For What It’s Worth: Creative Encounters

Creative Encounters is an open call for artistic contributions that will be exhibited during the interdisciplinary graduate conference For What It’s Worth: Nostalgia, Sustainability and the Values of the Present. The event is organized by members of the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) and will be hosted at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, in Germany, on 28th-30th April 2016. The aims of the conference revolve around the investigation of the implications of sustainability as a concept used in the study of culture. Permeating these debates are complex temporal dimensions that combine progressive elements with a kind of nostalgia, or a desire to sustain past values and conditions for future generations.

For What It’s Worth: Creative Encounters opens up an experimental space, in which the role of the arts and creative processes for interdisciplinary dialogues surrounding sustainability can be explored. The artistic contributions are not only meant to further explore the questions of the conference, but to similarly disclose different perspectives in relation to the discussion on nostalgia, sustainability and the values of the present.

We invite artistic contributions from artists/researchers interested in combining theory and practice and exploring the potential that creative processes can have for research. Through these creative encounters, we want to emphasize the importance of integrating the poetic, artistic and the aesthetic into academic discussions and into dialogues about social and environmental issues. Topics of interest to the conference that can be investigated in Creative Encounters involve, but are not limited to:

• anthropocentrism and nostalgic views of the natural world as a ‘home’ for humanity
• biocentrism and nostalgic perspectives of the natural world as a sacred space
• (post-)humanist constructions of ‘human nature’ in historical narratives and utopias/dystopias, especially with regard to the role of technology
• embodied sustainability, the role of aesthetics and sensorial perception in discussions of sustaining the (human) body and/or mind
• ecological, economic and cultural perspectives on the move from ‘conservation’ to (and beyond) ‘sustainability’
• nostalgic constructions of nature and landscape in literature and the arts (e.g. Romanticism, Modernism, Postmodernism)
• archival and museological perspectives on stewardship, conservation, heritage, curatorship and the cluster of related termscuratorship and the cluster of related terms• the importance of (post-)colonialism, race, class, gender and disability in academic and non-academic discussions of sustainability

The call is open to various formats, such as: images, videos, sounds, objects, installations, performances, poetic readings, among others. The art works are meant to be shown/performed both in and outside the conference venue. Therefore, we would like to encourage the submission of works which are adaptable to the outside environment. Abstracts of no more than 300 words together with the specification of material details, as well as images or some form of visual representation or sketches of the work (if available) and a short bio (maximum 100 words) should be sent to the email fwiw-art@gcsc.uni-giessen.de by 10th Jan 2016. Notifications about the acceptance of the contributions will be sent out by 15th Feb 2016.
For more information, please contact the email fwiw-art@gcsc.uni-giessen.de or see the website of the conference at: www.uni-giessen.de/faculties/gcsc/fwiw