Call for Papers: Alternatives to the Present (University of Tartu, Estonia, September 3-5)
Friday, February 19, 2016
Posted by: Jennifer Studebaker
Call for papers for the annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
(Deadline: March 26, 2016)
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.” Fredric Jameson and Mark Fisher 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 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 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, we invite papers that examine the
present status of imagining alternative spaces and times in all forms of contemporary art and
Possible topics include
• possibilities for hybrid genres and artistic mediums
• new narrative forms and unnatural narratives
• art and theory that imagines the future or past
• the artistic possibilities of imagining radical difference today
• utopias, dystopias, and the changing status of utopian thinking as "social dreaming"
• heterotopia and heterochrony
• “zones” (of fantastic origin, of heterotopic space, of multidimensional time)
• the contemporary practice of futurisms (“Afro-Futurism,” "Sino-Futurism," etc.
• architectural alternatives: ecotopia, ecopolis, etc.
• sciences and the arts of the present
• the timespace of augmented reality and digital gaming
• time and the aural, the times/space of soundscape, music and heterotopia
• dramatic timing, reimaginings of time and space as performance
• manifesting alternative spaces and times specific to various artistic mediums:
literature, visual arts, installation art, film, TV, theatre, music, digital arts, street art,
performance art, architecture, urban planning
In keeping with the mission of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, we are especially interested in sessions that feature more
than one artistic medium and more than one national tradition. The program committee will
give preference to panels and roundtables that feature papers by scholars and artists working
across and between disciplines.
Proposals should include 300-word abstracts for papers or 700-word abstracts for roundtables
or panels, with email addresses and brief biographical statement for each speaker. See
[asap8.ut.ee] for more information or contact [email@example.com] with inquiries.
ASAP/8: "Artistic Alternatives to the Present" is hosted by University of Tartu in
collaboration with the Program Committee of ASAP. The symposium's host organizers are
Marina Grishakova and Jaak Tomberg, University of Tartu.
Deadline for submitting proposals: MARCH 26, 2016.
Please send submissions in Microsoft Word format to [firstname.lastname@example.org]