Trudi Lynn Smith (York University) and Andrea N. Walsh (University of
TRACES AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN ANTHROPOLOGY AND ART PRACTICES: A
We seek paper submissions for a panel organized to address the topic
of art and anthropological practices as it relates to this year's AAA
theme, "Traces, Tidemarks and Legacies". Despite recent attention to
the relationships between contemporary art and anthropology, the
traces and legacies that these two practices have left upon one
another remain underexplored. Papers presented in this panel will
explore questions about anthropology and art through the way both
modes of inquiry are engaged in practice, particularly through the
practice of visual art. We are interested in submissions from social
scientists and artists who can speak about how their own contemporary
art practices work as facets of their research. These art producers
move beyond recent discussions of borders, edges and borrowing to look
more closely at how art practices come to bear on anthropology and
what contribution anthropology makes to diverse art worlds. We pose
the question: How is the practice of art a form of strategic
engagement, rather than simply appropriation?
Questions that papers address may include:
1. What are the traces, tidemarks and legacies that the process of
art practice brings into anthropological practice?
2. In what way are art practices and art worlds transformed by
investigation that bears the marks of anthropological inquiry?
3. What traces remain of the legacy of critical conversation in
relation to the debate of knowledge production in visual anthropology
and filmmaking? Furthermore, what is impressed upon new practices
created within the realm of academics and art production? What lessons
can we learn from the debate around knowledge production and film
production in visual anthropology? How can this be applied to visual
arts production in the present?
4. What might the use of artistic production as a method of
knowledge production bring to anthropology?
5. Do anthropologists who use art practice and engage their art
production in the art world start from a different position than
artists who don't use this approach? If so, in what ways does it
differ? What ways do art practices differ if used in an
anthropological context? As anthropologists, can we ever not be
embedded in an anthropological context?
6. What happens when either art or anthropology leaves one world
and circulates to another without an artistic or anthropological
7. What ways can anthropologists and artists learn from one
another -- for better or for worse?
8. In what way does art practice transform into something else if
it is approached by an anthropologist, with a set of anthropological
questions, and when the knowledge (or object) produced returns to feed
into anthropological knowledge? Does it transform it?
9. What ways of working and methodological approaches does art
offer anthropologists to approach the study of representation?
Paper Proposal Deadline
If you are interested in presenting a paper as part of this panel,
please submit a 250-word abstract by March 1, 2011 to email@example.com