Art and Geography – Aesthetics and practices of spatial knowledges 11-13 Feb 2013 Lyon (France)

I will be giving a paper and presenting works from That Oceanic Feeling at this Conference

The contemporary art world has gravitated toward notions of space and place with terms such as “in situ”, “outdoor” and “alternative space” becoming ubiquitous in its terminology. Further examples of art-geography hybridization include use of geolocation, georeferencing, fieldwork methodologies, and other geographical input in the creative process and in the appearance or significance of resulting works. Consequently, art critics and scholars increasingly view issues pertaining to public space, environment, and virtual space as prime topics of concern. Yet if art practice is engaged with a “spatial turn” then geography too is adopting and adapting art practice to the geographical imagination. Indeed, maps may be viewed as artworks; map-making as a creative process; and fieldwork methodologies as essentially artistic practices. A further aspect of the art-geography nexus concerns art’s engagement with contemporary spatial development planning and practice. From the branding of artist districts to festivalisation and local policies based on cultivating, promoting and clustering “creative industries”, artists are now seen as key players in the urban development game. This poses a new set of opportunities and challenges for artists to engage with revitalization processes, and also opens up new areas for critical research.

With such developments in how space and place are experienced in contemporary art, and how art is conceptualised and utilised in geography and allied disciplines, we believe now is a good time to take stock and cast a critical eye over the various art and geography interrelationships. Consequently, this conference brings together artists and geographers, as well as representation from throughout and beyond the academy, for discussion, exchange, and mutual learning.