Final conference of the InterArt international research program

"A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere" (Anna L. Tsing 2005)


“F(r)ictions of Art” will be the topic of the final conference of the InterArt interdisciplinary doctoral program. The conference will be hosted by InterArt’s home institution, the Freie Universität Berlin, in collaboration with the partner institutions that have supported the program over its nine-year existence: the Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies and Goldsmiths College of the University of London. The dual notion of f(r)iction in the arts imaginatively captures the central concerns of this research framework, which included works on the various interconnections between the different genres, ideas, and traditions of art as well as the connections between art and other social fields.

Art evolves out of frictions between different practices, materials, and ideas, between capacities, constraints, and freedoms. What we perceive, claim, or reject as art through such frictions is also always a kind of fiction—a fiction of art that motivates and legitimizes institutional structures and individual and collective actions. Art can be seen as fiction as it transgresses and expands social realities. But art can also be understood as fiction because the ideas we have about the status, the possible effects, and potential reach of art are historical fictions about the world of art. By invoking the notion of f(r)iction, we would like to invite contributions on the relationship between fictions and frictions of art and, in particular, on the productive moments in which art’s fictions are produced through frictions. Our point of departure is not an emphasis on the boundaries between distinct fields, or on their transgression and permeability. Rather, we want to focus on the current processes through which distinctions between art and non-art, and between different arts, become visible and manifest—moments of friction that lead to particular fictions of art. Friction can be seen as a metaphor or as an aesthetic experience based on the f(r)ictional interaction between different entities—entities which do not necessarily merge or dissolve through their encounter but rather define themselves against each other and unleash new dynamics and synergies through the interactions between, for example, art and science, art and politics, or art and law.

Venue: Berlin,  June 25-27, 2015

Please submit your proposal including an abstract (300 - 500 words) and a short bio before January 21, 2015 to: frictions@zedat.fu-berlin.de