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2018 Internationaler AICA-Kongress Taiwan

51. Internationaler Kongress Taiwan

Art Criticism in the Age of Virtuality and Democracy
14-21 November 2018

Based on observations of important tendencies in the actual world, we would like to address some key issues concerning the role of art criticism related to these new developments.

Firstly, the virtual is not the opposite of reality but rather an increasing part of our reality. Presently, communities, social relations, everyday life, the body, and even biological life are in the processes of mass virtualization. Life itself has been supposed as an algorithm, AI as a brain without body, while space-time’s relationship is virtualized in VR technology. A virtual enterprise need no longer convene its employees onsite, but rather can delegate work to be done remotely, thus re-articulating the time-space relationship of its workers.

Secondly, if we make an observation of a longer duration, there seems to be an unquestionable expansion of democracy which can be confirmed by the democratic transitions beginning in the mid-1970s, which span from Latin America to Taiwan and South Korea, through the end of the cold war, and to following transitions in Eastern Europe, the Color Revolution and the Umbrella Movement in Hong-Kong in the fall of 2014. Nevertheless in more recent years, the phenomenon of the retreat of democracy can also be observed in the uprising of the populism worldwide.

Moreover, these two tendencies may be related. The Congress Theme “Art Criticism in the age of Virtuality and Democracy” has two sub-themes:

Art criticism in the age of virtualityArt discourse facing challenged democracy

“Art criticism in the age of virtuality” will address the situation in which the rapid pace of development in computer and media technologies is creating new working environments and new possibilities for art, each with their own particular problematics. How does this process affect the description, interpretation and evaluation of contemporary art? More precisely, does art criticism develop new methodology and new languages concerning its analysis and new problematics in its debates? What does it mean for art and art criticism that new media reaches crowds of new readers around the world, often “for free”?“Art discourse facing challenged democracy” will discuss the following questions: how is art discourse constitutive of the collective representations and imaginary of democracy? In the situation of democracy under challenge, how are these social-political phenomena reflected in new developments of censorship and self-censorship, or post-truth? For new problems brought out by transitional justice, what kind of function can art discourse play?