Recap: Living Time: Art and Life After ‘Art-Into-Life’

On February 20 and 21, the Arts Research Center was delighted to welcome over 200 attendees to the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Gund Theater as our ARC community debated and discussed the connections surrounding and between the boundaries separating “art” and “life.” We were equally delighted to host 15 celebrated international, national and Bay Area artists, curators, and scholars from a variety of art fields who presented on historical and contemporary, visual and performance based iterations of the distinctly 20th century cultural phenomenon of ‘art-into-life’.


On Thursday, February 20 , André Lepecki (New York University) turned our attention to Brazil and the the work of Hélio Oiticica in a talk titled “Temporality and the Question of Life.” With thoughtful responses by both Suzanne Guerlac (UC Berkeley) and Claudia Calirman (John Jay College), the evening served as a wonderful primer for the all-day gathering on Friday.


On February 21, Maria Gough (Harvard University) presented on the historical precedent for art and life in “Corps Concepts: Notes on the Soviet Collective”. The day’s first “Regional Check-in” centered on Eastern Europe and Beyond as both Bojana Cvejić​ (Performance Scholar) and Ana Janevski (MoMA) discussed politics, dance, aesthetics in the former soviet bloc. In the afternoon, we turned our attention to “Life” and Transnational Curating with presentations by Claudia Calirman (John Jay); Lawrence Rinder with David Wilson (BAM/PFA); Jeff Kelley (Critic and Curator); and Dominic Willsdon (SFMOMA). This lively session touched on the promises and pitfalls of curating time and performance based, socially engaged, and relational art, citing contemporary and historical examples of each.


Karin Sanders (UC Berkeley) and Knut Ove Arntzen (University of Bergen) shared expansive accounts of time-based art in the High North, with both exploring “ice” as a material in ecological art. Our focus on regions around the world concluded with China’s Time: Experimental Art and Labor, where both Winnie Wong (UC Berkeley) and Yi Gu (University of Toronto) shared thoughtful, critical, and amusing tales of art production in and beyond China.




ARC would like to thank our major symposium sponsor, the Institute of International Studies, and our symposium supporters, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the History of Art Department, The Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Scandinavian, and the Philosophy Department at UC Berkeley, in addition to our amazing staff and volunteers for making the day happen. Thank you also to our presenters and to our attendees who came out for the two days and supported the ARC community!