Instability in Visual and Material Cultures

The Art and Design Graduate Student Association (ADGSA) at the University of Alberta currently seeks proposals for a joint graduate student symposium and exhibition on the topic of instability in art and design. We are interested in academic and creative projects that address the role of inconstancy, unpredictability, degradation, oscillation, and/or transformation in cultural production. Together, the two events will promote an understanding of instability not as a hindrance or limitation, but as a pervasive condition that can be exposed and even harnessed to productive critical ends.


Instability in Visual and Material Culture:

A Graduate Student Symposium

University of Alberta, March 16-17, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laura Marks, Simon Fraser University

We invite papers that encompass a broad range of methodologies and historical periods. Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Art/design produced under and manifesting conditions of personal, historical, political, cultural, economic, or environmental instability
  • Investigations of instability, whether physical, chemical or structural, as a producer or signifier of meaning
  • Formal and/or theoretical analyses of artworks that engage such abstract notions as ruination, chance or contingency, or volatility and apocalypticism

Current and recent graduate students can send 300-word abstracts for 15-20 minute papers and a curriculum vitae to by January 5, 2012.