Art & Anthropology – A Parallel Universe Day Seminar, Arnolfini, Bristol

It is increasingly common for contemporary artists to explore anthropological and ethnographic concerns in their practice. At the same time, artists themselves have become a subject for study for contemporary anthropologists. In this symposium, researchers working in and between both fields will come together to explore links, friction and potential in a celebration of cross-disciplinary exchange.
The tracing of connections between anthropological and artistic practice, the extent to which the two disciplines are distinct, and their shared grounding in discourses of alteriety have been significant concerns for theorists and practitioners alike for many years now.  Though given definite shape through Marcus and Myers’ The Traffic in Culture (1995), such discussions have now progressed far beyond beyond the “ethnographic turn” of Foster (1995) or anthropology’s own “crisis of representation”. Now, through the work of anthropologists such as Arnd Schneider, Christopher Wright and others, a rich, shared space of methodological and theoretical practices is – problematically – shared between these disciplines.  Issues of subjectivity, identity, “the other”, even “modernism” itself, inform and are informed by both art and anthropology in complex ways.
Coordinated in response to Arnolfini’s Parallel Universes season, the event will include presentations and facilitated discussion, and is open to all.  It aims to bring together artists, creative practitioners, researchers, anthropologists and everyone in between in order to highlight, inform and illuminate these complex interactions.
Proposals are invited exploring any aspect of cross-over between art and anthropology, from postgraduate students and early-career independent practitioners.
Please send up to 200 words outlining your proposal, up to 3 images, and a CV to by October 31st 2012.
Performative presentations are very welcome. However, any technical requirements beyond the use of a projector will need discussion.

Leave a Reply