CFP: THE SOCIAL: 4th International Association for Visual Culture Biennial Conference (IAVC2016@Boston)



THE SOCIAL is the title of the 4th International Association for Visual Culture Biennial Conference (IAVC2016@Boston). IAVC2016@Boston invites papers, presentations, interventions, collaborations, and events from researchers, artists, academics, curators, and activists on post-democracy, post-society, anger, violence, future visions, crisis, zombie democracies, social media, neo-slavery, post-capitalism, post-data, social evolution, revolution, actionism, post-state, interventionism, cannibalizing corporativism, post-colonialism, economic vampirism, neo-serfs, globalized thievery, art activism, red art, insurrectional art and social exploitation.


Analyses that explore the current failures or failing status of contemporary society and its revolts will take the form of events, panels and exhibitions in Athens, Istanbul, London, New York and internationally, leading up to the main conference on September 29th, 30th and October 1st, 2016 in Boston.


Visions of social democracy, visualization of the contemporary economic crisis, interpretations and analysis of revolts, data enslavement and rebellious usages of contemporary digital media are all parts of some of the projects and papers that we invite contributors to present.


The conference wishes to challenge and alter traditional academic interpretations and deal passionately with issues and topics that analyze, describe and envision ways and means to engage with what is left of the concept of society and social values in order to create a ‚world picture’ of contemporary times.


The conference is divided in 6 half-day Sections – each one corresponding to a sub-theme within the larger structure. These sub-themes are conceived in the broadest possible sense and will accommodate a variety of perspectives and interpretations from a wide range of fields.


Social Incarceration

What does participation mean within contemporary post-democratic societies if entire social groups are disenfranchised and isolated within the boundaries of visible and invisible ghettoes? This section will analyze a wide range of issues related to participation or the lack thereof ranging from the blacklivesmatter movement to minority’s economic and social incarceration.

Keynote: TBA


Reverberations of Art, Politics and Violence from the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean has become symptomatic of the global tensions of contemporary society with the unresolved economic, social, political, migratory and religious conflicts that are reverberating across the world. What are the reflections that the United States of America as well as European States can drawn from these conflicts which continue to escalate and that are visually and culturally represented by what appear to be incoherent and divisive narratives?

Keynote: TBA


The Social in visual culture

What role does visual culture play in the social and what role does the social play in contemporary visual culture? In an increasingly politicized, divided and polarized world, this Section will propose that the idea of THE SOCIAL needs a re-contextualization in order to understand if the social still represents a value or has become the chain that subjugates people within unfair governmental systems.

Keynote: TBA


Post-Society and Financial Exsanguination

The collapse of western democracies and the raising of post-democracy as an expression of post-society and post-citizenship has become the characterizing feature of the 21st century. Theories are abound from post-scarcity economy to post-capitalistic vampirism, but what is the role, if any, of visual culture in creating a new vision of the economic/post-capitalist world beyond frameworks of utopia and dystopia?

Keynote: TBA


Revolutions, Free Speech, Radicalization and Social Media

Have contemporary social media ushered in an era of engagement, participation and free speech or one of radicalization, revolution and censorship characterized by political division and confrontation? Is it possible for Visual Culture to argue for a transformational and democratizing role of contemporary social media and technologies as tools can provide the framework for participation, democratic and civil engagement beyond radicalized politics and ideologies?


Art and Society

The public space is the arena where the existence of the social is reaffirming itself and trying to resist the encroaching of post-capitalism. In this emerging post-society, art and visual activisms stand as a form of protest and reaction, reaffirming basic democratic rights which, until a few years ago, were considered as normal and are now portrayed as insurrectional. Can aesthetic actions and reactions in public space reaffirm the importance of the social in increasingly divided and fractured societies?

Keynote: TBA



Please submit a 200-300 word Abstracts by February 20, 2016 to:

In the subject of your email write the words IAVC2016@Boston followed by the chosen Section for your paper, e.g. IAVC2016@Boston Art and Society.


Please note: you can submit only one Abstract and you should allocate it in the appropriate section.


The Abstract should contain:

  • your name
  • your address
  • your email
  • your affiliation (university or other institution you work for/with):
  • the section you are applying for: e.g. Social Incarceration


Please find a formatted word document that should facilitate your application.




Abstract submission: February 20, 2016

Temporary Acceptance: March 20, 2016

Full papers: July 30, 2016


Please note that the deadline of July 30 will be enforced. In particular we look forward to receiving the full papers before the conference. The conference will not have traditional presentations but panels and discussions with the audience in the form of a social gathering. In order for these discussions to take place it is important for the ‘presenters’ to have their papers completed in time for them to be circulated to participants beforehand and allow everyone to contribute fully to the discussions.

Digital Queers: conference on equality, social justice and queer issues: The New School June 25, 26, 27, 2015. Deadline for submission of abstracts and artworks: April 17, 2015.

Digital Queers is a conference on equality, social justice and queer issues to be held at The New School June 25, 26, 27, 2015 in collaboration with OCR, IAVC and Goldsmiths, Department of Media and Communications. Deadline for submission of abstracts and artworks: April 17, 2015.

Conference Website
Call for Artworks
Call for Abstracts
Facebook Event Page

Digital Queers is a conference, chaired by Lanfranco Aceti and Sven Travis, that will focus on issues related to social justice for the gay community at large. The evolution of society has led to an increased acceptance of the LGBTQA world – in part due to more open and vociferous stances of the multiple communities of gender minorities and in part to the role that contemporary digital media have played in reshaping communication and advocacy. Unfortunately we are far from achieving that social justice necessary to avoid discrimination in the work place or to avoid persecutions of individuals and communities across the world. What are thenthe new practices that should be pursued in order to achieve and ensure social justice for all? Themes range from Social Justice for Gender Minorities to Digital Guerrilla for Social Justice?, from Digital Media and Gender Stories to Exporting Gender Equality?, from Social Justice in the Workplace to Digital Queers’ Revolution. These are just some of the themes and the conference is open to a variety of approaches, themes and perspectives.

Together with the conference there is an international call for artworks by OCR with its Media Exhibition Platform for an exhibition that will deal with the issue of ‘Digital Queers’ in all of its multifaceted manifestations. The exhibition is curated by Lanfranco Aceti and Richard Rinehart and will be presented online from June 1, 2015 to July 15, 2015. The call is opened to exploring a wide range of media: from memes to gifs, from video to photography, from documentation of previous installation to artworks that present public places interventions, from gay activism to personal and intimate artworks. This call is for artworks that can and/or are made to be experienced online. The exhibition will coincide with the Digital Queers conference at The New School where some of the artworks will be presented and discussed.

This exhibition will be followed by another, gallery-installed exhibition, in Spring 2016 that will be announced at a later date.

Events at Tenderbooks to run alongside the exhibition : ‘How to Construct a Time Machine’ at MK Gallery

Please see below for information on the fantastic London-located events accompanying the exhibition ‘How to Construct a Time Machine’ at MK Gallery (23rd January – 22nd March 2015) with work by John Cage, Martin John Callanan, Jim Campbell, Edgar Cleijne and Ellen Gallagher, Mat Collishaw, Ruth Ewan, Tehching Hsieh, On Kawara, the Lumière Brothers, Chris Marker, Kris Martin, Georges Méliès, Manfred Mohr, Melvin Moti, Nam June Paik, Katie Paterson, Elizabeth Price, Sun Ra, Raqs Media Collective, Meekyoung Shin, Maja Smrekar, The Otolith Group, Thomson & Craighead, Mark Wallinger and Catherine Yass (


Tuesday February 24th, 7.00pm-9.00pm at Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court (

‘Speculative Writing: Examining the Speculative Turn in Recent Art Writing’ with Rebecca Bligh (co-editor of ‘Living in the Future’), Harry Burke (writer, curator, and editor), with Nina Trivedi (RCA)


Tuesday March 3rd, 7.00pm-9.00pm at Tenderbooks: ‘Utopian Futures/Future Utopias’, with David Cunningham (University of Westminster) and Chris Horrocks (Kingston University), with Marquard Smith (RCA)


Tuesday March 10th, 7.00pm-9.00pm at Tenderbooks: ‘Clocks and Calendars’, with artists Ruth Ewan and Catherine Yass, with Marquard Smith


Tuesday March 17th, 1.30pm-6.00pm at Tenderbooks, with contributions from James Auger (RCA, on robots), Steven Boyd-Davis (RCA, on timelines), Sonya Dyer (Artist, on the future), Katharine Fry (Goldsmiths, on the constant instant), Peter Osborne (Kingston), and Nina Trivedi (RCA, on deep time).

PHARMAKON 18 – 19.10.2014 – Two days Conference @ WallRiss & Forde

This is to let you know about a conference entitled PHARMAKON which will take place over two days in two different art spaces:

WallRiss in Fribourg ( and

Forde in Geneva (, Switzerland.

The theme is inspired by philosopher Bernard Stiegler’s take on the concept of Pharmakon and seeks to question its productivity in the fields of contemporary art theory and exhibition making. It will also confront it to recent “speculative realist” and “accelerationist” approaches to art and aesthetics. The event coincides with the publication of the book *Fission*, which includes the first translation of Nick Land’s seminal essay *Meltdown* into French as well as an introductory essay by Robin Mackay, published by WallRiss, Forde and Urbanomic. The event is organized in the framework of the exhibition Megarave Metarave which is still on view at WallRiss and Kunsthaus Langenthal.

Hope some of you will be able to make it to Switzerland.

The International Association for Visual Culture means to foster communication and exchange among institutions and individuals engaged in critical analyses of and interventions in visual culture.