Appel à communication : « Art’s Productive Economies » (20 mars 2014, Toronto)

Call For Papers: 2014 Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium,

A one-day graduate symposium hosted by the Graduate Union of Students of Art, University of Toronto.

Art Work: Art’s Productive Economies

Image 2Given the multivalent definitions “work” denotes (including, but not limited to: the product of labour; action involving effort directed toward a definite end; and the operation of a force in producing physical change), it is possible to understand the work of art – and no less, the art of work – through a wide range of critical perspectives.
Whether in the process of making art, the products of art, and / or the overarching labour networks in which art exists, how can one think of work and art together in ways that do not unduly privilege one term over the other? How should one situate art as work within both creative and economic labour markets? And how – if at all – can one conceive work as art in light of the conditions those markets entail?
That is, how does work negotiate the material dimensions of labour, production, and capital vis-à-vis the aesthetic dimensions of practice, process, and products? Indeed, such questions only begin to scratch the surface of this relation that lays at the heart of aesthetic production. To these questions, we invite proposals for scholarly papers spanning all relevant fields and time periods that touch upon the relation between art and work within the aesthetic, social, political, and cultural economies that encompass these terms.

Sample topics include, but are not limited to:

– Representations of work and/or workers throughout visual culture.
– The physical labour of artmaking processes and practices
– Distributions of labour within artist studios (e.g. those of Rembrandt, Warhol, etc.)
– Disjunctions and correlations between conceptual and material labour in artmaking and/or art institutions
– The practice of art history / curating / etc. as forms of “the work of art”
– The aesthetic consequences of immaterial labour / post-Fordism / economic globalization / etc.
– The unseen labour practices that support art institutions (e.g. museum employees, art handlers, interns, etc.)
– The figure of the artist as worker
– The functional “work” of art objects.

Current graduate students may submit an abstract of 200-300 words (outlining 15-20 minute presentations) and a brief CV to by January 1, 2014.

Please see for more information.


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