CFP: Symposium Art and the Contemporary (Guildford, 9 Nov 18)

University of Surrey
Centre for Performance Philosophy
November 9, 2018

Deadline: Sep 21, 2018

We are pleased to invite you to a one-day symposium that will critically examine notions of the contemporary and contemporaneity beyond concomitance, in visual and performing arts, philosophy, and politics through panels and keynote presentations from Peter Osborne (Kingston University London) and Zöe Sutherland (University of Brighton).

When the contemporary is understood as the merely concomitant, comprising artworks produced at the present moment but not engaging with the actuality of that moment, it is reduced to a successive historicist category of periodization, lacking any art critical content. Against this, both Osborne and Sutherland engage with the contemporary as a coherent category of historical time by reflecting on the condition of art in the wake of 1950s-70s conceptualism in order to discuss the changing structure of historical experience. Osborne’s The Postconceptual Condition (Verso, 2017), from which this symposium takes its cues, argues that in historical contemporaneity diverse temporalities come together resulting in a disjunctive, fragmentary experience. Whereas, in essays such as ‘The World as Gallery: Conceptualism and Global Neo-Avant-Garde’ (New Left Review, 2016), Sutherland examines experiments in artistic conceptualism according to distributed global conditions.

We invite proposals for 15-minute papers from doctoral and early career researchers and artists that seek to develop, challenge and take in unexpected directions some of the premises upon which  The Postconceptual Condition elaborates the contemporary – such as the identification of history with history of capitalism, contemporaneity as a project of crisis, synchronicity as the dominant element of the temporality of globalization, contemporaneity as global modernity or contemporaneity as a fictive relational unity – by adopting similar or radically different theoretical points of view. Topics to be considered include but are not exclusive to:

  • The contemporary as a historico-philosophical or art-critical concept
  • Competing historical periodizations of contemporary art
  • Case studies of dialogue between modern and contemporary art
  • Current relevance of autonomy as a critical category in art and politics
  • Thinking beyond the dilemma between political art or escape from social determination
  • Tension between synchronization and temporal disjunction in the historical present
  • Temporal, spatial and social aspects of globalization challenged by contemporary art and its institutions
  • Art journals, international exhibitions, museums and archives as platforms for shaping the historical present
  • Art space and the space of the work of art
  • Relation of digital technologies and the distribution of images
  • (In)compatibility between information and image production and/or narrativity
  • Relevance for thinking the co-constitution of memory and the image

Please send 300-word proposals accompanied by a short biography of no more than 100 words to by 21 September 2018.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 9 October 2018.

Travel bursaries are available for participants affiliated with non-TECHNE institutions and independent early career scholars. Please indicate in your proposal whether you wish to be considered for a bursary.

Please address any questions or comments to the aforementioned e-mail and visit for more information.

The Co-Convenors:
Alessandra Ferrini (University of the Arts London)
Jessica Tupova Feely (Kingston University London)
Louis Hartnoll (Kingston University London)
Julia Peetz (University of Surrey)
Sylvia Solakidi (University of Surrey)

Reference: CFP: Symposium Art and the Contemporary (Guildford, 9 Nov 18). In:, Sep 5, 2018. <>.