alternatives to the present

A Symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
"Alternatives to the Present"

September 3–5, 2016
University of Tartu, Estonia

How and to what ends do the contemporary arts conceptualize, represent, and model new spaces and temporalities?

In recent years, much has been said about the difficulty of representing new spaces and times at “the end of history.” Several prominent critics have famously pronounced that it is nowadays easier to imagine apocalypse on Earth than it is to conceive of an alternative to the timespace of capitalism. And yet surely there are still possibilities for introducing temporal and spatial otherness to the imagination in the forms of (for example) heterochrony, alternate futures and histories, and alternate conceptions of temporality and spatiality based in nonwestern cultures, affective perception, digital media, and barter or gift economies (not to mention altered states both geopolitical and cognitive).

The manifold practices of today’s literary, visual, media, and performing arts are in fact often devoted precisely to conceiving of such (and other) alternatives. Indeed, a minimal impulse towards some kind of "alterity" could be said to penetrate all art, irrespective of its medium, genre, place of origin, or ideological orientation. Therefore, this year's program consists of papers that examine the present status of imagining alternative spaces and times in many forms of contemporary art and artistic practice.

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You can download the Program here.

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ASAP/8: "Artistic Alternatives to the Present" is hosted by University of Tartu in collaboration with the Program Committee of A.S.A.P. The symposium's host organizers are Marina Grishakova and Jaak Tomberg, University of Tartu.