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Om Netværket

Nordisk Netværk for Avantgardestudier er et nordisk forskningsnetværk støttet af Nordforsk 2004-2007. Nordisk Netværk for Avantgarde Studier vil styrke og koordinere mindre og spredte nationale forskningsmiljøer, bidrage til at fremme udveksling af viden om forskelle og ligheder mellem de nordiske lande og gøre nordisk avantgardeforskning internationalt synlig. Nordisk Netværk for Avantgardestudier afholder en årlig konference. Netværket danner også ramme for udarbejdelsen af De nordiske avantgarders kulturhistorie i 4 bind og et elektronisk arkiv for dokumenter fra de nordiske avantgarder. Det nordiske forskningsnetværk er en videreudvikling af det danske forskningsnetværk ”Avantgardernes genkomst og aktualitet” støttet af Det humanistiske Forskningsråd 2001-2004. Under forberedelse er et Europæisk Netværk for Avantgarde og Modernisme Studier, EAM, hvis første konference afholdes i Ghent, Belgien, maj 2008.

About the Network

The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies is supported by Nordforsk 2004-2007. The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies aims to support and coordinate small and dispersed national centres of research, help promote the exchange of knowledge about differences and similarities among the avant-garde currents and research in the Nordic countries, and make Nordic avant-garde research visible in a European and international context. The Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies has a yearly conference. Within the Network an editorial group is preparing a four-volume Cultural History of the Nordic Avant-Gardes and an electronic archive of documents from the Nordic avant-gardes. The Nordic network is an extension of the Danish research network ”The Return and Actuality of the Avant-Gardes” supported by the Danish Research Council 2001-2004. A European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, EAM, is under preparation and will have its first conference in Ghent in May 2008.
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The 4th Annual Conference of the Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies

The fourth annual conference of the Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies will be held in Reykjavík on the 29th-30th of September, 2007. The subject of the conference is "Avant-Garde and Violence". The conference will be hosted by the University of Iceland and the Iceland Academy of Arts.

Since the early 20th century the link between avant-garde aesthetics and the notion of violence has been a much debated subject, which continues to draw the attention of scholars and artists and to generate polarized debates. The conference offers a forum for papers discussing different aspects of the relationship between avant-garde aesthetics and (political, psychological, linguistic, corporeal, sexual and social) notions of violence from the early 20th century to the present. The aesthetics of the avant-garde is often represented through a rhetoric propagating a cult of destruction, terror and violence, yet the avant-garde is also frequently seen to embody a radical pacifist critique of war and violence. There is, in other words, a paradoxical relation between the avant-garde and the notion of violence. Since the early 20th century, the aesthetics of the avant-garde has come to represent different responses to an age of military intervention, genocide, radical change and destruction. These different responses reveal the heterogeneous character of avant-garde aesthetics and draw attention to its instrumentalization within different ideological contexts in the 20th century, ranging from a cult of war, destruction and violence, to a pacifist rejection of the rhetoric of military intervention and of the mass media sublimation of war.

Those interested in attending the conference are kindly asked to contact Benedikt Hjartarson at the University of Iceland for further information (benedihj@hi.is).

Download the list of keynote speakers and contributors (pdf) (updated)
Download the abstracts for the conference (pdf)

Click the "read more" link below to see the program for the conference or
download it as a pdf

Reykjavík: 29th-30th of September, 2007


Saturday, September 29th

10.00-10.30 Opening of the conference

10.30-12.00 Keynote speaker (Askja, Room 1)

Boris Groys: Avant-garde Art Strategies: Iconoclasm as Artistic Device

12.00-14.00 Lunch break

14.00-15.30 Avant-garde Aesthetics, Violence, and Emancipatory Politics (Askja, Room 1)

Patricia Leighten: Violence vs. Creativity in Kupka’s Anarchist Art and Aesthetics
Tania Ørum: Revolution as Personal or Discursive Practice in the Danish Avant-garde of the 1960s

Tiina Purhonen: Emancipation Politics of Contemporary Art

14.00-15.30 Masochism, Sadism and Cruelty: Avant-garde Aesthetics and Theory (Askja, Room 2)

Jonatan Habib Engqvist: Evil Gifts? On Bataille, Groys and Terror Economy

Nikolaj Lübecker: The Politics of Masochism in Georges Bataille 1935-36

Geir Svansson: [Title still needed]

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

16.00-17.30 Avant-garde, Terror, and New Media (Askja, Room 1)

Barrett Watten: Bad History Redux. Language Poetries and the Iraq War

Erin S.Hanas: Artist or Terrorist. The Case of Steven Kurtz
Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg: Belligerent Aesthetics

16.00-17.30 Figures of the Avant-Garde: Militancy / Militarization / Messianism (Askja, Room 2)

Tammy Lynn Castelein: Storm Troopers, Barbarians and Militarization: Walter Benjamin and Ernst Jünger on the Avant-garde

Bram Ieven: Militancy of the Avant-Garde: Utopias between Lenin and Deleuze

Joost de Bloois: Messianic Militancy: Political Violence and Messianism in Contemporary Italian Autobiography

Sunday, September 30th

9.00-10.30 Keynote speaker (Askja, Room 1)

Mark Antliff: War against War: Anti-Militarism, Anarchism and the Vorticist Aesthetic of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

10.30-10.45 Coffee break

10.45-12.15 Avant-garde Aesthetics and Its Counterparts (Askja, Room 1)

Hubert van den Berg: Long Live Degenerate Art! Some Notes on a Forgotten Arab Avant-Garde Initiative against European Totalitarian Terror

Halldór Björn Runólfsson: [Title still needed]

Per Bäckström: Music for Lettuce. The Violent Reception of the Nordic Neo-Avant-Garde

10.45-12.15 Acts of Violence, Terror and Destruction (Askja, Room 2)

Kimmo Sarje: Weapons and Machines as a Work of Art

Marianne Ping Huang: Das Beckwerk: A Work in Progress on Democracy, War and Terror

Nils Olsson: The Literal Avant-Garde of Gertrude Stein. Warfare and Aesthetics

12.15-14.00 Lunch break

14.00-15.30 Avant-garde Aesthetics and Mediated Violence (Askja, Room 1)

Richard Murphy: Fiction, History and the Avant-Garde: Violence and the “Modernist Event”

Hlynur Helgason: ‘Déclasse’, in Reference to ‘Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles’ and ‘Inland Empire’

Irma Erlingsdóttir: [Title still needed]

14.00-15.30 The Soviet and Post-Soviet Context (Askja, Room 2)

Charlotte Greve: Friend or Foe. The Russian Avant-Garde in Retrospect

Kristine Danielson: The Photography of Boris Mikhailov. Post-Soviet Conceptualism and the Social Body

Jón Ólafsson: The Concept of the Purge in Stalinist Discourse and Imagery

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

16.00-17.30 Technology, Avant-Garde and Utopianism (Askja, Room 1)

Lamija Kosovic: Re-imag(in)ing of the Posthuman

Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir: From Night of Steel to Lovestar: Avant-garde and Cyberpunk

Sylvain Briens: The Utopia/Dystopia of Global Communication in the Swedish Literary Avant-Garde. A Peaceful Dream or a Totalitarian Nightmare?

16.00-17.30 Avant-Garde Aesthetics, the Holocaust and Jewish Identity (Askja, Room 2)

Bodil Børset: Stomp my Head. Violent Radio in Emil Boyson’s Poem "Loudspeaker Devotion"

Torben Sangild: The Broken Voice – On Steve Reich's Different Trains

Irina Carabas: "Down with the avant-garde for it has prostituted itself." Avant-Garde, Jewishness and Totalitarianism in Romania

17.30-18.00 Presentation: Next Activities of the Nordic Network of Avant-Garde Studies (Askja, Room 1)

20.00    Dinner



The final conference of the interdisciplinary research project Media Aesthetics at the University of Oslo invite speakers and audience to participate in a questioning of the specific perspectives and operations characteristic of the emergent field of research named media aesthetics. Leading in different directions, the various works produced within the framework of our project offer no single mode or object of analysis. What is shared is, rather an attempt to place research on media objects and institutions beyond the framework of communication studies, while aesthetic objects, formats and operations are approached at their intersection with media and information machineries or with a view to their role within the politics of mediation. What is shared is, then, an experienced need to reorient aesthetic theory and research in accordance with the massive changes to human existence and social organization brought on by the omnipresence of information technologies that integrate previously separate media in global networks of production. This reorientation does not, however, simply concern contemporary culture: it opens onto new definitions of the nature of technology, art, human bodies and the sense-apparatus.

Our invited guest speakers – N. Katherine Hayles (UCLA), Trond Lundemo (University of Stockholm) , Bernard Stiegler (Centre Pompidou, Paris) and Samuel Weber (Northwestern University) – have all made important contributions towards such reorientation. The members of the research project; Liv Hausken (UiO), Arild Fetveit (Univeristy of Copenhagen), Eivind Røssaak (UiO), Susanne Sæther (UiO) and Ina Blom (UiO) will also present themes from their individual research projects under this general perspective


A conference fee of NOK 350,- covers lunch and coffe for both days.

The conference will take place in the auditorium at Håndverkeren in downtown Oslo (address)

Conference website