The 2016 Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts
Slowness, not Sedation
GS/ARTH/VISA 6020; GS/VISA 6030
Professors: Dan Adler (Art History) and Nell Tenhaaf (Visual Arts)
The 2016 Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute in Visual Arts explores the critical importance of slowness in modern and contemporary visual culture. Art history and criticism has a long and well-considered commitment to theorizing how art relates to slower forms of perceptual experience, including those that are semi-conscious or associated with altered states. Speed is an obvious facet of contemporary society, whereas slowness has often been dismissed as conservative and antimodern. We will explore slowness as a critical medium and a means to intensify our temporal and spatial experiences, in relation to today’s “spectator on the move.” Slowness helps us to register the multiple layers of time, history, and motion that constitute our present.
The Institute will develop aesthetic models through which slowness, sleep and even boredom may be interpreted in modern and contemporary art. We will theorize based on case studies of artistic projects that manage to critically carve out spaces—or strive to stake a claim—within hegemonic environments of acceleration. Focusing on specific works will allow us to reflect on how artists create singular or alternate temporalities and durations which—partly due to their slowness—are resistant to the systems and economies of control that depend on accelerated speeds of processing.
In partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Higher Learning program, the Goldfarb Summer Institute presents a series of public talks by its featured guests. In addition the morning seminar on May 10 will be led by a special guest, acclaimed Toronto-based media artist David Rokeby.
Now in its eighth year, the Joan & Martin Summer Institute in Visual Arts offers York University graduate students and the wider community the opportunity to engage with prominent international artists, curators, critics and theorists through seminars, workshops, courses and public lectures. Previous guests include art theorists Manuel De Landa and Thierry De Duve, media arts specialists Christine Ross and Douglas Kahn, art historian and curator Sarat Maharaj, and the Singh Twins.
The summer institute is named in recognition of Joan and Martin Goldfarb, longstanding supporters of York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, whose generous gift has made this annual residency program possible.