INFECTIOUS: Crisis, Contagion and Communication Aesthetics

When: Fri, 11 Sep, ’09
Where: Main Lecture Theatre (EG02), COFA

Yang Shaobin, Blind Spot No. 6 (2008)

Yang Shaobin, Blind Spot No. 6 (2008)

How has the everyday been transformed by the emergency: real, imagined or instigated? Across the spheres of public health, finance, media and government, ‘crises’ are a regular occurrence, generating levels of anxiety and panic. The rhetoric characterizing both the ‘global financial crisis’ and the ‘swine flu epidemic’ has fueled anxieties, which are themselves infectious, seemingly subject to transmission through media. What then is the role of media and aesthetics in crisis driven culture? The Infectious symposium brings together researchers, artists and curators to discuss practical and analytical methods and concepts that might lead us towards alternative responses to crisis – from the Intervention in the Northern Territory of Australia to global health epidemics to urban and industrial development in China. The symposium will also address artworks and themes raised in the exhibition REAL Emergency, (Ivan Dougherty Gallery, August 27 – September 20, curated by Jill Bennett and Anna Munster), which features video art and post-documentary work by internationally renowned artists such as Hito Steyerl and Yang Shaobin.

International speakers:
Jiang Jun, Chief Editor of Urban China Magazine and lecturer at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
David Teh, Curator of 5th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival and lecturer at the National University of Singapore
Zoe Butt, Director of The Long March Project, Beijing

Australian speakers:
Anna Gibbs (Cultural Theorist, Writing and Society Research Group, UWS)
Jennifer Biddle (Visual Anthropologist, CCAP, UNSW)
Niamh Stephenson (Public Health, UNSW)
Ross Harley (Media Arts, UNSW) and Gillian Fuller (EMPA, UNSW)