Call for Papers: Press Play: Creative Interventions in Research and Practice

Press Play: Creative Interventions in Research and Practice

MACRO / British School at Rome / MAAM

28-29 March 2019

‘Press Play’ Exhibition (British School at Rome): 29 March–12 April 2019

Keynote speaker: Professor Doris Sommer (Harvard)


Call for Papers

Academic research, artistic practice, and civic engagement are becoming ever more closely linked. In The Work of Art in the World, and through her ongoing ‘Cultural Agents’ project, Doris Sommer argues for the productive proximity of creative practice and critical thinking, positing them as essential tools for the achievement of social engagement and transformation. Such a risky hypothesis challenges the conventional boundaries of disciplinary practice, and more daringly, demands that researchers invent new modalities of practice, strategies of communication, and maps for dissemination. Co-production at every stage stands as a necessary requirement. It also acknowledges the possibility of failure, but equally intimates the allure of unanticipated success. The risk, as Professor Sommer concludes, invites us in to ‘press play’.

This conference will bring together art practitioners and academics in order to explore common interests in creativity in, and as, research practice. It grounds this conversation in the broad disciplinary area of Modern Languages, which has been at a critical juncture in terms of defining its purpose and identity for some considerable time. One of the aims of this event is to seek contributions from outside Modern Languages, which will help the discipline to move forward in ways which are creative and vital, and pay full tribute to the capacity of the intercultural imagination to design and implement transformative social modes of practice.

The conference will be organised in workshop format around the exploratory interventions of academic speakers and art practitioners. Participants will have established interests in issues of creativity and cultural engagement across boundaries and borders, and will be strongly engaged in work which is multi/inter/transmedial in scope and expression. They will have a commitment to developing new models of research practice and identifying innovative methods of delivery. Day 1 will be held at the MACRO, day 2 at the BSR, and there will be an optional guided visit to the MAAM on the evening of the 30th.

The conference will also support the work of 3-4 artists in residence at the British School who will participate in the activities of the conference and stage the conference exhibition to be opened at the end of Day 2.

The activities of the two main days will be organised across four identifiable but intimately connected areas of thematic inquiry:

Working archives;

Transcultural movements;

Quotidian translation;

Sensory practices.

Presentations on these contributions will then be delivered in critical thinking labs over the two days, which will provide the opportunity for participants to re-work and imagine different artistic and media responses, interpretations, and interventions to their chosen piece. Each lab will collaborate in the construction of a virtual gallery room in which they will evidence the outcomes of their critical interactions. The work will be presented on the final evening alongside the accompanying exhibition.

Alongside the labs, there will be series of practical workshops open to all participants, where opportunities for creative dialogue and exchange on the subject of existing but still emerging practices of social engagement can be explored. Participants will present work already undertaken and ongoing which demonstrates the combinative potentiality of academic research, artistic practice, and civic change.

We are now soliciting expressions of interest for interventions in each of these four areas, in both the critical thinking labs, and the practical workshops. These may take any form (written, visual, audio, etc.), and can emerge from any discipline or creative area of expertise, but must engage with the themes and subject of the event.

Please send your proposals to: by 19 October 2018.

Follow us on Twitter for conference updates: @PPlay2019

Conference organizing committee:

Malcolm Angelucci (Melbourne), Emma Bond (St Andrews), Catherine Boyle (King’s College London), Derek Duncan (St Andrews), Shelleen Greene (UCLA), Siobhán Shilton (Bristol)