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

05/24/2018 | 05/26/2018

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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

Faculty of Humanities

Art, Culture and History

Conference / Symposium

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

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 24‐26 May 2018

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. 

Keynote Lectures/Performances

  • Mieke Bal (NL)
  • Wolfgang Ernst (DE)
  • Jeremiah Day (US/NL)
  • Maria Fusco (IE/UK/NL)

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.

Call for Papers
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.

The symposium encourages papers exploring the notion of slowness, including:

  • multi‐layered temporalities and time‐scales as effective in artistic practices and works
  • relations of any of the slow movements (slow cities, science, film, food) and the arts
  • ecological, durational, activist, processual, systems‐oriented approaches
  • multi‐modal and cross‐medial approaches to slowness
  • challenged binaries of aesthetics vs. politics, digital vs. analogue, local vs. global

Participants are encouraged to think as broadly and imaginatively as possible
about the intersections between and among the contemporary arts and their
institutions, economies, policies, and traditions. Proposals may focus on individual
artists, writers, designers, composers, or performers and/or their works; they may
consider artistic movements, collectives, and local scenes, including those online, or
underground; they may discuss any theoretical, intellectual, or aesthetic formation
that figures in the world of the arts as we know them now.

For further information and conference updates, please visit

Applicants to the symposium are invited to submit a 250 word abstract and short
biographical note by december 1 2017 to the organizers at Please include your short bio in the same document as your abstract.

Organizing Committee
Erin La Cour, Katja Kwastek, & Diederik Oostdijk

Should you have any questions, please contact us at