Opening Session, Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, France
Sha Xin Wei, Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, France
Talking Circle, Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, France
Gesture Workshop, Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, France
Carrie Noland, Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, France

Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society

  • 2017 Special Focus: Gestures That Matter
  • 14–16 June 2017
  • The American University of Paris, France

At a Glance...

3

Days of paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, and colloquia.

455+

Delegates from all over the world who attended the Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society.

49

Countries represented.

2017 Special Focus: Gestures That Matter

Making a gesture involves confronting the unknowable. A gesture is not simply mechanical like a movement, nor is it fully semantic as a sign might be, nor fundamentally intentional like an action must be. The idea of a “gesture” escapes the classical categories of meaning and is never developed as an independent notion. A trait that often characterizes gesture is its ability to use the body as a means to draw evanescent traces. Because a gesture inadvertently creates relation, a “milieu” institutes itself within the interstices of being and metamorphoses our quotidian lives. The gesture is often a tool towards the transformation of the self and of the world. André Leroi-Gourhan writes that “the tool is only real in the gesture which renders it operative and only exists within a cycle of operativity.”

Intrinsically inter-corporeal and inter-subjective, the gesture is a “means without end,” in the words of Giorgio Agamben. The gesture is always a form of the intermedial. But when the gesture apprehends its mediality in an honest and noble manner, it becomes an artwork. That is when a gesture “matters.” Whether it emerges in a ritualistic, artistic or technical context, the gesture extends and transmits itself well beyond the duration of its concrete manifestation for both the doer (the actor) or the one doing the observing (the spectator). It is right there that the body draws a simple gesture and aims to show the most rudimentary form, but also the most essential, of that which we call “art.” The gesture shows a clear materiality insofar as it does not disappear as it seems, and it leaves permanent changes in the art world and in within society. That is when gestures “matter,” insofar as they both are important for giving a deep meaning to our lives and inscribe durable transformation in the flux of everyday event. Gestures matter because they are ethically, politically and aesthetically important. Gestures matter because they do not evaporate but shape our lives on the long term.

—Barbara Formis

Conference Chair

Barbara Formis

Barbara Formis

Director ESPAS, Institute ACTE, University Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris, France

Plenary Speakers

The Twelfth International Conference on the Arts in Society featured plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field.

Carrie Noland

Carrie Noland

Professor, University of California, Irvine, USA

"The Ethics of Gesture Theory"

Alexandra Bidet

Alexandra Bidet

Sociologist Researcher, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris, France

"Gestures : A Co-Genesis of Aesthetics and Sociality that Matters—Insights from André Leroi-Gourhan’s and Tino Sehgal’s Works"

Sha Xin Wei

Sha Xin Wei

Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media + Engineering in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University, USA

"Resistance Is Fertile: Textural Gesture, Nuance and Rhythm"

Emerging Scholar Awardees

For each conference, a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active academic interest in the conference area. The Award with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for early career academics. The 2017 Emerging Scholar Awardees are listed below.

​Anna-Mari Almila

​Anna-Mari Almila

London College of Fashion, London, UK

Malaika Cunningham

Malaika Cunningham

University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Janine Irvine

Janine Irvine

Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

Harnoor Bhangu

Harnoor Bhangu

University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada

Maryam Rashidi

Maryam Rashidi

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Donlisha Moahi

Donlisha Moahi

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Rebecca Neale

Rebecca Neale

Durham University, Durham, UK

Rémy Jarry

Rémy Jarry

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Seulkee Kang

Seulkee Kang

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea

• • •

Charlotte Tegan

Charlotte Tegan

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Annchen Bronkowski

Annchen Bronkowski

University of London, London, UK

Clare Massey

Clare Massey

North of England Consortium for Arts and Humanities, Hull, UK

Ilinca Damian

Ilinca Damian

University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Ines Morais

Ines Morais

Nova University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Ninette Rothmuller

Ninette Rothmuller

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, USA

Kyla Searle

Kyla Searle

Brown University, Providence, USA

Tatjana Portnova

Tatjana Portnova

University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Conference Partners

Virtual Presentations

​Virtual Posters

Virtual Posters present preliminary results of work or projects that lend themselves to visual representations. Download the posters below.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are 5-minute "flash" video presentations. Click the button below to view the videos on our YouTube channel.