Successful conference on contemporary ceramics
- I am overwhelmed! says Professor Jorunn Veiteberg at the closing of the international conference ”Making or Unmaking? The Contexts of Contemporary Ceramics” after three hectic days. The conference was planned and headed by Professor Veiteberg.
The conference program was compact. During the three day conference from 27 - 29 October the 200 participants were introduced to five separate exhibitions and 20 lectures.
"Our ambition was to provide a conference packed with energy, and we seem to have succeeded. Feedback from participants suggests that the program was rewarding. With this in mind we planned the conference format thoroughly, leaving out plenary Q&A sessions and debate. We instead allowed for extended lunch and coffee breaks so that the dialogue between speakers and participants could flourish."
"We discovered that the ceramic profession has an amazing breadth. This conference aimed to contextualize ceramics and to look at it from a much broader perspective. Today more and more ceramic artists cooperate with the industry or professional workshops in other countries. This is a new trend, and may be an effect of globalization. But the new situation also raises a series of ethical questions regarding issues from work conditions to copyright. In the future the issue of how and by whom an artwork has been made needs to be considered. The collaborations we see today were unimaginable for a Norwegian ceramicist only 20-30 years ago, and this massive change represents a shift of paradigm", says Jorunn Veiteberg.
The 200 participants were students, research fellows, theorists from all the Nordic University College ceramic educations, art historians from museums and above all - craft artists and artists.
"The speakers were artists and theorists. Since the conference was initiated by an art academy it was important to crush the myth that artists are inarticulate or unable to lecture. This myth is now effectively busted!" according to Jorunn Veiteberg.
13 different countries were represented, with the majority from the Nordic countries and Europe, but there were also representatives from as far away as Australia, China, Korea, Canada and USA.
K-verdi almost completed
The conference concludes the research project K-verdi funded by The Research Council of Norway. It has been a three year project. K-verdi is short for the research project Kunstnarisk verdiskaping (Creating artistic value), a project on trash and readymades, art and ceramics. The project is a cooperation between Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Permanenten, West Norway Museum of Decorative Art and is included in The Research Council of Norway's KULVER-program (KULVER - Cultural Value).
- art historian Jorunn Veiteberg (head)
- chief conservator Anne Britt Ylvisåker
- philosopher Søren Kjørup
- research fellow Kjell Rylander
- research fellow Caroline Slotte
Jorunn Veiteberg's partial project will be concluded 31 March 2012, while Kjell Rylander will conduct his viva voce in April/May 2012.
"I am not certain that we will make a complete conference report, says Jorunn Veiteberg. In my experience these reports often arrive so late after the conference that they seem to have lost some of their potential. We will discuss this during the coming week and decide whether to publish selected articles online instead. In addition the following publications are un production:
- The professional journal Kunst og Kultur no. 4, 2011 is a themed edition discussing objects. Jorunn Veiteberg will be guest editor and present articles by the other K-verdi participants. The edition will be launched 23 November.
- The Research Council of Norway will release a KULVER publication with articles by Søren Kjørup and Anne Britt Ylvisaker based on their their conference lectures.
- Jorunn Veiteberg will publish her latest book about the jewelry artist Konrad Mehus, the first craft artist in Norway who used found objects and readymades (Arnoldsche Art Press/ May 2012). She is also planning a book on art and trash.
- The catalogue "Thing, Tang, Trash" from the exhibition with the same title at Permanenten Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, describes the essence of some of the conference lectures.
- Several editors from professional journals participated at the conference and will publish articles about it.
- A publication about Kjell Rylander with international contributions is planned to be published shortly before his viva voce."