Symposium

Terminal Convention Symposium

Airport Art: Is it a Terminal Convention?

Art as we know it – or knew it – is not what it used to be. Despite what we are told by gallery guides, museum leaflets, glossy coffee table books and biographies of heroic outsider artists, art is now a commodity like any other. The very idea that art and artists are special, that they can somehow occupy a separate realm of experience from which they can bestow cultural enlightenment, is not only absurd, it now also carries with it the hollow ring of marketing strategy and promotional rhetoric. Let us face facts – art is now a global brand. And like all other brands art brings with it the relentless promise of the new, the unique and the innovative – a promise which belies the fact that the art industry is now primarily concerned with recycling hackneyed clichés and worn out conventions. ‘Brand Art’ brings us blockbuster shows, publicly funded regeneration ‘strategies’ and a whirlwind of Biennials which seem unable to do anything other than regurgitate the same old stuff – the bland ubiquity of ‘Airport Art’, that slick, easily recognizable contemporary convention which looks the same the world over.

Within our globalized neo-liberal economy (a neo-liberal economy which thrives on its ability to encourage and re-absorb acceptable levels of dissent) art and the art industry are badly in need of a ‘Napster moment’ – a way of re-thinking and re-routing the circuits through which art is produced, distributed, evaluated and consumed. And this ‘Napster moment’ can no longer hope to somehow happen outside the confines and strictures of our current economically driven models of living – there is simply no outside left, no other place to go. Instead, and perhaps somewhat ironically, artists, critics, curators, writers, thinkers and radicals need to find new forms of autonomy within the structures of a globalized art industry, to carve out spaces which will allow us to rethink ourselves radically, imagine ourselves differently and re-configure our collective futures.” John Byrne, January 2011.

Terminal Convention Symposium explored, examined, scrutinized, critiqued and proposed ideas for micro utopias, subversive strategies, Trojan horses and any other use of contemporary art that, frankly, tries to make a difference.

Symposium Day 1

Airport Art: Beyond The Current State of Play/Napster Moment

The first section of the Terminal Convention Symposium – Airport Art: Beyond The Current State of Play – focused on an analysis of the current territories occupied by contemporary art in the age of globalized mass media. Issues of image, hype, publicity and relationships to popular culture were to be considered alongside examples of expanded cultural engagement, new uses of media networks and cultural exchange.

Symposium Day 2
Imagining new markets: Rethinking the economies of art.

In the second day of the Terminal Convention Symposium – Imagining new markets: Rethinking the economies of art – a range of speakers considered the role that an expanded art market plays in the production, distribution and consumption of contemporary art. Far from treating the market as a clearly identifiable and unnecessary evil (the pho-naïve stance of those who would really wish to fall into the market with open arms) the sessions attempted to open up more sophisticated territories for the production of subversive contemporary art. A range of experts in the field were asked to suggest ways in which an expanded model(s) of the art market may yet play a key role in the production of radical content.

Symposium Day 3
Provisional Autonomous Communities: Forms of subversion Within

In the third and final day of Terminal Convention – Provisional Autonomous Communities: Forms of subversion Within – a range of speakers who are active within the field of contemporary art practice (and who see their job as proposing alternatives to commonly received notions of production, distribution and display) were asked to propose radical ways forward for contemporary art practice.

 

Programme (Archive)

Terminal Convention Symposium: Airport Art: Is it a Terminal Convention?

Day 1:   17th March

Artist tours and Registration

10.00 – 12.00 Open registration and artists tours of projects

12.00 – 12.30 Final Registration

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch refreshments in departure lounge

TC Napster Moment

13.30 – 13.45 Introduction to the conference

13.45 – 14.30 Keynote – Annie Fletcher (Van Abbe Museum)

14.30 – 14.45 Keynote Qs

14.45 – 15.00 Break

15.00 – 15.30 Peter Gorschlueter, Curator Terminal Convention (Deputy Director of MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main)

15.30 – 16.00 Christian Merlhiot/Ange Leccia (Le Pavillon, Palais de Tokyo)

16-00 – 17.00 Keynote and Speaker 2 and 3 Discussion session

 

Day 2:   18th March

Market

10.00 – 10.15 Introduction to the day – and sum up of previous day.

10.15 – 11.00 Keynote George Yudice (University of Miami)

11.00 – 11.15 Keynote Qs

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.00 Christian Viveros-Faune (Curator of Dublin Contemporary 2011)

12.00 – 12.30 Steven ten Thije (Van Abbe Museum)

12.30 – 3.00 Keynote and Speakers 2 and 3 Q and A

13.00 – 14.00pm Lunch

14.00 – 14.15 Introduction to afternoon discussion groups – setting of agenda

14.15 – 14.45 Alistair Hudson (Grizedale Arts)

14.45 – 15.15 Amanda Coulson (Director of Volta Art Fair)

15.15 – 15.45 Clare Butcher (Independent Curator)

15.45 – 16.00 Break

16.00 – 17.00 Panel session: All speakers

 

Day 3:   19th March

Alternatives/ Ways Forward

10.00 – 10.15 Introduction to the day – and sum up of previous day.

10.15 – 11.00 Responsive Keynote Charles Esche (Van Abbe Museum)

11.00 – 11.15 Keynote Qs

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.15 Stephen Wright (professor of art theory and history at the European School of Visual Arts)

12.15 – 13.00 Keynote and Speakers 2 and 3 Q and A

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.15 Introduction to afternoon discussion groups – setting of agenda

14.15 – 14.45 Dr Becky Shaw (TC Artist and head of MA Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University)

14.45 – 15.15 Dr Aislinn O’Donnell (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)

15.15 – 15.45 Paul Sullivan (Static Gallery)

15.45 – 16.00 Break

16.00 – 17.00 Panel session: All speakers

 

Partners/Sponsors:

Cultural Partners: National Sculpture Factory/Cork, Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council England, Static Gallery/Liverpool, Liverpool City Council/Culture Liverpool.

Academic Partners: Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design and CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Partners: Cork Airport, Cork City Council, The Bodega Group/Cork. Dutch Art Institute, PRS, Van Abbe Museum/Eindhoven

Music Venues: Cyprus Avenue and Crane Lane Theatre, Cork

Drinks Sponsor: DIAGEO

Hotel Partner: Cork International Airport Hotel

Media Partner: The Irish Examiner

 

 

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