March 26, 2019

Call for papers: "Artists and the Philosophers we Love"

University of Hertfordshire

Kerry Power (2 in series of 68). Courtesy University of Hertfordshire.

Can artists contribute meaningfully to philosophy?

Artists have long been interested in the field of philosophy; it has been subject to both fascination and scepticism. Artists are found quoting nuggets of philosophy as inspiration and as context for their work. For some, philosophers are names to conjure with, to add theoretical ballast to their perspectives, whereas for others philosophy is a vital of source of criticality, offering a new perspective on an individual's art and the context in which we find ourselves. For generations, artists have looked to philosophers of the Frankfurt School to understand the art-society-politics nexus and their role in it. Other artists, such as Joseph Kosuth, engage with the Analytic tradition: in Art After Philosophy (1969) Kosuth responds to AJ Ayer. Philosophy comprises one aspect of an art education at BA and MA levels, and for many, a Doctorate in Fine Art practice, requires a serious engagement with philosophy in addition to theory, history and other disciplines.

Can there be a productive relationship between art practice and philosophy that goes beyond name-checking the Good and the Great, or merely illustrating a well-honed philosophical phrase? What is it for an artist to love a philosophy?

In this symposium, we want to explore the relationship of art to philosophy from the perspective of practising artists. Our aim is to examine how art can engage with, and contribute to the theoretical problems of philosophy, and offer a critical rethinking of philosophies re-imagined and interrogated through art practice. The symposium is open to both senior and early-career artists and scholars who are planning or conducting projects in philosophy and art.

The symposium will be composed of panels with 20-minute paper presentations, and roundtables with less formalized discussion inputs. Please indicate in your email to which format you wish to propose an idea. Panels and roundtables will then be formed based on the themes and submissions. We also welcome film, photo, or other media submissions as long as they respond to the theme and are within the time-frame of 20-minutes.

Please send your proposals to Alana Jelinek, a.jelinek [​at​] (including a title and abstract of 250 words max and a short bio), by April 22, 2019.

Thank you!

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