Critical Mass Symposium: Call for Papers

Date posted: July 20, 2012

Artes Mundi is currently seeking papers for its Critical Mass Symposium to be held as part of a programme of events during Artes Mundi 5. The biennial exhibition and prize opens at the National Museum Cardiff on October 6th 2012.

Artes Mundi Critical Mass Symposium, 6th December 2012

National Museum Cardiff

Call for Papers

Deadline Extended: 14th September 2012 (from the 31st August)

 Critical Mass aims to initiate alternative critical dialogue with emerging practitioners, writers, students and recent graduates. Critical Mass is particularly interested in experimental papers, ideas, actions, collaboration and processes of learning, which will engage this specific audience with Artes Mundi 5.

Proposals are welcomed from individuals and groups across practice-based, theoretical, literary, philosophical, sociological backgrounds and beyond. The aim of Critical Mass is to occupy the in-between, the unpredictable and fluid space between institution (university, museum) and the practices of this year’s shortlisted artists: Miriam Bäckström, Tania Bruguera, Phil Collins, Sheela Gowda, Teresa Margolles, Darius Mikšys andApolonija Šušteršič.

Notions of ‘the green room’ will provide the organising principle, context and form for the day, its historical association being “a venue, which accommodates performers not yet required on stage.” The green room may also be understood in terms of new cultural narratives, which are in many ways defined by uncertainty and unknowability, and in which the green room acts more as a void, without material or information to respond to.

The Critical Mass Symposium will seek to explore the potentiality of the Green Room, as both a space of performance and the space of waiting to perform. Where art practice can no longer be defined by studio and gallery environments we will ask how artists filter, prepare and become equipped to perform on such a stage.

Early career academics, practitioners and writers in the fields of fine art, film, new media, performance, critical writing and curatorial practice, are invited to interpret and respond to the overarching theme of the Green Room in relation to Artes Mundi 5. Proposals for interpretative papers, panel discussions, actions, screenings, performances, and interactive workshops discussing any aspect of the symposium theme are welcomed.

The deadline for proposals has been extended to 4pm on the 14th September 2012.



– Selected proposals will form an alternative dialogue with Artes Mundi 5 to be presented at the Critical Mass Symposium on 6th December 2012.

– The Critical Mass Symposium is anticipated to have an audience of 50 individuals, based in the Foyle Learning Space of the National Museum Cardiff.

– Proposals should outline the name and contact information of the lead speaker, details of any other participants, an outline of the theme/content/activity proposed, and any equipment/material requirements.

– Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length, but other timescales for short performances, workshops, screenings etc. will be considered.

– Please send proposals of around 300 words (for individual papers) together with a short biography to the following address:

Critical Mass is a self-initiated intern project, as such there is limited provision and any proposals selected for presentation at the symposium would have to be made on a voluntary basis.


For more information about Artes Mundi and the shortlisted artists please go to:

For more information on the Critical Mass project please visit:

If you would like an informal chat about the project please email Jess Mathews, part-time Curatorial Intern at Artes Mundi

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