Symposium – LACKING IN DISCIPLINE

Friday 29th June 2007
Sandra Burslem Building Lecture Theatre 1
Manchester Metropolitan University

Convenor – David Brittain

One of the tropes of contemporary art is the artist or artwork that is said to break or blur boundaries between disciplines, or to depart from tradition. But who draws these boundaries? What is tradition? How realistic is it to set up an opposition between disciplinary and interdisciplinary practice when these positions seem to be complementary? Whose interests does it serve? This symposium invites a group of practitioners to address such questions through discussing their individual practices.

11.15 –              Arrival and refreshments

11.30 –              Intro and Housekeeping  - David Brittain

11.40 – 12.20     Keynote address – Suzanne Lacy - http://suzannelacy.com/

Suzanne Lacy is an internationally known artist whose work includes installations, video, and large-scale performances on social themes and urban issues. One of her best-known works to date is The Crystal Quilt (Minneapolis, 1987) a performance with 430 older women, broadcast live on Public Television. Also known for her writing, Lacy edited the influential  Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, published in 1995 by Bay Press, a book that prefigures current writing on politically relevant performance art. She has published over 60 articles on public art.

12.30 – 1.10               Mathias Fuchs

Mathias Fuchs is an artist, musican, and media critic living and working in Manchester. Coming from a musical background (Music Academy, Vienna) he was to his own surprise employed at Fine Art Academies and Design Schools in Vienna, Linz and Manchester. His lack of discipline led him to develop Game-, Sound- and Media-Installatios in Mexico City, Tokyo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Norwich, London, Cairo, Vancouver and Paris. Commissioned work for ISEA94 and ISEA2004, resfest, ars electronica, PSi #11, futuresonic, EAST, the Millennium Dome in Greenwich. Creative Games for Museums, Urban Planning and Theatre Performances.

1.10 – 2.00 – LUNCH

2.00 – 2.40 –              David Sweet

Dr. David Sweet, a painter, is a principal lecturer in fine art at MMU and was a contributor to the recent conference, A Future for Modernism? David Sweet is interested in the theory and practice of modern painting. He has contributed chapters to the recent publications, Art in the Making: Aesthetics, Historicity and Practice and In Beyond the Endgame: Abstract Painting.

2.50 – 3.30 –      David Brittain

David Brittain has been active in photography as a curator, critic, documentary maker, lecturer and as editor of the respected international magazine, Creative Camera (1991-2001). He has contributed to a wide range of publications and has been involved in the production of various documentaries for BBC TV programmes such as “The Late Show” and the “Decisive Moments” series. In 2000 his anthology of writings, “Creative Camera: Thirty Years of Writing” was published by Manchester University Press. In 2002 David was awarded an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts to research the subject of photography and the self-published magazine.

3.40 – 4.10 –      The Pattern Lab - http://www.thepatternlab.com/

Kathleen Mullaniff, Jennifer Wright and Jane Langley are practitioners in their own right. Collectively, they have been curating exhibitions related to textiles since 2000, enabling artists to explore and interpret both historical and contemporary textile collections and archives. They have now formed The Pattern Lab.  Working with textiles has shown that everything is connected and The Pattern Lab will be continuing to develop ideas relating to this expanded field, including science, history and society.

4.10 – 4.30        TEAS

4.30 – 5.10 Summing up and Plenary