NOTE: This symposium is being held in the form of an ongoing written dialogue wherein panelists post responses to the session questions at any point within each session. There are therefore no times listed along with the dates for the sessions. To see earlier posts, please check the blog archive.
While by most accounts visual art is becoming ever more discursive, prioritizing issues and ideas over the forms in which they are instantiated, a growing number of artists are expressing a renewed interest in form.* Unlike the detached, purely optical formalism of the last century, however, the new sense of form is both fully embodied and emphatically worldly. Indeed, for these artists form is seen as a conduit to the larger world, a means by which we experience our fleshly connections to the rest of nature. Inspired by the nonhuman turn currently sweeping the humanities, the emerging vision is of a wholly new approach to art -- one that, in parting ways with Western art's longstanding anthropocentrism, will embody the values of ethical posthumanism.
Bringing together artists and thinkers from a number of fields, this conference will explore the implications of posthumanist thought for this new orientation in art and how the latter might aid in our cultural advance toward a more ecologically sound future. To be held in this forum over the course of ten days (December 4 - 13), the dialogue will be accessible to all readers, and reader participation will be encouraged through moderated comments.
While the majority of our dialogue will take place in writing, there will be three guest speaker events that will take place on Zoom. While these live events will be restricted to symposium panelists only, links to recordings will be posted on the conference site shortly after their occurrence.
*A note about form: What is meant here by form is embodied form - form as perceived by the human senses rather than the disembodied kind extolled in Platonic philosophy.