CONF Aug 30, 2005

Open Systems (London, 16-19 Sep 05)

Kathleen Madden

Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970

Conference and Graduate Symposium

16 - 19 September 2005

London, Tate Modern

(Schedule subject to minor changes)

This weekend of presentations and debates aims to explore the ideas and
practices represented in the exhibition Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970,
and develop the ideas represented there into other areas of the culture. The
conference on Friday and Saturday brings together leading artists from the
period of Open Systems, leading critics, historians, theorists and curators
who have made important contributions to how the experimental art of the
1960s and 70s is understood today. The Graduate Symposium on Sunday and
Monday has been convened by the University of Wales, Newport, College of
Art, Media and Design. It features doctoral and post-doctoral researchers
from leading universities in Europe and the US.


Friday 16 September 2005

14.30-14.40 Introduction: Dominic Willsdon, Curator of Public Events at Tate
Modern and tutor in critical theory at the Royal College of Art and the
London Consortium.

14.40 Donna De Salvo, Anne Rorimer

Chaired by Alison Green

Donna De Salvo is the curator of Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970 and the
Associate Director for Programs and Curator, Permanent Collection at the
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. As Senior Curator at Tate Modern
(till 2004), she curated exhibitions of Giorgio Morandi, Andy Warhol, and
Anish Kapoor. She is an expert on the work of Andy Warhol and Pop Art and
has curated the exhibitions Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition,
and Success is a Job in New York: The Early Art and Business of Andy Warhol.

Anne Rorimer is based in Chicago and is an independent scholar and freelance
curator. Formerly, she was a curator at The Art Institute of Chicago where
she worked closely during the 1970s and 1980s with artists from the
Conceptual period. In 1995 she was the co-curator (with Ann Goldstein) of
Reconsidering the Object of Art, 1965-1975, organized at the Museum of
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is the author of New Art in the 60s and
70s: Redefining Reality (Thames & Hudson, 2001) and has published widely in
exhibition catalogues and journals.

Alison Green is an art historian, critic and curator. She is the author of
³When Attitudes Become Form and the Contest Over Conceptual Art's History"
in the recent Cambridge University Press book, Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth,
and Practice. She currently teaches history and theory at Central St Martins
School of Art & Design in London and writes regularly for Art Monthly.

15.45 Braco Dimitrijevic

Braco Dimitrijevic became internationally known in the early 70s with his
Casual Passer-by works, in which he exhibited the gigantic photo portraits
of unknown people on the public sites of city facades and billboards - the
places usually reserved for pictures of dignitaries or publicity messages.
In the mid-70s the artist turned his interest to the art of the past, and
started making installations in museums. He has show at major venues
internationally for more than 30 years; his work is included in Open

16.30 Tea and coffee

17.00 Peter Osborne and Alexander Alberro

Chaired by Michael Corris

Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex
University, London and an editor of the journal Radical Philosophy. He has
published widely on philosophical aspects of conceptual and post-conceptual
art. His books include Conceptual Art (Phaidon, 2002), and forthcoming in
2006, Art Against Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays on Contemporary Art
­Collected essays 2001-5.

Alexander Alberro is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University
of Florida, and the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity
(MIT, 2003). His essays have appeared in a wide array of journals and
exhibition catalogues. He has also edited and co-edited a number volumes,
including Two-Way Mirror Power: Dan Graham's Writings on Art (MIT, 1999),
Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (MIT, 2000), and Recording Conceptual
Art (U of California, 2001).

Michael Corris is Professor at the Newport School of Art, Media and Design,
University of Wales. As a member of the Conceptual art group, Art &
Language, and as an individual artist, his work has been exhibited and
collected by major international institutions. His art criticism has been
published in Art Monthly, Artforum, FlashArt, Art History, art+text and
Mute. His most recent publications include Conceptual Art: Theory, Myth and
Practice (Cambridge, 2004).

18.30 Drinks reception

20.00 Music performance: Alvin Lucier: Open Sound Systems

(Separate ticket required: or call 02078878888)

Saturday 17 September 2005

11.00 Margaret Iversen and Briony Fer

Chaired by Lucy Soutter

Margaret Iversen is Professor in History and Theory of Art at the University
of Essex. Her books include Alois Riegl: Art History and Theory, and a
monograph on the contemporary artist Mary Kelly. Her forthcoming book Art
Beyond the Pleasure Principle, due to appear in 2005, is a series of case
studies applying psychoanalysis to the interpretation of 20th century and
contemporary art.

Briony Fer is Reader in the History of Art at University College London. Her
publications include On Abstract Art (Yale, 1997), and The Infinite Line

Re-Making Art After Modernism (Yale, 2004). The latter offers a radical
reinterpretation of the innovative art of the late 1950s and 1960s, focusing
on the tendency toward repetition and seriality that occurred at the moment
of modernism's decline and continues to shape contemporary art.

Lucy Soutter is an artist and writer, currently lecturing in photography at
The London College of Communication. She has written for publications
including Afterimage, Portfolio and Source. Her 2001 Yale PhD thesis The
Visual Idea examines the uses of photography by first generation conceptual
artists. With Alison Green, she is currently editing an anthology of essays
by younger scholars entitled The C Word: Or Why We Should Care about
Conceptual Art.

12.45 Alvin Lucier, with Seth Kim-Cohen

The legendary American composer Alvin Lucier was an early pioneer of sound
works which use systems as a generative device. He has since produced
innovations in many areas of musical composition and performance, including
the notation of physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live
performance, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes.

Seth Kim-Cohen is a conceptual sonician, writer of creative texts, and the
organiser of Friday night¹s performance Alvin Lucier: Open Sound Systems.

13.30 Lunch

14.30 Sabeth Buchmann and Matthias Michalka

Chaired by Charlie Gere

Sabeth Buchmann is a professor of history of modern and post-modern art at
the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is working on a research project on
film, avant-garde and biopolitics at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht
(in cooperation with Helmut Draxler and Stephan Geene). For her PhD
dissertation she wrote on the notion of production within conceptual art in
reference to new technologies. She regularly contributes to publications on
art, art criticism, cultural/visual studies and media theory.

Matthias Michalka is an art historian and curator for new media art at the
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna. Among the exhibitions he has
curated are Mathias Poledna, Western Recording, Matthew Buckingham, A Man of
the Crowd, X-Screen, Film Installations und Actions of the 1960s and 1970s,
Dorit Margreiter. 10104 Angelo View Drive, and Katya Sander - The Most
Complicated Machines Are Made of Words. He has been a lecturer at the Merz
Akademie Stuttgart and the Institute for Art History at the University of
Vienna among others.

Charlie Gere is Reader in New Media Research in the Institute for Cultural
Research, Lancaster University, Chair of Computers and the History of Art
(CHArt), and the Director of Computer Arts, Contexts, Histories, etc...
(CACHe), an AHRB-funded research project looking at the history of early
British computer art. He is the author of Digital Culture (Reaktion, 2002),
and is currently writing a book on art and speed from the early nineteenth
century up to the present day, to be published as Art, Time and Technology
in 2006.

16.15 Tea and coffee

16.45 Morgan Fisher, with Stuart Comer

California-based filmmaker Morgan Fisher began his career as an editor in
the commercial film industry before exploring the avant-garde. The combined
experience has led Fisher to examine and deconstruct the narrative of film
and the industry itself with wry humour, creating an entirely unique and
intimate view of cinema and its physical presentation.

Stuart Comer is Curator of Film and Events at Tate Modern, and has
programmed for Tate Modern the retrospective of Fisher¹s films, Standard
Gauge, curated by Chrissie Iles for the Whitney Museum.

17.30-18.30 Plenary discussion

Chaired by Mark Godfrey

Mark Godfrey teaches at the Slade, University College, London. He is a
Leverhulme Award holder and is researching a book on Abstraction and
Holocaust memory for Yale. Recent projects include a catalogue essay on Open
Systems for Tate Modern and on Eva Hesse for the Jewish Museum, New York.

20.00 Standard Gauge: The Films of Morgan Fisher Programme 1

(Separate ticket required: or call 02078878888)



Organized in collaboration with the University of Wales, Newport, College of
Art, Media and Design. Admission is included in conference ticket or £10 on
the day. Day tickets are valid for both Sunday and Monday.

Sunday 18 September 2005

11:00-11:10 Introduction: Kathleen Madden

The convener of this graduate symposium, Kathleen Madden is Commissioning
Editor for Contemporary Art at Phaidon, and a PhD candidate at the
University of Wales, Newport where she is working on late-60s Conceptual art

11:10-11:40 Sophie Richard (Norwich School of Art and Design)

Sculpture Inside-Out: The Tate Gallery¹s collecting in the 1970s

Sophie Richard¹s doctoral research focuses on the International Network of
Conceptual Artists: Dealer Galleries, Temporary Exhibitions and Museum
Collections (1967-1977, Northern Europe). She has been awarded research
grants from the Henry Moore Institute and the German Academic Exchange
Service (DAAD). She has published extensively in periodicals and exhibition
catalogues, notably for the Casino Luxembourg-Forum d¹art contemporain and
is a contributor to the Artistic Studies Seminar of the University of

11:40-12:10 Jonathan Bass (Rutgers)

Zembla is Elsewhere: Robert Smithson¹s displacement of Nabokov¹s

Pale Fire

Jonathan Bass teaches literature, science writing, and web authoring in the
Department of English at Rutgers University. His current book project
considers the
relation between fiction and abstraction from Henry James and Gertrude Stein
to Donald Judd and Art & Language.

12:10-12:40 Irene Small (Yale)

One Thing After Another: How we spend time in Hélio Oiticica¹s Quasi-Cinemas

Irene Small is a PhD candidate in the History of Art, Yale University, and
is writing her dissertation on the work of Hélio Oiticica. She previously
acted as Curatorial and Research Assistant to Okwui Enwezor for the
exhibition The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in
Africa 1945-1994.

12:40-14:10 LUNCH

14:10-14:40 Maja and Reuben Fowkes (Zagreb / Essex)

Croatian Spring: Art in the Social Sphere

Maja and Reuben Fowkes have curated numerous solo and group shows in
Croatia, Hungary and the UK, and have a strong interest in socially and
environmentally engaged art. Current projects include convening the
conference on Art and Sustainability at Central European University,
Budapest and curating the exhibition Croatian Spring at SC Gallery, Zagreb.
Reuben is a Research Fellow at MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University
and Maja is curating for Galerija Balen, Slavonski Brod.

14:40-15:10 Isobel Whitelegg (Essex)

Displaced Systems

Isobel Whitelegg completed her PhD (Mira Schendel, a radical passivity:
toward another history of art, thought and action in the Brazilian sixties)
at the University of Essex in 2005. She acted as Senior Research Officer for
the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art¹s AHRC funded
UECLAA OnLine project (, and is currently Senior Research
Officer for Wider UECLAA.

15:10-15:40 Kathryn Chiong (Columbia)

Fair Game: Strategic Art Systems c. 1970

Kathryn Chiong is currently doing dissertation research on the work of
Lawrence Weiner. Kathryn also works as a Museum Educator at the Museum of
Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

15:40-16:10 TEA

16:10-16:40 Seth Kim-Cohen (London Consortium)

Open Systems and the Question Concerning Competence

Seth Kim-Cohen¹s doctoral research focuses on the failure of
representational and semiotic codes to deliver on their signaled intentions.
He is also a conceptual sonician, broadcaster, writer of creative texts, and
organized the Open Sound Systems concert featuring Alvin Lucier and John
White. His book, One Reason To Live, is due in December from Errant Bodies

16:40-17:10 Anna Lovatt (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Closed Systems: Serial Art, Solipsism, Politics

Anna Lovatt recently submitted her PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Her thesis is entitled Seriality and Systematic Thought in Drawing
1966-1976. In Autumn 2005 she will begin a post-doctoral research
fellowship funded by the Henry Moore Foundation, which will also be held at
the Courtauld Institute. Her upcoming research will focus on the role of
drawing in New York based sculptural practices of the late 1960s and early

17:10-17:40 Paula Feldman (Courtauld Institute of Art)

The Grapevine of the Yellow Pages: Uncovering the conceptual

foundation of minimal art

Paula Feldman received her PhD on the reception and production of minimal
art in the Netherlands at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2005. She is the
co-editor of Dan Flavin (Thames and Hudson, 2004) an anthology of writings
on the artist and has written for the Burlington Magazine, Art Monthly, and
Contemporary. She currently works at White Cube.

19.00 Standard Gauge: The Films of Morgan Fisher Programme 2

(Separate ticket required: or call 02078878888)

Monday 19 September 2005

10:30-11:00 Rachel Churner (Columbia)

Hans Haacke¹s Zero Hour

Rachel Churner is a doctoral candidate currently working on a dissertation
about Kurt Schwitters. She is the editor of Robert Mangold: Early Works
(Peter Freeman, Inc., 2004).

11:00-11:30 Nicholas Cullinan (Courtauld Insitute of Art)

>From ŒThe Open Work¹ to the System: Alighiero e Boetti and Arte Povera in

Nicholas Cullinan is currently a Leverhulme Scholar at the British School at
Rome, where he is researching a PhD on Arte Povera at the Courtauld
Institute of Art, London. A contributor to Frieze, Contemporary, The
Independent and Tema Celeste, he has also worked at the National Portrait
Gallery, the Estorick Collection and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection,

11:30-12 TBC

12-13:30 LUNCH

13:30-14:00 Gloria Sutton (UCLA)

Tactical Networks: Rethinking VALIE EXPORT¹s Tapp und Tastkino


Gloria Sutton is a doctoral candidate specializing in Expanded Cinema and
new media art. Her work on Stan VanDerBeek is included in Future Cinema: The
Cinematic Imaginary After Film (MIT, 2003). Currently, she is the Project
Coordinator for "Ecstasy: In and About Altered States" to open at The Museum
of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in October where she is also an Ahmanson
curatorial fellow organizing a solo exhibition of Karl Haendel to open in
January 2006.

14:00-14:30 William Kaizen (Columbia)

Ecological Art and Media Ecology: On Dan Graham, Radical Software

and Gregory Bateson

William Kaizen is currently finishing his PhD dissertation The Immediate:
Video and American Art, from Warhol to Postminimalism. His writing has
appeared in October, Grey Room and elsewhere.

14:30-15:00 Luke Skrebowski (London Consortium)

All Systems Go: Recovering Jack Burnham¹s Systems Aesthetics

Luke Skrebowski is pursuing research into the interaction of Art and
Technology, 1966-71. He graduated from King¹s College, Cambridge University
in 1999. He has worked professionally in New Media.

For further information please visit the Tate's website:

CONF: Open Systems (London, 16-19 Sep 05). In:, Aug 30, 2005 (accessed May 26, 2024), <>.