Thursday, June 27, 2013

CfP: Mediating Cityscapes

Den Haag/The Hague
25-27 September, 2013
If urban space has historically been defined by the relation between static structures and mobile subjects, this dichotomy is fast giving way to hybrid spatialities characterized by dynamic flows which not only dissolve the fixity of traditional modes of spatial enclosure, but problematize the unified presence of the subject traversing their contours.
                                                                        Scott McQuire, The Media City (2008)
As Scott McQuire suggests, the contemporary city is marked by a number of tensions found between fixity and flow and the resulting hybrid spatialities which are shaped by a multifarious range of mediations. Historically, certain of these mediations, such as film, photography, music, art, and more recently, mobile and locative media, have helped shape the diverse strata which compose both the material and immaterial dimensions of the contemporary city.  In form, and as practices and discourses, they have also afforded opportunities to critically engage with and creatively intervene in the city.  As part of the annual arts festival TodaysArt, held in Den Haag, this interdisciplinary symposium will focus on creative and artistic responses to the mediated cityscape.  We encourage papers and submissions from academics, artists and practitioners that consider the multiple ways in which various media (film, music, photographic, digital, etc.), creative practices, and technologies put in to play a diverse array of encounters and interfaces that engage with, interrupt, reconstitute, or resist the hybrid spatialities which define the contemporary cityscape.
Abstracts of no longer than 250 words can be sent to:
Closing Date: Friday, June 14th 2013. 
Participants will be notified by July 1st, 2013.
More on TodaysArt here:

CfP: Photo Essay

Call for Work: Photo Essay
CFP: Photo Essay, special issue Streetnotes 22
Deadline: October 15, 2013

Streetnotes: poetry, ethnography, and the documentary experience.

Photo Essay

In this special issue of Streetnotes we wish to examine the concept of the Photo Essay, to engage, question, experiment, and reinvent it, as a means to capture the character of the contemporary moment.
Born alongside the camera, the Photo Essay took shape as a challenge to hitch together image and thought. Maneuvering between two modes of writing, with light and with words, the creators of the Photo Essay set in motion modern genres, such as photojournalism and documentary, and initiated new disciplines like visual anthropology and sociology. Offering the promise of new insight and new truths, the exposé of the Photo Essay helped create new media platforms and new audiences too. The best work also provoked a new critical awareness of social conditions and new questions about their representation.

Along the way, however, the Photo Essay became less transparent and more freighted with the problems of late modernity. Questions arose about the form’s authenticity and objectivity. Critics and artists saw in it a hardening of style, and the emergence of a privileged gaze and compositional authority that was less conducive to disrupting and demystifying power than to maintaining its structures. Perhaps against its original intentions, the Photo Essay became a device that distanced viewers from events.

The fall of the Photo Essay, its turn from truth to deception, however, took place alongside the popularization of both photography and ethnography. New technology and media enabled both an explosion and acceleration of images and texts across an omnipresent mediascape, one which is today increasingly dominated by so-called ‘user-generated content.’ In this issue of Streetnotes, we ask if at-hand tools to capture images, instantly upload videos, and issue short-burst communiques have further buried the Photo Essay as form. Or instead, have these advances made the very challenges the Photo Essay calls forth, all the more important to take up?

There is no way to go back to re-create nor re-read a Photo Essay like Bateson and Mead’s _Balinese Character_ or W. Eugene Smith ‘Country Doctor’ as if the crisis of representation never happened, or as if the means of digital production had not significantly changed. Streetnotes asks, instead, if the impossibility of the Photo Essay today has not, in fact, made the questions implicit in its form all the more critical as we attempt to make sense of the flood of images and texts which today everywhere surround us.

We endeavor to think and experiment with the Photo Essay of tomorrow. To ask what must be destroyed and what must be rescued? What is the Photo Essay’s unique craft, art or invitation? What kind of audience can it evoke today?

In this issue of Streetnotes we are looking for:

New Photo Essays, which experiment and play with its form. Academic articles on the place of the Photo Essay within today’s mediascape.
Critical reviews of contemporary work that aims to bring photography and texts together in a sustained and complex fashion. And any other inventive work that struggles with the challenges associated with the interplay and poetics of images and thought, or pictures and words.

Questions and topics related to the Photo Essay may include (but are not limited to the following):

The heuristic character of essays and photography
The poetics of concealment and exposition
The dialectics of image and texts
The End and/or Ends of photojournalism
The Photo Essay within the context of new media
The politics of the Photo Essay
Radical images and the onset of concrete social conditions
Capturing and appropriating space
Reimagination of social relations
Images of the global, placemaking and travel
Fast media and slow Interpretation
Image vs. Text, Eye vs. Ear
Im/possibilities of seeing differently
The Work, craft and art of photography and writing today
New advances in descriptive poetics

Deadline: October 15, 2013

Please direct questions to Streetnotes Editor, David Michalski

All articles must be submitted through Streetnotes submission management software:

CfP: The Idea of a Creative City and the Urban Policy Debate

The Department of European Studies at the Cracow University of Economics (Poland) and the Jagiellonian Club warmly invites you to attend the interdisciplinary conference:
"The Idea of a Creative City and the Urban Policy Debate"
17-18 October 2013
Cracow, Poland

The aim of the conference is to overview and assess the concept "creative cities" and its implementations. We are interested in a debate based on research, both theoretical and empirical, and on exploration of particular cases from all over the world, which can highlight potentials and pitfalls of putting the theoretical idea into practice. In particular, we are looking for comparative studies and different cases which may provide a lesson for Central Europe.
We address this conference to the representatives of academia dealing with urban studies, to the artistic community, policy-makers and non-governmental organizations interested in culture, creativity and urban policy. Our aim to to bring together people fascinated by the dynamic changes in contemporary cities.
Please send abstracts to: by 15 July, 2013.

Fort further details visit

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CfP: Artists and Art Critics from Central and Eastern Europe in the West

Call for papers RIHA Journal Special Issue

RIHA Journal ( invites submissions for its Special Issue:
"Beyond boundaries. Artists and art critics from Central and Eastern Europe in the West"
The aim of the Special Issue is to present artists and art critics from Central and Eastern Europe who gained a special position in the Western Art World and played an important role in the development of art and art criticism. Many of them, well-known in the West (i.e., France, Germany, Great Britain), stayed almost unknown in their homelands although their output was imposing. The Special Issue is not confined to one particular period or one country. Papers may deal with figures active through all the centuries (from the Middle Ages to contemporary times).
Guiding questions:
1. Mechanics of success
2. Relations with local/national artistic milieu
3. Reception and evaluation by the local/national artistic milieu
4. Fate (from fame to oblivion)
We welcome papers in English, French and Polish. Suitable submissions will be sent to two expert peer reviewers for blind peer review.
Texts should not exceed 50,000 characters (incl. footnotes and spaces) and include no more than 15 images. For the format of bibliographic references please consult the RIHA Journal styleguide at No particular electronic formatting is required. Please keep the electronic formatting of your manuscript as simple as possible.
Submission deadline: 30 November 2013.
Envisaged date of publication of the Special Issue: October 2014.
The Special Issue will be edited by the Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences (ISPAN), Warsaw.

Please send your submissions to:

Prof. Dr hab. Anna Wierzbicka and Dr Dariusz Konstantynów
Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences (ISPAN)

Monday, June 17, 2013

streetart in budapest

Graffiti, Sticker, Stencil
Streetart in Budapest – Walking tour with János Sugár
19. June 2013 19.00
Meeting Point: Goethe-Institute
1092 Budapest, Ráday u. 58.

More info: 

out of control

From 7 until 29 June 2013, the TU Braunschweig Institute of Media and Design will be presenting an exhibition at Berlin’s orangelab entitled “Out of Control”. 
More info:

CfP: Modernity, Socialism and the Visual Arts – A six-day ship conference

Date: 6-11 October 2013

Venue: conference ship from Berlin via Beeskow, Eisenhüttenstadt and Gorzów back to Berlin

Organization: Kunstarchiv Beeskow and Utrecht University in collaboration with Marlene Heidel, Claudia Jansen, Ursula Lücke and Joes Segal

Public debates on Cold-War cultural heritage since the 1990s tend to address the pre-1989 European art world in terms of a clash between Western modernism and Soviet-style socialist realism. However, behind these general concepts one encounters a wide variety of artistic forms and ideas, which more often than not transcend oversimplified politicized distinctions. Especially since the late 1960s, West-European art explored the borders between “art” and “life”, opening itself to various forms of social and political engagement, whereas socialist realism became a highly contested concept in large parts of Eastern Europe, leading many artists away from both realist and socialist assumptions. This rather one-dimensional representations of Cold-War cultural history after the collapse of state socialism provokes a series of fundamental questions. What exactly do we mean by modernism and socialist realism? How do both concepts relate to modernity, and is it possible to speak about socialist modernity? What aspects of Cold War cultural history do we neglect when exclusively focusing on its bipolar character? What concepts would be needed to interpret the pre-1989 European art world in non-exclusive, non-teleological ways? And what could be the role of (material) archives and museums in such a reinterpretation?

These are some of the basic questions that will be addressed at a six-day conference starting at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and on board an archival ship, travelling from Berlin to Gorzów along a number of sites, archives and institutions related to Cold War culture and art history. Apart from offering a unique opportunity for in-depth discussions, the ship conference symbolizes the crossing of both national, disciplinary and temporal borders; it aims at connecting parallel and divergent European histories, addressing (art) historical, philosophical and interdisciplinary issues both on a conceptual and on a practical level, and relating our interpretation of the past to are present concerns and future ideals. It will be organized along seven panels:

I. Concepts and Debates
II. Utopias and Artistic Practices
III. Architecture and Urban Planning
IV. Archives and Modernity
V. Gender Roles
VI. Post-Cold War Art Debates
VII. Art after Communism, East and West

The conference will start at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and continue aboard our conference ship and at stops in Beeskow, Eisenhüttenstadt, Frankfurt/Oder and Gorzów. The ship offers room for 24 conference participants. Conference fee is € 50,- for six days, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Participants will sleep on board the ship in shared cabins (two persons) and should take part during the whole six-day conference.

A selection of the conference papers will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed, open-access journal International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity (

Researchers, artists and curators are invited to send proposals for a 20 minute presentation to Joes Segal,, before 15 July 2013. The proposal should include title, abstract (maximum 250 words), details of the presenter’s institutional affiliation and a short CV. Please consider that presentations will be in English and aboard the moving conference ship in daylight.


In a separate "zoom" page, we will blog about recent happenings and news we find extremely important.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

pre-events of this blog

On the 22nd of May in 2013 we participated on the workshop "The Artist and Art within Urban Change" at the Georg Simmel Center at Humboldt-University of Berlin.

The figure and image of the artist as we know it today has a long history in the European cultural discourse. In this discourse the artist was placed mostly in an urban environment. An artist needed the public, support from institutions, and a platform for the presentation of his art, and the city offered the perfect solution for this combination of needs. But not only did the artist need the city, the city also required artists and art to be actors present within the city walls, producing and securing an artistic glory (splendour) for the city – classic examples are Renaissance Venice or Florence. Art and artist are connected during this long history with images that always fascinated the public. Today, this relationship seems to be extremely tight-knit in cities, where art becomes a “symbolic capital”, the artist an agent of gentrification (Ley 1996), and the creative industry a very crucial component of economic health. Various theories emphasize the role of property capital in these processes as well, describing how capital follows the artist into gentrified localities, commodifying the artist’s cultural assets and displacing the original artist/gentrifier (Harris 2012).
From this phenomenon the question arises: what does it meant to be an artist today in this urban environment? With the call to “reclaim the streets” and also under the influence of the Situationists, Beuys and many others, artistic activity becomes much more resonant in the urban context than before in previous decades. How does this development influence our understanding of art, artist, and urbanity?
With these ideas as the backdrop, our interdisciplinary and international workshop intends to discuss these phenomena on two levels (as two possible sessions of the workshop) and from a comparative point of view, where the cities (Moscow, Berlin, London and Istanbul) are on one hand sites for different urban historical traditions, and on the another hand they are “metropolises” for the economic, cultural, political and industrial centers of their countries and regions.

I. The change in the role of the Artist in the urban context (changing images of the Artist in the urban context):
At this point the workshop intends to focus on the changing attribution of the artist during the last 100 years: from the bohemia of the fin de siècle, through the revolutionary role during the Russian revolution, to the lonely and anonymous rebel against capitalist aesthetics in the cities. Not only have the different, eventually transnational, European historical images of the artist had to be reflected (if we have such images!) as well as the local urban contexts – in London, Berlin and Moscow. At this point the workshop would concentrate on the local transformations of the transnational, trans-European images of artists and analyze it on the concrete urban local level.
(An example: what are the differences of the images of the street artists? Street art is generally viewed - on a “transnational level” as art and the artists using these forms of communication have something of the rebel image. On local level - Banksy is exhibited, in Berlin the city is branding itself with street art, and in Moscow street artists are criminals…)
In this context the following questions/points could be discussed among the participants:
- How did the image of the artist change during the last 100 years?
- What values surround the figure of the artist today? What images and values are projected when we think of “the artist” as a component of urban experience?
- Are there any local differences in the valuing of the artist? Comparing London and Berlin with Moscow or even Istanbul- are there any differences to be recognized in the “valuing” of the artist?

II. In the second session the workshop would discuss the production of art today in the urban context: What do artists produce today in the urban space? What kind of agency does the production of art have within urban change, and how has this altered over the past decades? For example, urban public space has previously been occupied and claimed by street artists producing work that challenged dominant ideologies of ‘legitimate’ art production. Now the public space of the urban—“the streets”—is being occupied by artists and visual images coming from semi-private spaces like galleries and ateliers, or semi-public spaces like museums. What are the implications of this change in art production and the agency of visual works in the city and how does this modify the relationships between art, the artist, and urban change in the city?

The workshop does not intend to seek answers, but to open new fields of discussion for comparative and interdisciplinary urban research.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

about the map

Since one of the most important aims of the blog is to help and generate research on the issues of art and city, we decided to develop a mental map, which enables the investigation of some of the keywords more closely. At the same time, in contrast to a static map we envision a more interactive surface; a surface that is constantly in formation. This means that there will be a direct link between the creation of the map and the posts written by the members: while labels of a particular post serve as keywords for the map, labels used together form the network system of the map. Through this method we hope to get closer to the complex relationship of these key notions utilized in the research field of art and city. Check out the map page!


TACT / International Research on Art and City is an international network that brings together research on art, artists and the city. Involving academics, artists, activists and students, it creates a platform for investigating urban imaginaries from the perspective of art and the city, artists and public space, and the urban interventionism of street art and grassroots activism.

The network involves people from different disciplinary backgrounds including urban anthropology, sociology, art history, urban history, geography, architecture and art. It creates an important arena for the exchange of ideas through workshops, projects, events and publications, and seeks to encourage new cross-disciplinary collaborations. Through an international comparative focus across cities such as Berlin, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Budapest, and St. Petersburg, it aims to generate innovative new dialogue between post-socialist, global or globalizing cities. Through close examination of these cities in their historical and cultural contexts, the network looks to develop new and enhanced practices and strategies for researching art and artists in the twenty-first-century city.