CFP: Urban Art: creating the urban with art (Berlin, 14-16 Jul 16)

Date(s) - 01/04/2016

IKB - Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte
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14-16 July 2016 – Humboldt University Berlin

Deadline: Apr 1, 2016

Keynote: Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)

The conference deals with Urban Art, a new form of art and activism, that occurs in urban areas worldwide. First known under the label of “Street Art”, the term has expanded to include diverse artistic and visual interventions in the exterior space. In contrast to the traditional term ‘public art’ Urban Art is very inclusive.

Thus, it is both part of and reflective of current processes of global urbanization. The extremely heterogeneous manifestations of Urban Art range from large-scale wall paintings to tiny stickers, performative interventions to alternative forms of urban planning; they accompany multiple forms of urban and global criticism and try to encourage participation through low artistic techniques.They are seen in passing, often by chance, on the street or by the discovery of images and locations online and in social media. Finally, the ambivalent areas of upvaluation and reinterpretation of urban spaces (gentrification), advertising and city marketing (commoditization) and attacks on private property (vandalism) are topics of Urban Art.

Works of Urban Art tend not to emerge from the art establishment, but come from anonymous players who make use of simple techniques and materials.Therefore, Urban Art is a phenomenon of the ‘Low’, which indeed evolved from a subculture, but clearly has features of mass culture: it is easily accessible to a wide audience on the street and online, works of Urban Art are often produced in series and at a low price. Urban Art messages are striking, comparable to advertising, and serve as entertainment or express site-specific criticism of urban surroundings. At the same time, the implicit notion of the urban provides the opportunity to reflect on the present development of the city and its medialization or aestheticism. This includes processes of virtualization, which participants test in a playful artistic environment or also concerning the monitoring in public space.

Topics of interest for submission may include, but are not limited to:

•    Urban or Public Art?
•    New Media (Internet and social media in the production and
      reception of urbanity)
•    Performativity (Action and reception by moving in the urban space)
•    Politics (Processes of participation and gentrification)
•    Tourism and Vandalism (Strategies of production and denial of
•    Global-Local (Site-specific significance – global expansion)
•    Architecture and City Planning (Medialization of architecture and
      alternative forms of urban design/city planning)
•    Urban Art Research (Terminology, history of the core concepts)
•    Historicizing and Conservation of Urban Art
•    The Urban Pedestrian
•    Discussion of the concept of work (Werkbegriff) at Urban Art (What
      is the work of art in Urban Art?)
•    Urban Planning and Philosophy
•    Applied Ethics and the City
•    Race in Urban Affairs
•    Aesthetics and Urbanity
•    Humans, Animals, and Environment and the City
•    Feminism and the City
•    The City in the History of Philosophy
•    Urbanity and Justice
•    Urban Technology: Architecture, Engineering and Smart Cities

Abstracts of no more than 1500 characters (including spaces) are
invited for papers, panels and workshop presentations and should be
suitable for presentations of approximately 30 minutes.

Conference language is English.

Proposals should include name, contact information (address, phone
number, e-mail), title of the paper, short CV in English (max. 200
words). In the case of an unconventional presentation, please inquire.

Please send submissions and questions to Ilaria Hoppe, and Ulrich Blanché,
All submissions should be prepared for anonymous review. Notice of
application results will be given by 1st May, 2016.

Deadline: April 1, 2016.

Partial reimbursement for travel expenses may be available for

Prof. Dr. Ilaria Hoppe
Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Georgenstr. 47
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +4930-2093-66235

Dr. Ulrich Blanché
ZEGK – Institut für Europäische Kunstgeschichte
Universität Heidelberg
Seminarstraße 4
69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +496221-54-3544