March 23, 2018

"Front Lines, How Might We Talk about the Future?"

China Academy of Art

Courtesy of China Academy of Art and National Institute of Art/Education.

Since the National Academy of Art was established in 1928, the predecessor of the China Art Academy (CAA), this academy has witnessed a multitude of transformation in its navigation. For the past ninety years, the academy has focused on the preservation of its great tradition, whilst opening itself to a new era through art movements. Upholding and unfolding its advocation of “multimodal-interactivity” and “harmony in diversity”; it has consistently led the pioneering journey of Chinese Art as a whole with its relentless spirit of exploration and perseverance. Meanwhile, as a core site it emphasizes and promotes the need for the sustainable development of art education, the bringing forth the Academy’s experimental spirit, and the epochal manifesto devoted to art pedagogy in a time of constant and rapid transformations.

The year 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of China Academy of Art, and the centennial anniversary of Bauhaus and Vkhutemas, we invite artists, philosophers, curators, and educators from all over the world to come together to present and exchange the forefront of information regarding art/education, and to analyze essential elements for development in current practices. The forum seeks to inquire: how do we define creation, when we find ourselves facing culturally constrictive symptoms of global art-politics? How might we discuss the future in the utter exhaustion and confusion caused by contemporary art and knowledge production?

Art and education in the 21st Century are faced with opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, major development of media and techniques brings about radical changes in art, design and knowledge production; meanwhile, the internet, and big data trigger changes of education as well as the revolution of study. Pedagogical ideas of art/design, accompanied with the academic system as a whole have taken an unprecedented form. On the other hand, opposite to technological optimism, we can see that the new technology of digitalization and automatization is leading the proletarianization of sensibility. The source of power in art education is generally emptied and displaced by all sorts of facility, embodied in the form of big data and artificial intelligence.

In such a situation, how might we imagine a new mode and framework of art/education?

Nowadays, the real circumstances of art have changed behind closed doors. This moment is the intermission of art history: one’s action has already ended, but the next has not yet started. During this moment, how to develop a new art which is fully involved in daily life from radical reality of emerging technical media? How to refine a new art which is deeply engaged in the social process in the current complicate sense of history and reality?

At this very instant, the collapse/beginning is brewing in the silence. One hundred years ago, when the previous generation of artists, architects, and philosophers built Bauhaus and Vkhutemas during a different set of social basis and historical vision, they began with a new pattern to go between the modern institution of art/design. Since then, we have experienced a series of crises and transmutations of the art academy. One hundred years have passed, with this new century building itself of the foundation of technological iteration and entropy, how might we begin again?

Participants invited to this seminar are renowned scholars from the world including: Xu Jiang, President of China Academy of Art; Fan Dian, President of Central Academy of Fine Arts; Cao Yiqiang, Director of the Advanced School of Art and Humanities at China Academy of Art; Gao shiming, Vice President of China Academy of Art; Yrjö Sotamaa, President Emeritus of University of Art and Design Helsinki; Bernard Stiegler, Head of the Institut de recherche et d’innovation(IRI) at Centre Georges-Pompidou; Steven Henry Madoff, Chairman of MA Curatorial Practice at School of Visual Arts. They will probe into the current situation of global arts and art education within four separate units, Questionnaires, Proposals, Beyond and Debate.

Contact: caaic [​at​]

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