Conference Announcement

Wed, 28 Jun 1995 14:01:11 EDT

--------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------
Conference Announcement

The Centre for Cultures, Technologies and the Environment, in
collaboration with the Idaho State University announces a 5 day
international convergence of artists and scholars on the *AESTHETIC,
will be held at the Centre for Cultures, Technologies and the
Environment in Mysore, India.

Dates: 14th - 18th February 1996

Format: The conference/convergence is envisged as a multi-disciplinary
event and will include, apart from academic presentations, lecture-
demonstratiopns by artists, performance-cum-discussions and exhibitions
of works of art including video, film, visual arts etc. pertaining to
the themes of cross-culturalism.

Themes and Issues:

Aesthetic Questions:
1. Do symbols from one culture used in a work by an artist from another
culture bear any of their original cultural meanings, or are their
meanings to be drawn entirely from the re-contextualization?

a) If nothing of the original cultural meaning remains in a
recontextualizes symbol, does its usage nonetheless pretend to a
former meaning, resulting in work that is either shallow (when the
pretense is unrecognised as such) or ironic (when the pretense is

b) If the original meaning of a re-contextualised symbol in fact
remains, is its usage the aesthetic equivalent of forgery?

2. Does the use in a work of art of elements sub-contracted to an
artist from another culture, by introducing a second set of aesthetic
sensibilities not explicitly accommodated within a collaboration,
destroy the unity and coherence of the work?

3. Can a work by an artist from one culture about the lives or
experiences of members of another culture ever be substantially

Political Issues:
1. Do works by a "majority" artist about a "minority" culture within
the same country necessarily promote existing dominance patterns?

2. Is work by an artist from a colonialised country, expressed in the
visual, verbal, or musical idiom of the colonialising culture,
necessarily elitist? Does such work implicitly support colonialisation,
even when the work is "subversive"?

3. Do minority artists, working with symbols, idioms or subject matters
of majority culture, have a responsibility to address and to resist
patterns of political dominance?

4. Are collaborations between so called first and third world artists
necessarily one sided, given the superior access to first world artists
to audiences and markets?

Ethical Issues:
1. Do works by an artist from one culture about the lives or experiences
of members of another culture harm members of that other culture by
creating, however unintentionally, misleading stereotypes?

2. Is the use by an artist of images, symbols, or idioms taken from
anothe culture necessarily a theft of that other culture's heritage?
Is such use of images the moral equivalent of stealing actual artifacts?

3. Is the incorporation by an artist into his or her own work the actual
work of an artist from another culture necessarily a kind of exploit-
ation, even if the work was produced on a contract basis?

4. Is the use of a sacred image of one culture by an artist from
another culture essentially a profanation of the image? If so, does
the profanation harm the members of the culture to which the image

.. These are just some of the issues and questions that would be
raised and debated in the conference.
For further details and submission of abstracts, please contact:

Ms Vibha Sharma/Mr. Chandrabhanu Pattanayak
(Sec. and V. P., CCTE)
4289, Hotel de Ville
Montreal, Quebec H2W 2H3

Tel,/Fax: (514) 845-8496

Dr. Paul Tate
Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Campus Box 8075
Pocatello, Idaho 83209-8075
Tel: (208) 236-2150
Fax: (208) 236-4529