“The Museum as Knowledge Producer”

November 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm 6 comments

Next Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m., here in the museum’s Multi-Purpose Room, art historian and social critic Robert Atkins will kick off our “Re-Thinking the Museum” lecture series in a talk called “The Museum as Knowledge Producer,” in which he will ruminate on the nature of art and the role of the art museum in contemporary culture.

Here’s some info from the announcement:


…Atkins argues for the necessity of transforming the museum’s primary function from conservator of artistic achievement to research-based producer of knowledge, aligning it exactly with the university’s mission. Achieving this will demand an understanding of art as both the most complex form of knowledge and as a crucial means of apprehending the world, a significant shift for a culture that trivializes art as therapy or entertainment.

Re-Thinking the Museum is a series of residencies and conversations with innovative, international museum professionals, artists, visual and material culture scholars.  The series is designed to provide a steady flow of acute perspectives on the role of art, critical analysis and cultural institutions, which advance the circulation of ideas.

Re-Thinking the Museum, conceived by a transdisciplinary team, spans three departments: ASU Art Museum, the School of Art and the Museum Studies Program. The visiting scholars and artists will share their knowledge and, in dialog with ASU faculty and students and the larger community, build a critical body of thought toward reinventing and creating models for the future of museums and museum practice.

And here’s more about Atkins, who will no doubt have much to say on the subject:

Robert Atkins is a writer, art historian and journalist.  Educated at the University of California and the London School of Economics, he has written for more than 100 publications throughout the world, ranging from the New York Times to Wired (Japan), and is a regular book reviewer for Art in America. He is a former staff columnist for The Village Voice, and is the co-author, most recently, of Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression. His other books include ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, its modern-art companion ArtSpoke, and From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS, based on the exhibition of the same name, the first traveling museum show of its kind.

He also teaches (most recently as the Roman J. Witt Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan) and lectures widely about contemporary art, culture and media. These interests have catalyzed more than two dozen exhibitions at far-flung venues including Between Science and Fiction, which he organized for the Sao Paulo Bienal, and Fusion! Artists in a Research Setting, for Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a Fellow of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Beginning in 1995, he has participated in—and sometimes originated—pioneering online media, archive, and Wiki-based projects including the City University of New York-sponsored TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Discourse http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/vpadvance/artgallery/gallery/talkback/index.html, Artery: The AIDS Arts Forum http://www.artistswithaids.org/artery/index1.html, the Media Channel www.mediachannel.org, where he was arts editor, the Arts Technology Entertainment Network, a New York Times Video start-up company for which he was Vice-President/Editor-in-Chief, and ArtSpeak China www.artspeakchina.org, the first bilingual wiki devoted to contemporary Chinese art, which waslaunched early in 2010.

He is a co-founder of Visual AIDS <http://www.visualaids.org&gt;, the creators of Day Without Art and the Red Ribbon Project, as well as 911—The September 11 Project: Cultural Intervention in Civic Society. He is a former board member of the US section of the International Association of Art Critics http://www.aicausa.org/, and the recipient of awards for his writing from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Penny McCall Foundation, among others.  More information about him is available at www.RobertAtkins.net

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Peter Bugg in collaboration with Ryan Peter Miller – Open for Business Our far-flung staff, cont’d…

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Spooner  |  November 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    At the Tweed Musuem of Art, which is situated within the University of Minnesota, we are also interested in broadcasts / podcasts of this discourse.

    Thank you,
    Peter Spooner, Curator

    Reply
  • 2. Jill Ewald  |  November 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I, too, am very interested in a you tube or podcast of this series. We are just now embarking on a discussion of possibly renaming the museum–changing the name museum to something that denotes the way I try to use the space–as a laboratory for visual ideas.

    Reply
  • 3. Sara Otto-Diniz  |  November 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Please, please podcast this and subsequent talks in the series. As University museums are subject to increased scrutiny by administration and pressed to justify our contributions to the educational mission of our institutions, such information is vital. Thank you.

    Reply
  • 4. Joanna Bosse  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Ditto to Marie’s comments. Would love to access this from Australia. I hope you can record and broadcast online. Thanks.

    Reply
  • 5. Marie Via  |  November 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    WOW! I would love to be in Tempe next week for this talk — as would several of my colleagues. Any chance you’ll be filming and posting it to youtube or similar?

    Marie Via
    Director of Exhibitions
    Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester
    500 University Ave.
    Rochester, NY 14620

    Reply
  • 6. urfa haber  |  November 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

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    Reply

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