustainability has been at the top of the global environmental agenda for more than a decade, but an understanding of ecological responsibility is only now beginning to have a visible impact on society and culture. The symposium will explore the radical and innovatory power of the concept of sustainability, which implies a strategy for integrative development in harmony with nature and a reinvigorated notion of global justice on the basis of shared environmental responsibility. Our intention is to create a transdisciplinary space for discussion of the fundamental issues bridging the fields of art and environment and an opportunity to be inspired by the response of leading international artists to the challenge of sustainability.
Presentations by artists will show how contemporary art might engage with the full implications of sustainability beyond visualising ecological disasters and illustrating environmental campaigns. The innovative practices featured range from finding ways to foster cultural diversity, exploring new environmental notions such as sustainable pleasure, developing alternative concepts of wealth, and finding out new ecological uses of space. The role of the curator in engaging with environmental issues will also be examined, while aestheticians and environmentalists will offer theoretical perspectives on art and sustainability.
Issues and questions likely to be addessed by the symposium include: What is sustainable art and how is sustainability involved in the practices of contemporary art? To what extent do global environmental challenges demand radical changes in human activity and what implications does this have for artistic practice? How can contemporary artists contribute to the critique of technocratic approaches to environmental problems? Is fostering human creativity the key to finding lasting solutions to environmental problems? How much overlap is there between the interests and approaches of environmentalists and artists?
Invited speakers include: Heath Bunting and Kayle Brandon (UK), Jonathan Dronsfield (UK), Miklos Erhardt (H), David Haley (UK), Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison (USA), Tamás Kaszás and Viktor Kotun (H), Hildegard Kurt (GER), Kristina Leko (CRO), Edit Molnar (H), Nils Norman (UK), Marko Peljhan (SLO), Renata Poljak (CRO), Rúrí (IS) and Diane Warburton (UK).
The symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art is organised by curators Maja and Reuben Fowkes together with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and the Centre for Arts and Culture CEU. Papers and reflections on the symposium will be published in a special issue of Praesens: Contemporary Central European Art Review. Alongside the symposium, the exhibition Endangered Waters by the artist Ruri will be held at Liget Galeria Budapest.
To reserve your place at the symposium, please contact Alan Watt, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, CEU firstname.lastname@example.org
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