Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Timesquare, 2016, courtesy Galeria Verlmelho
Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Timesquare, 2016, courtesy Galeria Verlmelho

Saturday, 28 May 2016, 10 am–2 pm, Mestni muzej, Gosposka 15, Ljubljana

Together with the DUM Association of Artists we invite you to a series of lectures and a discussion on the questions of how we can (still) establish and preserve the autonomy and sovereignty of art in contemporary society and what that actually means.
Through the intersection of the philosophy of art, phenomenology, critical theory, and psychoanalysis we will direct our attention toward the most fundamental ways of how art operates and affects us, and how this relates to the possibilities of autonomy and sovereignty and the related emancipatory potential in art today. Discussion will focus on topics from how art relates to our sense of temporal orientation in the world, to questions on the relation between art's matter, meaning, and signification, with the intention of acquiring a better understanding of the efficiency of art – and, in the last instance, of its sovereignty.


10:00–10:30: welcome coffee
10:30–11:30: Jonathan Owen Clark: Art and Presence

Over the last two hundred years, many art theorists have proposed various ideas about the uniqueness or autonomy of art, focused mostly on how art does this by undermining stable systems of meaning. However, somewhat less attention has been given to another difference about art; how it is a communicative system that operates through perception and perceptual media. Using a range of examples drawn from both historical and contemporary art, including the recent recreation of the Roman arch from Palmyra, this talk will examine how art matters and affect us in more fundamental ways. The talk will conclude with a discussion on how perceptual foundations of art and its reception matter more than ever in an increasingly globalized and mediatized world.

11:30-12:30: Robert Pfaller: How Art Matters. And How It Means.
Dance, like maybe no other kind of art, may seduce us to sharply oppose how art matters to its meaning: art matters where it does not mean anything, we may thus think; and when it means something it does not matter anymore.
Meaning something appears as a detriment to art's sovereignty; a slavish subjection to some foreign purpose, whereas art may only come into its splendor and dignity when it serves no other purpose than its own. Herein a crucial political point may be at stake.
We will claim further, that art signifies, even if nobody means it. By focusing on art's signification, instead of focusing on its meaning, and instead of just insisting on its materiality, we will get a better understanding of the efficiency of art – and, in the last instance, of its sovereignty.

12:30–14:00: discussion moderated by Gregor Moder


Dr. Jonathan Owen Clark is an artist and academic with research interests in philosophical aesthetics, cultural and critical theory, the philosophy of history and historiography, performance and dance studies, and musicology. He is currently Head of Research at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London (UK), where he leads several research programs in aesthetics and creative practice.

Dr. Robert Pfaller is a professor of philosophy and cultural theory at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria. He is founding member of the Viennese psychoanalytic research group “stuzzicadenti”.  In 2007 he received The Missing Link award for connecting psychoanalysis with other scientific disciplines, by Psychoanalytisches Seminar Zurich (PSZ), and in 2015 Best Book Award (for the The Pleasure Principle in Culture: Illusions without Owners, Verso, 2014) by the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa).

Dr. Gregor Moder is a researcher at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. He is also lecturing philosophy at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. His recent book: Komična ljubezen: Shakespeare, Hegel, Lacan (DTP, 2016).

The conference (held in English) is organized by DUM Association of Artists and Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory, with the support by MGML – Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana.

Mike Hentz: Live Art As A Research on Culture And Living
Artist talk (in English), Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 18:00
A.V.A. Institute, Academy of Visual Arts, Trubarjeva 5, Ljubljana

Jonathan Owen Clark: What are Art Schools For?
Lecture (in English), Friday, 27 May 2016, 17:15
AGRFT (big lecture room), Nazorjeva 3, Ljubljana

The accompanying programme (held in English) is co-organized by: DUM Association of Artists, Cirkulacija 2, A.V.A., and AGRFT.