Inter-Nation: European Artistic Research Network annual conference

Inter-Nation: European Artistic Research Network annual conference

Technological University Dublin (TU)

Dawn Weleski & Jon Rubin, Conflict Kitchen, (Pittsburgh, PA; 2010–2018). A restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.

November 22, 2018
Inter-Nation: European Artistic Research Network annual conference
Organised by Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media (GradCAM), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Ireland
October 18–19, 2018

Keynote speakers: Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation), Dawn Weleski (Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh), Prof. Bernard Stiegler (Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation, Paris)

The European Artistic Research Network (EARN) held its annual conference in Dublin, Ireland on the October 18 and 19, 2018. The conference aimed to highlight artistic research as a connective synthesis of artistic practices and academic discourse. Engaging with questions concerning  the intersection between new forms of economy and new understandings of the concept of Nation in the age of the Anthropocene, the conference brought together contemporary artists, leading doctoral researchers and theoreticians.

Following on from the Utopia of Access artistic research project at the Helsinki Research Pavilion in Venice 2017, the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) has been developing the concept of the Inter-Nation with the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. Originally developed by sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss (A Different Approach to Nationhood, 1920), Inter-Nation proposes an original understanding that opposes traditional definitions of the state and nationalism. In this sense, the Inter-Nation becomes a space, or a locality, which is neither international nor trans-national but another means of posing the question of the relation between nations. The concept of the Inter-nation has a particular resonance within the socio-economic context of Ireland, where the question of what it means to be an island with two nation states and a shared border within Europe is threatened by Brexit with the re-introduction of separatism and division.

More recently, Michel Bauwens has argued for an inquiry into the idea of the commons within this context, while Bernard Stiegler has revisited the definition of the Inter-Nation as a broader concept aligned with the contributory economies emerging in digital culture. For Stiegler, contributory economies are those exchange networks and peer 2 peer (P2P) communities that seek to challenge the dominant value system inherent to the nation-state, and which, since the 2008 financial crisis, have proven to be ever more attractive alternatives to the dominant economic order.

Due to the aesthetic function of the nation, artistic researchers are critically placed to engage with the multiple registers at play within this conference. Central to the conference proceedings were research presentations from doctoral candidates affiliated with the institutions of European Artistic Research Network institutions, organised around three panels: Nation, City and Sovereign.

Another important aspect of the conference was the use of the city as mode of research in and of itself. Dawn Weleski’s presentation on Conflict Kitchen, made in collaboration with Jon Rubin, offered a significant example of urban intervention and critical artistic practice, where the artists created a fully functioning take-away restaurant in Pittsburgh featuring cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Open Table Project, an initiative by asylum seekers addressing  the Irish State’s archaic and de-humanising ‘direct provision’ system, iterated its own form of local food activism in Third Space Café in the Smithfield area of the city, with a fundraising meal and dialogue for attendees in a critical variation on the idea of the ‘conference dinner.’

With the main conference held at Dublin City Council Wood Quay Venue—part of a local government office complex controversially constructed over 12th Century Viking remains that were the origins of the city—other cultural institutions in the city amid various phases of regeneration and gentrification accommodated the specifics of artistic forms with a performance at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios by Louise Adkins entitled Notes for a Performance – (Re) visioning a Smoky Meeting and a preview screening of Stone Have Laws, a new feature length film by Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan with co-director Alexander Tolin and in collaboration with Saramaka and Aucanmaroon communities in Suriname’s rainforest at  the Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield

Further sustenance was provided by artist Jennie Moran’s food and hospitality project Luncheonette, as contributors and attendees traversed the city over the two days of activities.

A pdf document containing abstracts is available here.

Doctoral candidate participants
Louise Adkins (Centre for Practice Research in the Arts (CePRA), Leeds University); Lonnie Van Brummelen (HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht & University of Amsterdam);  David Capener (GradCAM/DIT); Katarzyna Depta-Garapich (Slade School of Art, University College London); Ram Krishna Ranjam (Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg); Rafal Morusiewicz (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna); Stephanie Misa (University of Arts, Helsinki); Vukasin Nedeljkovic / Asylum Archive (GradCAM/DIT); Fiona Woods (GradCAM/DIT); Connell Vaughan & Mick O’Hara (GradCAM/DIT); Tommie Soro (GradCAM/DIT)

Organisers at GradCAM / DIT
Dr. Ronan McCrea, Dr. Glenn Loughran, Martin McCabe

Prof. Noel Fitzpatrick (Dean GradCAM/DIT)

Dr. Ailbhe Murphy (artist and director CREATE National Development Agency for the Collaborative Arts); Dr. Patrick Breshinan (Assistant Professor,  Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin); Dr. Rachel O’Dwyer, (Lecturer, School of Visual Cultures in National College of Art & Design)

Welcome to Our Table: Food, Value, Politics. A meal and conversation with Ellie Kisyombe (Founder Our Table) and Dr. Glenn Loughran (GradCAM/DIT) at Third Space Café, Smithfield.

Louise Adkins, Notes for a Performance – (Re) visioning a Smoky Meeting. Performance at Studio 6, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios.

Stones Have Laws. A film by Lonnie Van Brummelen & Siebran de Hann with co-director Alexander Tolin. Preview screening at Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield.

The Glass Room Experience. A pop-up exhibition by Alistair Alexander / Tactical Technology Collective, Wood Quay Venue.

The conference was supported by the College of Arts and Tourism, DIT with additional support from Create: National Development Agency for the Collaborative Arts.  

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