CONF: Infrastructures of Producing, Transporting and Logistics in Transnational Perspective (online, 27-28 Oct 2021)

This workshop is part of the ongoing research project “(Un)Mapping Infrastructures. Transnational Perspectives in Modern and Contemporary Art”. The original meaning of “infrastructure” (from the Latin infra, and structura) refers to a substructure or ground, and to static constructions which establish important lines of connection and guarantee supply. Applied to the arts, the term may be said to designate institutions such as museums, exhibition venues, private collections, production sites and academies but also funding institutions, publishers, and other (academic) authorities that contribute to relevant discourses, networks, and the publicizing of art.

Taking a transnational perspective, the goal of this group is to question these infrastructures since the modern era, as well as to examine their possible alternatives. It will ask about blind spots of the previous art historiography, multi-perspectivity, and interweaving stories, moving our understanding of modern art production beyond the dominant canon and narrative. Orders, spaces, and actors will be mapped in specific case studies in order to survey how technical, political, and economic conditions shaped the cultural field.



Burcu Dogramaci (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München) and Ursula Ströbele (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München)
Welcome + Introduction

Panel 1_mobile studios
Over the centuries, artists have frequently drawn inspiration from traveling and embarking on research trips to remote regions searching for specific motifs and territories, working in situ for specific exhibition projects and in residencies worldwide or finding themselves compelled to leave their home country due to political or religious persecution. The panel mobile studios seeks to explore these different reasons, working practices, trails and infrastructures that are expressed in artistic nomadism, mobility, exile or forced migration, translocation but also loss of artworks, materials, and tools. Academies, workshops and art schools beyond the traditional institutions in a global context, such as the Académie Lhote, École Municipale des Beaux-Arts in Casablanca, the Feminist Arts Program at Cal Arts, Black Mountain College or the Pond Farm represent vital sites of education, production and collaboration, as well as shared or transferred knowledge and time-based studio practices that are also considered in the panel.

Simone Wille (Universität Innsbruck)
Transregional trails of artistic production

Oscar E. Vázquez (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois)
Migrating Models: Academies, Duplication and Dissonance

– Coffee break –

Panel 2_the accompanied object
In order to be seen and received, works of art have to leave the place where they were created and find their way to institutions. Or they leave their collections to be exhibited in other places. Objects are packed/crated, made safe for travel, shipped by a transport company and often accompanied by couriers. Infrastructures thus enable the global mobility of objects, challenged by borders and duty restrictions. Although the accompanied change of location has presumably been one of the constants of art and its history since the beginning, the topic of transporting art in the modern and contemporary periods has only recently come into the focus of research. At the same time, attention has already been paid for some time to looted art or art objects seized under National Socialism.
This section deals with the conditions and practices of transporting art works. The techniques, actors and modes of action that enable the mobility of objects will be examined. The specificity of individual genres will also be considered, i.e. how are sculptures and paintings transported, what challenges do installations pose, and what about the transport of immaterial works? Additionally, to what extent is mobility already being considered in art production? And do works exist that are conceived themselves from the outset as transportable and thus placeless, as constantly accompanied traveling objects?

Lynn Rother (Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg)
Driving L’Arlésienne: Transporting Paintings during National Socialism
Monika Dommann (Universität Zürich)
Handle with Special Care: The Art of Logistics

– Break –

Die Kunst der Logistik. Politische, ökologische und andere Herausforderungen
Paneldiskussion mit den Künstler*innen Anke Doberauer (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, München) und Andreas Greiner (Berlin), dem Registrar Luis Müller Philipp-Sohn (Museum Ludwig, Köln), dem Kunstlogistiker Thomas Schneider (Hasenkamp, Köln/Frechen) und der Kuratorin Stephanie Weber (Lehnbachhaus, München)
Moderation: Burcu Dogramaci und Ursula Ströbele


Burcu Dogramaci (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München) and Ursula Ströbele (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München)
Welcome to day 2

Panel 3_ performing the making
This section is dedicated to the making of modern and contemporary art, looking at the relationship between art making, the time and place of making, local traditions and contemporary conditions. While in many cases art is still made behind the closed doors of the studio, there are also many examples in the history of the 20th century of cooperative and publicly visible, transparent and interactive art production in workshops, communities, actions and happenings. In these cases, the gesture of production often becomes an action that is exhibited at the same time.  
We are interested in all forms of art production that understand (performative) making as part of the work, e.g. networked (analogue/digital), cooperative and participatory art. This includes medialisations such as textual and visual documentations of art production, screening and broadcasting or artworks with animals, for which artists initiate the crucial preconditions of the setting and then leave it to the partially auto-generative work to ‘act‘ on its own. But also artistic positions which have recently been named as pioneering, especially for contemporary art and design in Africa (Making Africa, exh. Vitra Design Museum, 2015; Flow of Forms/Forms of Flow, ed. Kerstin Pinther/Alexandra Weigand, 2018).

Sophia Prinz (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zürich)
The artist´s business or artistic research at the lower end of globalization

Zoe Zhang (China Design Museum, Hangzhou)
Popular magazines: A Cradle of China’s Modern Collage and Design

– Break –

Panel 4_invisible and overlooked structures of production
In a global world where growth, speed and circulation increases value, the flow of goods and digital data has become currency itself and mainly determines the market systems. Today, trade has moved from objects to immaterial production of data and continuous information exchange. These inherent supply chains and forced mobility are mainly provided by decentralized technologies, e.g. clouds, deep-sea data and fiber optic cables, server farms in ‘unknown‘ places and other modes of publicly invisible and overlooked infrastructures. This panel focuses not only on digital art, using the various possibilities of the Internet, social media platforms and other interfaces, but also on analogue art forms such as fax art, mail art or concept art, that leave behind established object aesthetics in favor of innovative forms of collective authorship. Questions of accessibility, algorithmic governmentality, control and power relations also need to be addressed here.

Inge Hinterwaldner (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Karlsruhe)
Software-based: how far does the fundament carry?

Barbara Preisig (Universität Zürich)
Calling the Clay

– End of workshop –

The workshop will take place via Zoom. No registration needed. You can join the Zoom meeting at the following link:
Meeting-ID: 856 5934 5839 | Password: 148258.

For further information: