The PARSE journal and conference series has been set up to make more rigorous and complex the already burgeoning (and still contentious) academic field of practice-based or artistic research. This interdisciplinary field draws on a wide variety of materials and intellectual sources for inspiration and production, including the histories and geographies of art in all its forms, the social and physical sciences, philosophy and situational politics. Papers, performances, screenings and installations selected for the PARSE Time conference reflect this contemporary heterogeneity.
In organising the conference we have combined installations, screenings, sonic and performance works and experimental research papers. These will be installed in the central venue of HSM, the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg, which is centrally located and has a wide variety of spaces, from concert halls and lecture theatres to practice rooms and studios which will be used to show work throughout the event (there will also be work shown at other venues in the city). The conference runs over two and half days and will be intensely packed.
The theme of Time that animates the content of the conference is also wrapped into its structure. Time is a locus and disputation across the event, one that no doubt will be challenged by its contact with cosmological, planetary, intra-species, post-human, etc. practice and thought. We face an inevitable contradiction in choosing the theme of Time to entice new forms of artistic thought and practice: a conference is a linear form, conforming to humanist conventions of time. How might we begin to challenge the form of the conference and at the same time adhere to the economy of its knowledge production? How can we collectively accumulate ideas, images, sounds, movement, etc. about time as the conference progresses?
It is not possible to rid the conference format of its hierarchical structure entirely, and we received a great many intriguing proposals which makes a certain amount of ‘parallel’ panels necessary, but as much as possible we aim to make connections between words, thoughts, images and actions in modes that do not make the images and actions subservient and/or illustrative of key social and political ideas, and gives proper space to forms of enunciation that offer us different views into the worlds they inhabit.
In order to experiment with its format, the conference will be roughly divided into three sections, each organised around one or two key screenings by artists and artists groups. Around these screenings other speakers, including those of our best-known presenters, will be placed. After each section there will be a short pause, in which we will collectively gather the objects and ideas that have arisen, before moving to the next section. Throughout the conference, everyone present will be encouraged to investigate the installations and performances that are ongoing.