As Slowly As Possible


"As Slowly as Possible": A Symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present

24-26 May 2018
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The 2018 international Association of the Study of the Arts of the Present symposium will be hosted by the CLUE+ Interfaculty Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and dedicated to exploring notions of slowness.

Contemporary ideas of slowness, as introduced by such movements of the 1980s including Carlo Petrini’s “slow food” and other projects, have gained increasing relevance in our ever-accelerating present. Far from denoting merely a claim to slow down, slowness encourages us to address the complexities of contemporary production and reception processes with a heightened sensibility to multi-layered interrelations from the economic to the ecological. The relational nature of speed can serve as a fruitful metaphor for the complex interrelations of spatial/geographical and temporal/historical orders, as well as aesthetic and political discourses. Its relationality encourages us to question other binary notions of hot versus cold media, digital versus analogue, culture versus nature, local versus global, as well as any categorization of the arts according to disciplines, genres, or media.

We are pleased to announce our symposium keynotes and performances: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ernst, Prof. Dr. Mieke Bal, Dr. Maria Fusco, and Dr. Jeremiah Day. For more information on the keynotes/performances, locations, and times, please click here. Please also note that all keynotes/performances are open to the public. To register for these events, please see registration information below.  

Symposium Presentations
We received over 130 abstracts from which we could select less than half for presentation at the symposium. The presentations will deal with a variety of artistic genres, such as literature, the visual arts, video and film, music, poetry, performance and dance, and digital art. Panels will be devoted to topics such as deep time, durational art, slow activism, anthropocene asynchronicities, movement and mobility, slowness ‘at home’ and ‘in the city,’ slow cinema, rhythm and slow motion, slowness as (institutional) critique, slow violence, non-human temporalities, and materialities of slowness.

Symposium Schedule

Please find the finalized conference schedule here.

Download the booklet of the full ASAP program here.

As this is a symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, you will need to become a member to participate ($65 for Full-time Faculty/Museum Staff; $45 for Graduate Students/Adjunct Faculty/Independents). ASAP membership entitles members to register for meetings of the association, join the listserv, and participate in association prize competitions. Membership also includes a subscription to the ASAP/Journal, published three times annually by Johns Hopkins University Press (an additional fee is required for shipping). Please note that we took these fees into account when establishing the symposium fees, so that they remain affordable.

  • Registration is $100 for Full-time Faculty/Museum Staff and $60 for Graduate Students/Adjunct Faculty/Independents. The optional Symposium Dinner on Friday evening is $60.
  • Public Events: You may also register for the public events ($15 for Wolfgang Ernst keynote; $15 for Mieke Bal keynote; $15 for Maria Fusco performative lecture and Jeremiah Day performance; $10 for Roundtable discussion, including drink ticket).
  • Please note that you will be asked to become an ASAP member directly after selecting your options. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Pre-Symposium Lecture: "How Will Art Survive Us?" by Tal Beery, 22 May 2018
Facing social and ecological changes that may threaten the very survival of our species, our times require large-scale collective adaptation. The arts, and arts institutions, are crucial here. They hold space for new stories and act as arenas for the rehearsal of new structures and modes of engagement that will be the most effective tools for surviving what we have become.

Pre-Symposium Junior Researcher Workshop: "(In)Human Time: Artistic Responses to Radiotoxicity"
What role could art and visual culture play in the discourses surrounding radioactivity and -toxicity and its complex temporality? How have artists responded historically to radiotoxicity and how has this changed over the past decades? How do they render radiotoxicity sensible?

Call for Papers (Closed)
ASAP/Amsterdam invites proposals from scholars and artists addressing the contemporary arts in all their forms since the 1960s—literary, visual, performing, musical, cinematic, design, and digital. We are interested in work across disciplines and media that examine the formal, cultural, social, and political dimensions of the arts today.

Hotel Suggestions
Please be aware that hotels in Amsterdam book up quite quickly, especially in the spring. In choosing your hotel, you may want to consider its proximity to the Vrije Universiteit (De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam) and/or public transit. Trams 5, 16, and 24; Metro 51; and Busses 242, 341, and 346 stop at the university. Alternatively, many trains, trams, metro lines, and busses stop at Station Amsterdam Zuid, which is a 15 minute walk from the university.

Organizing Committee
Dr. Erin La Cour, Prof. Dr. Katja Kwastek, & Prof. Dr. Diederik Oostdijk

Should you have any questions, please contact us here.

CLUE+, NICA, Perdu, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, FOAM Museum of Photography, Slow Research Lab,  Vacant Stories