Unplace conference

– Call for Papers –

Gathering the contributions of researchers, artists and curators, this conference aims to examine the different ways by which contemporary art and museums are reconfigured in virtual environments.

From museums to academia, the development of digital technologies has strongly impacted cultural practices, agents and institutions, in an unprecedented manner. In a mediatized and globalized world, concerns about the nature of these technological changes are increasingly spreading, and research in this field has been rapidly expanding.
Over the past decades, and especially since the generalization of the Internet, artists have been actively exploring the potentialities of new media languages and communities, often blurring artistic categories. Movements like Digital Art or Internet Art clearly demonstrate how these technological means came to shape challenging new territories for contemporary art, not only in terms of creation, reception and participation, but also regarding its preservation, collection, curatorship or exhibition. At the same time, funding for the arts has been strategically promoting digital on line tools involving museums, galleries, art fairs and biennials.
Yet, interestingly enough, while many of these virtual projects successfully embrace immateriality as a prolific category, many others fail to propose utterly innovative environments, as they merely seek to reproduce conventional museum models: uncritically digitizing existing collections, following the same classification and display criteria or duplicating, online, real exhibition spaces.
To what extent is the permanence of the ‘physical’ determining the shape of virtual art works and environments? What are the differences between digital representations of an existing museum building and a purely virtual, web-based exhibition space? How are we to study, classify, preserve and exhibit Internet art works and collections? How is the emergence of the ‘intangible’ affecting heritage, exhibitions design, art practices and public participation? Is ‘intangible museography’ a new field of specialization for scholars, museum professionals and independent curators?
In this conference, organized within the framework of the unplace project, we aim to critically examine the different ways by which museums, artists, curators, conservators and academics are dealing with these questions.
We welcome 20-minute presentations, in English, (followed by 10-minute discussion) from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives related to contemporary art. Encouraged topics and case studies may include, but are not limited to:
Digital and Internet Art
Virtual Exhibitions
Online Collections, Archives and Data Bases
Collaborative Contemporary Art Projects
Digital Preservation / Media Obsolescence
Communities and Social Participation
Art and Piracy
Romanticism, Empathy and Affect
Politics and Activism
Virtual Museums as Utopian Architecture
Intangible Museography
The conference will include plenary lectures by keynote speakers and thematic sessions for registered delegates, as well as debates with artists and curators.
Please send 300-word abstracts, in English, no later than 15th July 2014 to
Submissions should also include the following details (in English):
Full title of your paper;
Your name and institutional affiliation;
E-mail and postal address;
Short biographical note (100-150 words).
Submitted proposals will be peer-reviewed. Selected papers will be eligible for publication.
Deadline for abstract submission: July 15, 2014
Notification of acceptance: August 1, 2014
Deadline for Early Bird Registration: September 7, 2014
Deadline for Normal Registration: September 30, 2014
Submission of Full Papers: December 15, 2014
For delegates presenting a paper:
Early Bird Registration (until Sept 7): 80 Euros
Regular Registration (Sept 8 – Sept 30): 100 Euros
Reduced Early Bird Registration*60 Euros
Reduced Regular Registration*80 Euros
Other Participants:
Without paper but entitled to conference materials and certificate.
Registration Fee: 60 Euros
Reduced Registration Fee*40 Euros
* Students and ICOM members. Evidence of concession will be required.
Questions and Queries to:
Alexandra Bounia, University of the Aegean, Grécia
António Pinto Ribeiro, Next Future Programme, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal
Helena Barranha, IST, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
János Tari, AVICOM, ICOM International Committee for Audiovisual and New Technologies of Image and Sound
Joaquim Jorge, INESC-ID, IST, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Juan Martín Prada, Universidad de Cádiz, Espanha
Susana S. Martins, FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal


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