18 May 2008

Creative Practice/Creative Research: Materiality/Process/Performativity

Symposium July 10-12 2008
York St John University

In Artforum in April 1970, sculptor Robert Morris noted with regret that creative process held little sway for the meanings imbibed for ‘art’ by contemporary criticism and the histories of art. His insistence on the imperatives of what he named ‘the submerged side of the iceberg’ came on the cusp of the ‘New Art History.’ The advent of post-modern theory and the social history of art located the material production of art at an intersection of history and the social. Practice was thus liberated from the (psycho)biographical expressivity and mastery of the gesture. Hitherto these had been the only means by which making had been thought. And yet the object of critical and historical discourse has remained profoundly visual. Situated in the gallery like so many dead objects ’art’s’ materiality, the trace of a means to an ends, has remained caught between formalism and semiotics. It is that to which theory has been applied and by which history is index after the fact.

Creative Practice/Creative Research seeks to elucidate and participate in the generation of a body of scholarship written by both critics and practictioners that has begun to transform the theoretical and historical frameworks through which art’s making can signify.

To insist upon the work of art as a ‘co-poiësis’ (Ettinger, 1997) of ‘poiëtic revealing’ (Bolt, 2007) is to read art production beyond the locus of a discrete subject bound solely to the paradigms of ‘representation.’ Rather such a shift foreground the ‘dialogical’ and ‘per formative’ means through which art’s work may lead research. The emergence of this practice led intervention thus transforms the territories by which ‘work’ and materiality may be encountered by maker and viewer.

This international symposium seeks to creatively draw from emerging and established voices in the practice, criticism, history, and curation of the creative arts. It seeks to explore the particular logic, diversity and implications of the work of art both for its own sake and for the history of art and art criticism, cultural theory, curatorial practice and the pedagogies of art.


Steve Baker, UCLAN, UK
Estelle Barrette, Deakin University, AUS
Rosemary Betterton, Lancaster University, UK
Barb Bolt, University of Melbourne, AUS
Vanessa Corby, York St John University, UK
Bracha Ettinger, European Graduate School, Saas-Fee
Pam Longobardi, Georgia State University, USA
Roddy Hunter, York St John University, UK
Linda Weintraub, Independent Scholar, USA
Elizabeth Watkins, Bristol University, UK

Proposed Panels

Material Thinking: Practice Led Interventions in the History of Art
Bodies of Knowledge: Genders, ethnicity, sexuality, class
Eco-Logical Practice
Unruly Objects: Materiality/Process/Performativity
Dance and the Document: Tracking Performativity
Processing Memory/Psychic Mechanisms
Pedagogy & Practice Led Research


Abstracts for papers may be submitted via email by 6th June 2008

James Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant-Project & Outreach


Faculty of Arts
York St John University
Lord Mayors Walk
YO31 7EX