2019 National Conference

knowledges: artistic practice as method

Conference Overview

The 2019 theme, knowledges: artistic practice as method is an invitation to explore modes of knowing, especially as arrived through the discovery of artistic practice. This theme is anchored in, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • How do artistic practices map onto other methods of knowledge production?
  • If contemporary artists are trained from the outset to be critical of their medium(s), how might this critical reflection inform more discrete disciplines, which often treat academic form as neutral vessels for the delivery of content?
  • What can researchers across the arts, sciences, and humanities learn from one another’s practices and approaches?

The University of Kansas, host of this year’s a2ru conference, aims to infuse the arts into its research culture by advancing interdisciplinary projects across the sciences and humanities. This is accomplished through existing structures, such as the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at the Spencer Museum of Art, The Commons, and the Research Excellence Initiative through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The exhibition and dialogue among artists and scholars developed through the IARI colloquium (November 6, 2019) will launch the 2019 a2ru national conference.

Connect with other conference goers, post photos, and tweet (#a2ruKansas19) your conference experience!

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) invites proposals for the 2019 a2ru national conference, knowledges: artistic practice as method to take place at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, November 7-9, 2019.

a2ru advances the full range of arts and design-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice to acknowledge, articulate, and expand the vital role of higher education in our global society. a2ru’s work, in partnership with more than 40 research institutions, envisions a world in which universities—students, faculty, and leaders—explore, embed, and integrate the arts in everyday practice and research. With generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the a2ru National Conference is an opportunity for practitioners and researchers from across the higher education spectrum to share innovations and perspectives in the arts.

The 2019 theme, knowledges: artistic practice as method is an invitation to explore modes of knowing, especially as arrived through the discovery of artistic practice. This theme is anchored in, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • How do artistic practices map onto other methods of knowledge production?
  • If contemporary artists are trained from the outset to be critical of their medium(s), how might this critical reflection inform more discrete disciplines, which often treat academic form as neutral vessels for the delivery of content?
  • What can researchers across the arts, sciences, and humanities learn from one another’s practices and approaches?

The University of Kansas, host of this year’s a2ru conference, aims to infuse the arts into its research culture by advancing interdisciplinary projects across the sciences and humanities. This is accomplished through existing structures, such as the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at the Spencer Museum of Art, The Commons, and the Research Excellence Initiative through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The exhibition and dialogue among artists and scholars developed through the IARI colloquium (November 6, 2019) will launch the 2019 a2ru national conference.

a2ru invites proposals for presentations from researchers, artists, field leaders, and other practitioners about arts-integrative research, practice, and curricula that explore the potential of artistic and other practice-led methods for inquiry across disciplines. In an effort to unpack different ways of knowing, proposed sessions will follow a structure that mimics the process of knowledge generation. Proposal formats will include 1) inquiries, 2) lightning talks, and 3) presentations. a2ru encourages proposals that represent diverse backgrounds, pursuits, affiliations, locations, ages, and institutions. This active format invites participants into the collective co-creation of knowledge.

Session Content

TRACK ONE: knowledges—Exploring artistic practice as method

This track asks participants to consider the implications and insights for ways of knowing, especially as arrived through the discovery of artistic practices. Projects and programs should contribute to the conference theme by addressing one of the following: artistic knowledge, practice-led methods, and engagement. Proposals for artistic knowledge should consider artistic practices as methods for knowledge production. Rather than leading with problems to be solved or theories to be tested, proposals for practice-led methods look at questions and propositions that arise through practice itself. Engagement and circulation might be explored as collaborative methods that generate issues and emerging themes.

TRACK TWO:  The arts and design in research universities

Topics in track two are primarily concerned with creating and supporting work, developing tools, and presenting ideas about the arts and design in the context of academic research and teaching cultures. Projects and programs should contribute to the conference by addressing one of the following themes: modes of collaboration; Interdisciplinary stewardship; equity; campus amplification and departmental engagement; promotion and tenure; and insights, cultures of evidence, impacts case-making, and dealing with data.

Session Format

Inquiries: Challenge previously held beliefs OR explore unfamiliar ideas.

Group inquiry provides opportunity for immersive work sessions that address a topic or question of particular interest to participants. Proposals should include:

    • intentionally designed format to foster discussion or activity across areas of expertise.
    • a focus subject or practice in relation to the conference theme.
    • intended working methods and outcomes of the group process.
    • mechanism by which to continue the work post-conference.
Lightning Talks: Connect ideas.

Proposals in this section should consider work that is in development. Through sharing the early stages of research, artists, designers, scholars, and students have an opportunity to exchange information and ideas to better inform the work in its publishing/presentation stage. Proposals may include:

    • basic keywords to describe the multiple facets of the research.
    • ideas for who might collaborate in the next stages (eg: computer engineers, biochemists, composers, choreographers, designers, etc.).
    • challenges faced in doing the work.
    • next steps/questions to work toward.
    • short (less than 10 minute) performance or presentation of the work in its current state.
Presentations and Performances: Share work that is more fully developed.

Presenters and performers can reflect on completed work or suggest next steps for projects that have already launched. Proposals should include:

    • description of the content to be presented.
    • explanation of how the format of presentation will be conducive to the next steps.

Submission Deadline: April 5, 2019

Agenda and Schedule

Agenda will be available for download HERE.

Click a session below to learn more about the presenters and session content!

Plenary Panelists

Nicholas Mirzoeff is a visual activist, working at the intersection of politics, race and global/visual culture.

Among his many publication, The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) won the Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in 2013.

How To See The World was published by Pelican in the UK (2015) and by Basic Books in the US (2016). It has been translated into ten languages and was a New Scientist Top Ten Book of the Year for 2015.

His new project, The Appearance of Black Lives Matter was published in 2017 as a free e-book, and in 2018 as a limited edition print book with the art project “The Bad Air Smelled Of Roses”  by Carl Pope and a poem by Karen Pope, both by NAME Publications, Miami.

Since Charlottesville, he has been active in the movement to take down statues commemorating settler colonialism and/or white supremacy and convened the collaborative syllabus All The Monuments Must Fall.

A frequent blogger and writer, his work has appeared in the New York Times, the GuardianTime and The New Republic.

Exhibiting Artists

knowledges, funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts

Assaf Evron’s work investigates the nature of vision and the ways in which it reflects in socially constructed structures, where he applies photographic thinking in various two and three-dimensional media. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Evron holds an MA from The Cohn Institute at Tel-Aviv University, as well as an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he currently teaches. He has received numerous awards including The Graham Foundation (2017), Israel lottery (2017), Artis (2016), The Gerard Levy Prize (2012), and The James Weinstein Fellowship from SAIC (2013). In 2019 He will exhibit a special project at the Mies Van Der Rohe McCorick House in Elmhurst and will have his first U.S. museum solo exhibition at MCA Chicago.

Danielle Roney’s artistic practice decodes spatial narratives to expose the impact and potentialities of our technological society. Roney’s international projects include, Global Portals, transnational, networked public spaces at TEDGlobal 2005, Oxford, England and Johannesburg, South Africa 2007; the Beijing off-biennale ‘Convergence’ and productions in Venice (IT), Sao Paulo, and Istanbul. Her project, Opposing Views, presented the visualization of conflict through debate upon the media façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, with the International Symposium of Electronic Arts in conjunction with the Istanbul 12th Biennale. Her work has been exhibited nationally, while public realm projects span live architectural mapping and permanent sculpture commissions. Roney was the designer of the U.S. Pavilion, Venice Biennale of Architecture 2010 with the High Museum of Art. She studied sculpture and digital media at the University of Georgia and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Fatimah Tuggar is a multidisciplinary artist who uses technology as both medium and subject in her work to serve as metaphors for power dynamics. She combines objects, images, and sounds from diverse cultures, geographies, and histories to comment on how media and technology diversely impact local and global realities. Tuggar’s work has been widely exhibited at international venues in over twenty-five countries and has been the subject of various panels and articles. Her body of work has also been integrated as parts of academic curricula, in multiple disciplines and discussions. Tuggar’s art education covers three continents and a broader range of disciplines, traditions, processes, and materials. She is currently working on a solo and monograph with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College which are both entitled “Home’s Horizon.”

 

Andrew Yang transdisciplinary artist and scholar who works across the sciences, art, and history to explore our engagement with natural cultural. His work has been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including commissions for the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2016). Yang’s writings span ecology, aesthetics, and philosophy and can be found in Art Journal, Leonardo, Biological Theory, and Antennae. He holds a PhD in biology, an MFA in visual arts, and is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Registration

Registration will open summer 2019!

Partners are defined as representatives (faculty, staff, student, etc.) from a2ru Partner Institutions.

Questions may be directed to Amy Tackitt, a2ru Program Coordinator.

Early Registration

(through September 1)
$300: Partner
$425: Non-Partner

$200: Single-Day Registration

Registration

(September 2 – October 1)
$350: Partner
$475: Non-Partner

(after October 1)
$400: Partner
$525: Non-Partner

$200: Single-Day Registration

Student Registration

$200: Partner
$275: Non-Partner

Student Travel Grants

Student Travel Grants, open to any undergraduate or graduate student currently attending a partner institution who would like to attend either our annual a2ru conference, the Emerging Creatives Student Summit, or any other a2ru event or workshop.

Scholars Program

The a2ru Scholars Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff from a2ru partner institutions from underrepresented groups with an interest in pursuing interdisciplinary study, research, and practice from partner institutions.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship is a wonderful opportunity to reach a critical mass of upper level administrators in higher education as well as leading industry professionals in the areas of creative placemaking, arts and health, arts entrepreneurship, arts research and more. Sponsorship of an event or advertising in our online and placard program will get your name and logo in front of some of the most influential decision makers in higher education and beyond. Help us support arts-integrated research, practice, and teaching and to bolster equitable access to the a2ru annual gathering. See sponsorship opportunities below.
For questions and logo specs, please contact Amy Tackitt, a2ru program coordinator.
Item or EventPriceSponsor Receives... 
Student Scholarship$1,000Acknowledgement on a2ru website, in online agenda, and event signagePurchase Now
Conference Website Banner$2,000On a2ru conference homepage [includes 1 complimentary registration]Purchase Now
Breakfast$5,000Placards and signs acknowledgement in online agenda and event signage [includes 2 complimentary registrations]Purchase Now
Coffee Break$1,000Acknowledgement in online agenda and program, event signage [includes 1 complimentary registration]Purchase Now
Artist Exhibit$5,000Acknowledgement on a2ru website, in online agenda and event signage [includes 2 complimentary registrations]Purchase Now
a2ru Partner Networking Luncheon$5,000Help us celebrate 5 years of a2ru; Podium placards and signs acknowledgement in web program and event signage; verbal acknowledgement at part of presentation [includes 2 complimentary registrations]Purchase Now
Logo on reusable water bottle for all attendees$5,000We will feature re-fillable water bottles for use at UGA filling stations—free to all attendees [includes 2 registrations]Purchase Now
Plenary Panel and Conversation$2,000Podium placards and signs; acknowledgement in online agenda and event signage; verbal acknowledgement at part of presentation [includes 1 complimentary registration]Purchase Now
Vendor/Display Table$2,000Table adjacent to conference attendee check-in tablePurchase Now
In order to have a more sustainable conference, we will not have a paper/printed program.
Want to sponsor an annual meeting or Emerging Creatives Student Summit? Contact Maryrose Flanigan, a2ru associate director.

Locations

KU Memorial Union
1301 Jayhawk Boulevard

Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Missippi Street

The Commons
1340 Jayhawk Boulevard

Hotel

There are a number of fantastic hotel options in Lawrence to fit various budgets and preferences. To help you narrow down your options, we recommend you check out the following:

The Oread
1200 Oread Avenue
0.3 miles from conference location
$139-$239/night

The Eldridge
701 Massachusetts Street
1.3 miles from conference location
$159-$189/night

TownPlace Suites Lawrence Downtown
900 New Hampshire Street
1.1 miles from conference location

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lawrence Downtown
One Riverfront Plaza
1.5 miles from conference location

Transportation

The closest airport to Lawrence, KS is the Kansas City International Airport (MCI) in Kansas City, MO, which is located 46 miles away. From the Kansas City airport, attendees can:

  • book a shuttle
    • Jayhawk Taxi
    • Super Shuttle
    • Five Guys Shuttle
    • Carmel Shuttle
  • rent a car – the highway is a toll road for a small portion but takes credit cards as well as cash!
  • or coordinate ride shares with fellow attendees/colleagues