Eighth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 24-26 June 2013
"The purpose of the annual Arts Conference is to create an intellectual platform for the arts and arts practices, and to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society. It is intended as a place for critical engagement, examination and experimentation of ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world – on stage, in studios and theaters, in classrooms, in museums and galleries, on the streets and in communities.
Its scope is deliberately broad and ambitious. Our times demand nothing less than cross-disciplinary and holistic approaches. The breadth of the Conference and its accompanying Journal, however, are without prejudice to finely grained discussion of the specific, the local and the grounded practices.
The Conference provides a venue and a framework for the arts and art practices that are situated within the context of international art expositions, festivals and biennials engaged with the international production of art and its global distribution networks. This Conference aims to discover what values, instincts and common ground may exist within the arts and their practices and sites of reception around the world. Your participation shapes the Conference itself.
We are inviting proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, or colloquia (See Proposal Types). Virtual participation is available for those who are unable to attend the conference in person. Proposal ideas that extend beyond these thematic areas will also be considered.For more information about the ideas and themes underlying this community, see Our Focus."
"Melvyn Bragg considers the 150-year history of the Two Cultures debate. In 1959 the novelist C.P. Snow delivered a lecture in Cambridge suggesting that intellectual life had become divided into two separate cultures: the arts and the humanities. The lecture is still celebrated for the furore it provoked - but Snow was returning to a battleground almost a century old. Melvyn Bragg visits the old Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, scene of many of modern science's greatest triumphs, to put the Two Cultures debate in its historical context - and Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, reveals the influence the Two Cultures debate had on his development as a scientist."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)
"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 3 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Wednesday 02 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
"Last November I visited Australia and the arts community was buzzing with talk about the country's proposed new cultural policy. So I took a look at the discussion document and I turned green with envy - why can't we have one of these in the UK?
In Britain we've never been good at framing a coherent approach to culture. Back in 1996 a senior civil servant at the Department for National Heritage told the Sunday Times: 'It is not part of our culture to think in terms of a cultural policy,' and not much has changed.
The Australian example shows what can be done. It's a remarkable and mercifully brief document that has many virtues.
First, it sets out the beliefs on which any serious cultural policy must be founded: 'The arts and creative industries are fundamental to Australia's identity as a society and nation, and increasingly to our success as a national economy.' It adds that 'the policy will be based on an understanding that a creative nation produces a more inclusive society and a more expressive and confident citizenry.'
Everything that follows in the document is built on this bedrock of ideology. Without such clear and transparent beliefs, and the commitment that flows from them, policies are doomed to endless wrangling about measurement and evidence.
But the document does acknowledge evidence where it exists, and uses it wisely. For example: 'Research shows that arts education encourages academic achievement and improves students' self-esteem, leading to more positive engagement with school and the broader community and higher school retention rates' - therefore 'the new national curriculum will ensure that young Australians have access to learning in the creative arts.'
But in the UK we have to suffer the non-evidence based approach of abolishing what went before just because the other lot invented it.
The next virtue is that the proposed policy not only encompasses the arts, heritage and creative industries, but extends into other areas like education and infrastructure. Culture is deemed relevant to every department of government, from the role that it plays in international relations (British Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to its economic importance (HM Treasury), from its impact on the need to build airports for cultural tourists (Department for Communities and Local Goverment) to cultural scholarship in Higher Education (Department for Education).
That relevance is a two-way street: for example, the cultural uses of high speed broadband affect hard infrastructural requirements, while the existence of the hardware creates cultural opportunities."
(John Holden, Monday 6 February 2012)
Fig.1 Australia's 1988 Bicentennial $10 Note.
"For intelligent professional practice it is therefore better when theory is linked with practice. Already for years active experimentation has been carried out in forms of lessons in which theory and practice are linked to each other and which mutually stimulate each other. The sociology teacher helps the documentary photographer in his field research. The semiotics teacher helps the student in his reflection on designs in terms of the production of meaning. The art history teacher helps the illustrator to place his work in an art-historical perspective. Furthermore, reflection is the examination of a particular process, reflexion (the process of reflexivity) is the mutual reflection of theory in practice and of practice in theory."
(Anke Coumans, 2002)