Knowledge Forms and Forming Knowledge

Jul 16-17 2015

Together with Antonia Majaca and Mohammad Salemy, a seminar at the University of Technology, Graz and a public program at the Centre for Art and Media, Graz – The Limits and Horizons and Transdisciplinary Art-Based Research.

Global contemporary art has witnessed a shift in the last decade: a reorientation from media based to what could provisionally be dubbed as ‘knowledge-based’ art making. These new artistic practices - utilizing various research methodologies and generating diverse ‘knowledge forms’ - emerge out of the epistemic co-dependency between subjects and objects, humans and animals, as well as general life forms and technology. In parallel, the convergence of art and philosophy seems to be shaping a trans-scientific form of knowledge within art’s discursive, performative and exhibition arenas that can impact the way science approaches both concepts of truth and the practice of model making. With rigorous translation, these partial convergences of disciplines have the capacity to oscillate in both directions, in movements of productive contamination.

The public seminar initiated by Antonia Majaca, and co-organized with Patricia Reed and Mohammed Salemy departs from a speculative inquiry: Are we witnessing the unfolding of a paradigm shift in the field of artistic research - the formation of what could be dubbed ‘art based trans-disciplinary investigation’ and, if yes, what kind of ‘scientificity’ and ‘knowledge forms’ do these practices produce? Secondly, how does this trans-disciplinarity operate and what kind of transgressivity do such investigations instigate in order to generate novel ecological scaffolds for scientific knowledge we might actually need for addressing the urgencies of our time?

The two-day program of the public seminar, consisting of a workshop at IZK on July 16 th (centered around selected readings and art practice analysis) as well as a public conference with invited speakers, on July 17th at the Künstlerhaus - Halle fuer Kunst und Medien in Graz. The program will evolve from several seemingly unconnectable ‘positions’ that nonetheless relate in their mutual interest for epistemic reconfiguration in the field of spatial and visual practice as a result of the destabilization of conventional categories of knowledge.

The seminar takes place in the context of the Open Modes 2015 project, organised by nine Graz based art and educational institutions and in the context of the institutional reconfiguration of the IZK - Institute for Contemporary Art, at the Graz University of Technology.