Visual Arts DepartmentWestern Arts and Humanities


Boredom Call For Papers

BOREDOM Graduate Conference | March 21, 2015

Boredom is an interdisciplinary conference investigating notions boredom in the arts and humanities and related disciplines. More intense than apathy or indifference, boredom can seem like doom. More than a few artists can’t imagine anything more horrible than suddenly realizing that all of their work is boring, even to them.

Boredom investigates the artistic and theoretical potentials and challenges of this peculiar concept: is boredom an emotional state, or does it hint at something more substantial than the ephemerality of experience? Focusing on research, art-making and experience, our conference will pull from a variety of disciplines and approaches to address the fundamental and theoretical questions about boredom and its role in forming the contemporary subject. We have suggested that candidates consider the potential of boredom and all its aspects: as critical gesture, theme, or as a strategy for mining experience; continuities or shifts in how boredom operates across periods and how these reverberate on the 21st-century subject. Graduate and post-graduate students at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels are invited to submit abstracts for presentations of twenty minutes. We invite papers from a variety of disciplines and approaches, addressing the fundamental and theoretical questions about social constructions from the perspectives of visual culture, art history, and art practice.

Graduate student candidates from various fields are encouraged to submit abstracts or artist panel proposals, including but not limited to visual arts, (art) history, museum studies, cultural studies, gender studies and theory. This multidisciplinarity encourages perspectives that address or intersect with visual culture, art history and art practice.

The deadline for submissions is now closed. All applicants will be notified by February 23rd, 2015. A complete schedule of panelists, keynote and professional speakers we be posted here on February 24th, 2015.

For more information on the conference please visit: 


(Re)Activating Objects is a 3 day interdisciplinary conference that investigates the ways material culture provides a lens to examine socio-cultural-economic worlds. Graduate students at the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. levels are invited to submit abstracts for presentations of twenty minutes. We encourage papers from a variety of disciplines and approaches, addressing the fundamental and theoretical questions about social constructions, social politics, and social ethics.

Graduate student candidates from various fields, including but not limited to, visual arts, history, museum studies, indigenous studies, gender studies, and theory are invited to submit abstracts or artists panel proposals. The multidisciplinarity of (Re)Activating Objects allows participants to bring their particular trajectory and discipline to the conference for a lively and collegial exchange of ideas. Successful candidates will also be considered for a corresponding online publication.

(Re)Activating Objects will ask questions such as: How do varied ways of knowing and seeing impact how objects are conceived to have value? What narratives can be found by examining material culture? In looking at shifting intersections, how have objects come to hold socially constructed meanings? Who, or what, creates these meanings, holds authority over objects, and what does this mean for those who lack these privileges? In what ways do the historical and contemporary contexts support or unsettle such dynamics?

We ask you to ‘activate’ objects that are under-theorized and/or ‘reactivate’ objects with shifting or multiple ideologies. Ultimately, how do these ‘activated’ objects create a productive discomfort that forces us to ask questions about our current worldviews? Furthermore, can they point us toward an imagined future?


Samantha Angove & Cierra Webster
Conference Co-organizers



Topics for discussion include, but are not at all limited to:

  • Engaging art and social politics
    (feminism, anti-racism, accessibility)
  • Social media and canonicality
  • Alienation and assimilation
    (silencing, occupation, decolonization)
  • Materiality of marginalization
  • Objects and dialogue
    (language, emotions, embodying)
  • Narrowing/widening intervisuality
  • Performance and spectatorship
  • Reframing art/artefact/ephemera
  • Constructed dichotomies
    (classification, cataloguing)
  • Complicating science & reality; objectivity


Please send:

  • 300-word abstract for a 20 minute presentation
  • short biography
  • contact information
  • name of institution, degree + program, e-mail

DUE:  Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Successful participants will be notified by December 15, 2012.

Revisiting Ephemera: Graduate Student Conference and Exhibition

The Revisiting Ephemera Graduate Student Conference and Exhibition is presented by the Visual Arts graduate students at the University of Western Ontario and will take place on January 15, 2011 in the ArtLab Gallery, UWO. Organized in parallel with Bruce Nauman: Audio/Video Piece for London, an exhibition at the Forest City Gallery, Revisiting Ephemera encompasses topics such as but not limited to: ephemera, transience, time, de-objectification, performance, documentation and the archive, as they pertain to the history, creation and curation of visual arts and material culture.

We invite all current MA, MFA and PhD students from Visual Arts and all related disciplines to put forward submissions relating to the concept of ephemera in visual and material culture. You may submit:

  1. A proposal for an academic paper, artistic or performative presentation 20 minutes in length, OR
  2. An artwork proposal for inclusion in a group exhibition

Growing out of the recent curatorial, critical and academic interest in the re-staging of historical conceptual art exhibitions, Revisiting Ephemera calls presenters to explore the concept of ephemera in art, artist practices, exhibitions, curatorial studies and in other fields that engage with visual and material cultures.

Conference papers may consider artworks or artistic practices that are conceptual, performance, time-based, ephemeral or in some way distinct from the traditional art object.

How is this work or practice revisited? Can an ephemeral work or performance be preserved? How does the artwork depend on, stray from or relate to its documentation via photo, text or archival materials? Does documentation ultimately replace the event? Is there such a thing as an enduring art object? What happens when so-called ephemera becomes an art object? How does the status of ephemera change when it is part of the archive or historical record?

Presentations may also consider artists who produce ephemera as art, conceptual artists and histories and curatorial practices both recent and historical that engage with ephemeral or time-based art and the notion of re-staging, the archive and documentation. Topics may also engage with the ways in which the ephemeral has been studied and considered in academic and non-academic discourses alike.

The following list outlines other themes to consider, but is by no means exhaustive; additional topics are welcome:

  • Disposable Culture
  • Obsolescence
  • De-materialization
  • Traces
  • Death
  • Transience
  • The Everyday
  • Collecting: Permanence and Flux
  • Performance
  • Events/Happenings
  • Liminalilty
  • Provisional
  • Preservation
  • Text
  • Organic
  • Participation
  • Community
  • Memory

Revisiting Ephemera is a unique collaborative venture by MA, MFA and PhD students from the UWO Department of Visual Arts comprised of both art history and studio graduate students. As such, we encourage participation from graduate students in studio, art history, cultural studies and beyond.
This one-day conference and art exhibition will host presentations and a keynote address.

All Submissions must be sent electronically to:

  • CONFERENCE PAPER SUBMISSIONS must include: a 200-word abstract and CV, including your name, telephone number and email address.

1. Art work/project description (max one-page)
2. CV, including your name, telephone number and email address.
3. Support Material must include:
 -a maximum of 10 current images.
-Include a separate image list with titles, dimensions, dates and media
-Detail the installation demands, technical requirements for the work (i.e. monitors, speakers) and your plans for shipping or delivery if applicable
-JPEG files only
-1024 pixels wide and 768 pixels high.
-1 MB maximum
-RGB, or grayscale colour mode files only (no CMYK).
-Number and title each file (digital still); the number must appear before the title so the order of the images corresponds to the image list, example: 001RedPainting.jpg.
-Do not submit images embedded in the following programs or formats: iPhoto, PowerPoint.
Please contact us if you have any questions: