[Msa-discuss] CFP: "Trading Zones: Strategies for the Study of Artists and Their Art-Making Practices"

Bewer, Francesca Francesca_Bewer at harvard.edu
Thu Apr 28 12:52:14 EDT 2011

2012 Annual Conference of the College Art Association, Los Angeles, February 22-26

Deadline May 15, 2011

Call for Participation

Session title: "Trading Zones: Strategies for the Study of Artists and Their Art-Making Practices"

Session co-chairs: Francesca Bewer, Harvard Art Museums (Francesca_Bewer at harvard.edu<mailto:Francesca_Bewer at harvard.edu>); and Jan Marontate, Simon Fraser University (jmaronta at sfu.ca<mailto:jmaronta at sfu.ca>)

Session co-sponsored by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

This session explores research on the 'spaces' where communication about art-making occurs, considering them somewhat akin to "trading zones", a term used in anthropology and social studies of science as a metaphor for social (and material) spaces where people from different cultures or disciplines collaborate, without necessarily sharing the same values, language or understandings of what they hope to achieve.

Proposals are encouraged about research on modern and contemporary artists' encounters with specific sources and resources that have inspired them to preserve tradition or to adopt innovative art-making practices.  How has information about materials and techniques circulated?  Was it through traditional training, artists' handbooks, experimentation, technical literature, and/or in conversation with others (and if so with whom: artists, conservators, scientists, technical support people working for suppliers of materials or instruments, or others)?  How have artists' experimentation and needs influenced the development of materials and techniques? What resources have art historians and critics, curators, conservators and scientists, gallery owners and others developed to study and document artists' creative practices (for example, data bases of responses to survey questionnaires, technical data from scientific analysis of works of art, interviews, artists' and conservators' archives, or on-line social networks)?

At its best, research on communication about art making enhances understanding of the meaning of the work and ways of preserving it.  However sharing research may also give rise to contention and risk (eg. fueling a new generation of art forgers in the mode of van Meegeren). What are some of the challenges faced by researchers interested in documenting technical information on the recent history of art-making practices? When should research about artists and their technical sources and resources be shared?  When should it be considered confidential?

We welcome abstracts at this point; once the roster of participants is finalized the CAA asks for the completed participation proposal form (see http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/2012CallforParticipation.pdf) and a short CV.

The CAA published a shorter description of the session in the CFP (http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/2012CallforParticipation.pdf).

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