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2016.01.03 Sun, by
Overwhelming Imagination: Achieving and Undermining Contradictions

“Overwhelming Imagination: Achieving and Undermining Contradictions” invites
art researchers to Beijing. The three-day conference, July 4-6, 2016 is accepting
proposals from now until January 16th, 2016.

Many have argued that the world under global capitalism, particularly urban centers, has become homogeneous. Cities world-wide share similar urban aesthetics, operations, and work schedules. Conversely, some have argued that characterizing our current state as homogenizing is limiting at best, drawing attention to the ways various communities have consciously or unconsciously resisted the values and life practices that are commonly associated with the
current global economic system. This has been further complicated with the rise of Internet technology and the ever-increasing formations of networked and online communities. Digital technologies have provided us with the tools for
entirely new ways of imagining the world as it was, is, and possibilities for how it could be. In this way, boundaries that have been traditionally used in discussions of identity formation, ie. local, regional, national, and international, based as they are on physical location, seem less important. On a daily basis, individuals are increasingly required to maneuver between various “realities,” be they digital, physical, spiritual, or imagined. In China alone, rapid economic growth and
expanding regional and global influence have resulted in the strengthening of relations, establishment of communities and increased connections with individuals from different countries all over the world. Under these new circumstances, art and its research must also be reevaluated.

The conference presents an opportunity for emerging thinkers to come together
to engage in dialogue about current and future trends in art and aesthetics. It
transpires during a pivotal moment in China’s continued growth and development
as a crucial entity within our interconnected and ever-increasing globalized world.
It will gather innovative researchers from all over the world on grounds that will
influence art history and its cores. It is a platform for new generations of thinkers
of art and methods to engage in a think-tank conference in Beijing, China. The
conference theme focuses conversation on aesthetic responses to the multiple
and often contradictory realities that people navigate in an increasingly globalized
and digitized world.

The conference is organized by I: project space (Antonie Angerer, Anna-Viktoria
Eschbach), Open Ground Blog (Madeline Eschenburg, Ellen Larson), and
Sishang Art Museum (Linyao Kiki Liu).

Conference Format:
The conference functions as think tank amongst innovative thinkers, inventors
and creative individuals through conversation, discourse, and facilitated panel
discussions. More speculative than conclusive, the conference aims to provoke
questions. It creates space for individuals to engage in intellectual dialogue and
discuss new trends in art and aesthetics, while at the same time, creating new
modes of language and content.
It will be a gathering for professionals whose backgrounds and work are actively
engaged within the field of art and aesthetics. We aim to create a space for a
future generation of critics, academics, and practitioners to question the statusquo
and formulate new questions for the future of art research.
Accepted participants will be split into four panels based on the content of their
proposals. After each panel participant presents a 20 minute presentation, an
hour-long facilitated discussion will follow.

Proposals should include a description of a persistent problem or topic in the
research or practice of the contributor. In their proposals, applicants should give
a brief description of their current research questions and/or discussion points
related to current and future trends in art and aesthetics.
We encourage proposals from a wide variety of fields including art (photography,
painting, performance art, music, dance, etc.), art history, history, philosophy,
cultural studies, film studies, etc. Proposals could address questions related to,
but not limited by, the following topics: diaspora, urban-rural relations, gender
positions, digital networks, speculative realism, localization, the connotative
significance of language, contemporaneity, trans-cultural politics of
representation, hybridization, periphery, marginality and subalternity, etc.
A juried committee of art history professionals will select a maximum of 16
proposals to participate in the July 2016 conference in Beijing. Applicants will be
notified of the committee’s decision by the middle of February.

Proposal requirements:
1. Brief description of proposed presentation, discussion topics/question(s) (no
more than 2 pages, double spaced)
2. Brief statement about what led applicant to begin exploring this
topic/question(s) in relationship to the conference theme (no more than 2 pages,
double spaced)
3. Work Samples: digital files only (no more than 25 images, 20 minutes of video,
20 pages text)
Proposals must be received by January 16, 2016.
The conference will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese and English. Please limit
proposals to one of these two languages.
We encourage thinkers from all over the world to apply, especially the fierce, the
queers, the provocateurs, and the beautiful!

Additional Details:
- There is no application fee
- Applicants should be prepared to attend the entire duration of conference
(July 4-6)
- All accommodations, meals, and transportation during the conference, in
addition to flights to and from China (for those based out of China only) will be
- Participants will be responsible for applying for their own visas. More
information regarding applying for a visa may be found by contacting the
Chinese Embassy located within ones home country.
- Special meal requests or additional accommodations should be arranged with
conference organizers before the conference. We will do our best to
- The results of the conference will be published and distributed during the
- Please send your applications to: overwhelmingimagination@yahoo.com