[-empyre-] -empyre- June 2011: Biennales Plus and Minus

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Tue Jun 7 07:43:02 EST 2011

June 2011 on -empyre- soft-skinned space

"Biennales Plus and Minus: Global 
Interfaces/Digital Environments/Contemporary Arts"


Moderated by Tim Murray (US) and Renate Ferro (US) with featured guests:

Ian Baucom (US),  Isak Berbic (UAE),  Caterina 
Davinio (Italy), Manuela de Barros (Fr), Kimberly 
Lamm (US), Jolene Rickard (US)

To commemorate the opening of the 54th Venice 
Biennale and other biennales happening throughout 
2011, -empyre- hosts a discussion of "Biennales 
Plus and Minus" in the context of considerations 
of global interfaces, digital environments, 
contemporary arts.  How might we understand the 
status of the biennale model in the context of 
global digital environments?   Is the Venice 
model of artistic pavilions that feature "the 
nation" commensurate with -empyre-'s more global 
model of digital citizenry?  How might we 
understand the promotional aspect of the 
biennales in relation to the visibility they lend 
to international contemporary art?   How do we 
understand the valence of counter- or 
anti-biennales, along the model of the Salon des 
Refusés, that often accompany state-sponsored 
biennales?  How do politics and ideology function 
in relation to the biennale model?    What about 
the economies of exclusivity, capital, and 
patronage that drive the biennales?

Featured Guests:

Ian Baucom (US) is Director of the Franklin 
Humanities Institute and Professor English at 
Duke University.  Baucom works on twentieth 
century British Literature and Culture, 
postcolonial and cultural studies, and African 
and Black Atlantic literatures. He is the author 
of Out of Place: Englishness, Empire and the 
Locations of Identity (1999, Princeton University 
Press), Specters of the Atlantic: Finance 
Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History 
(2005, Duke University Press), and co-editor of 
Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s 
Britain (2005, Duke University Press).

  Isak Berbic (UAE) is an artist, writer and 
lecturer born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at that 
time called Yugoslavia. In 1992 as Yugoslavia 
dissolved and Bosnia was under attack, he and his 
family became refugees, moving from Croatia, 
through the Czech Republic to a refugee camp in 
Denmark, and lastly to the United States.  He 
studied Photography, Film and Electronic Media at 
the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 
Chicago, he practiced art, worked in theater, and 
was art director of a political monthly journal. 
In 2007 he moved to the Middle East; United Arab 
Emirates, where he currently teaches media at the 
College of Fine Arts and Design, University of 
Sharjah. He most recently co-curated an 
exhibition in Sharjah, "Brief Histories," at the 
same time as the Sharjah Biennale.

Caterina Davinio (Italy) is a net.poet/net.artist 
who is a pionneer of Italian electronic poetry.  
She was the first woman artist utilizing in Italy 
computer and Internet in literature and poetry. 
Author of novels, poetry, essays, visual and 
sound poetry, she created also works with 
traditional techniques, such as painting.  She 
collaborated to netOper@ in 1997, the first 
Italian interactive work for the web by the 
composer Sergio Maltagliati.  She also initiated 
Net-poetry in Italy in 1998 with the website and 
network Karenina.it. Her art has been featured 
several times in the Venice Biennale in 
collective projects where she has collaborated 
also as curator.

  Manuela de Barros (France) is a French 
philosopher and theoretian of art who teaches in 
the Department of Arts, Philosophie, Esthétique 
at the Université de Paris, 8 (St. Denis), and in 
the Ecole Médias Arts, Chalon sur Saone in 
France.  Emphasizing the relations of art, 
science, and technology, Manuela is the author of 
L'Art à l'époque du virtuel (2003, L'Harmatton), 
and L'Art a-t-il besoin du numérique" (Colloque 
de Cerisy) (200, Hermès Lavoisier).

Kimberly Lamm (US)  is Assistant Professor of 
Women's Studies at Duke University.  Her research 
moves within the fields of feminist theory, 
American Studies, literature, and visual art, but 
I consistently pursues moments in which seamless 
identifications between language and the image 
are interrupted. Her essays ranging from 
African-American visual culture to American 
poetry's relationship to feminist theory have 
appeared in Callaloo, Michigan Feminist Studies, 
American Quarterly, and the anthology Unmaking 
Race, Remaking Soul. She is  working on two book 
projects: "Inadequacies and Interruptions: 
Language and Feminist Reading Practices in 
Contemporary Art" and "The Poetics of Reciprocity 
in Contemporary Women's Writing."

  Jolene Rickard (US) is a visual historian, 
artist, and curator interested in the issues of 
Indigeneity within a global context.  She is 
Director of the American Indian Program and 
professor of art and history of art at Cornell 
University.  Under the auspices of a Ford 
Foundation Research Grant, she is conducting 
research in the Americas, Europe, New Zealand and 
Australia culminating in a new journal on 
Indigenous aesthetics, and has a forthcoming book 
on Visualizing Sovereignty.  A 2010-2011 
recipient of a Cornell Society for the Humanities 
Fellowship on the thematic topic of "Global 
she has exhibited at the Denver Art Museum, the 
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Quebec, (Rez X), 
Barbican Art Center in London, England, (Native 
Nations), Joseph Gross Gallery at the University 
of Arizona, Tucson, Ansel Adams Center For 
Photography, San Francisco, the Houston Center 
for Photography, C.E.P.A, Buffalo, Light Works, 
Syracuse, Exit Art, New York City. among others. 
Among her curatorial work, she was guest curator 
for the  Smithsonian Museum's "The National 
Museum of the American Indian," in Washington D. 
Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
27 East Avenue
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

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