Assistant Professor of Arts Administration Dr. Antonio C. Cuyler, Arts Administration doctoral students Elise Kieffer and Brad Lister, and Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Exhibitions (MEX) doctoral candidate Aja Roache attended this year’s International Conference on the Arts in Society in Vancouver, Canada.
The Arts in Society Research Network offers an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the role of the arts in society. It is a place for critical engagement, examination and experimentation, developing ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world – on stage, in studios and theaters, in classrooms, in museums and galleries, on the streets and in communities. It focuses on teaching and learning through and about the arts, interrogating arts histories, theories, paradigms and frameworks for critical analysis, examining the use of technologies and media in the arts, and addressing social, political, and community agendas in the arts.
In addition to supporting a collection of journal and books as well as providing members with opportunities for ongoing involvement, the Arts in Society Research Network also hosts the Annual International Conference on the Arts in Society. The conference serves as a platform for interrogation of the nature of the arts and arts practices and aim is to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society and explore innovative theories, practices, and critical analyses of the arts. Attendees include leaders in the field, as well as emerging scholars, who travel to the conference from all corners of the globe and represent a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. A variety of presentation options and session types offer opportunities for attendees to share their work, discuss key issues in the field, and build relationships with attendees.
Dr. Cuyler, Kieffer, Lister, and Roache attended the Thirteenth International Conference on the Arts in Society, which took place from June 27th to the 29th at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada. Its special focus was How Arts Make It Happen—Situating Social Practice in Research, Practice, and Action:
Social Practice endeavours to model, perform, and enact new and more just ways to live in the world together. It provides an active site from which to investigate the intentions and capacities of social activations mediated by artistic processes. Social Practice takes form in public spaces, community sites, and relational settings, drawing upon a wide range of material, conceptual, and transdisciplinary approaches. As this area of practice continues to expand into academic and cultural institutions around the world, hosting this special focus within the context of this conference presents the opportunity to explore the field at an international scale.
This year’s conference included three days of paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, and colloquia, featuring plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field. Within the conference, guests, attendees, participants, and presenters had the opportunity to explore this special focus and more through a range of engaging discursive and experimental gatherings. These opportunities included but were not limited to: perambulating dialogical spaces; discursive forms of hospitality and sustenance; agonistic exchanges; off-site and time-insensitive forms of sharing and archiving; and public tracings and mappings of key questions and concerns.
While Roache had the opportunity to attend the Thirteenth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Dr. Cuyler, Kieffer, and Lister had the honor to present their papers. Dr. Cuyler stated the following as a response to the experience:
As a first time attendee to the International Conference on the Arts in Society, I found the conference intellectual engaging. I also appreciate discovering another international presentation outlet for my work.
The Department is proud of its Arts Administration and MEX faculty and students for representing the department and being part of an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society!