100 Years Before and After Us: Alternative Memories / Possible Futures of Visual Arts

Horea Avram's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Fine Arts, Film and Film History

Call for Papers

100 Years Before and After Us:

Alternative Memories / Possible Futures of Visual Arts

New Europe College – Institute for Advanced Studies, Bucharest, Romania


November 1st 2018



The last 100 years marked the most radical changes in the history of art making. The recent cultural globalization and the rapid pace of digital technology development have increasingly transformed the way we produce and experience art, and how we participate in our sociocultural environment.


Memory is an essential instrument in assessing the effects of these historical changes. Memory is seen here in various senses: individual memory understood as a temporal dimension of our psychic organization; collective memory centered around important historical milestones and defined as an interaction between official (historical) memory and recollections (common memory), the result of what has historically been experienced in common; cultural memory defined by archaeologist Jan Assman as “the way the society views its past via newspaper articles, memorials, monuments, films, and buildings.”


The phrase “Alternative memories” in the title cuts across these various senses of the concept of memory, while instrumentalizing it in order to operate a projective interpretation of the past, and at the same time articulating a retrospective view of the future. The scope of this cross-reading of the idea of memory covers the last 100 years and the same number of years ahead of us.


Can we anticipate the radical transformations in art and society that will mirror the last century’s events, 100 years from now? Or should we rather expect an orientation towards recycling models and a return to familiar grounds? What role played the year 1918 in the crystallization of avant-garde movements? What was the impact of post-1918 modernization of artistic institutions? What role does individual/collective/cultural memory have in building a prospective cultural and artistic discourse? What role did technological development play in 1918 and what is at stake now regarding digitization in the realm of art? What are the European values, then and now and in the future, and how are they reflected in the artistic discourse? If cultural diversity was a reality in most of Europe in 1918, what role does interculturalism play today in society and culture? From the perspective of art, how far is 2118?


The conference will bring together scholars, artists, and specialists working and researching in the fields of Art history, Visual Arts, Visual Studies, Aesthetics, Performing Arts, Cultural studies, Music, Media and Film Studies, and other related disciplines.


Keynote speaker: Boris Groys (TBC)


Boris Groys (b.1947) is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist and an internationally renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature, specifically, the Russian avant-garde. He is a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, and a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS. 


Abstract submission deadline: September 23, 2018.

Abstracts of maximum 2000 characters, accompanied by keywords, will be sent to:






New Europe College (NEC) is an independent Romanian institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences founded in 1994 by Professor Andrei Pleșu (philosopher, art historian, writer, Romanian Minister of Culture, 1990–1991, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1997-1999) within the framework of the New Europe Foundation, established in 1994 as a private foundation subject to Romanian law.


Focused primarily on individual research at an advanced level, NEC offers to young scholars and academics in the fields of humanities and social sciences appropriate working conditions, and provides an institutional framework with strong international links, acting as a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary dialogue and critical debates. The academic programs NEC coordinates, and the events it organizes aim at strengthening research in the humanities and social sciences and at promoting contacts between Romanian scholars and their peers worldwide.


The Cultural Center for Image and Sound - NGO was founded in March 2017 reflecting the cultural interests of the founding members: contemporary philosophy, visual arts, electro-acoustic music. The mission of CCIS is to pursue the development of a cultural platform focused on the practical and theoretical exploration of contemporary visual and sound arts.


The project is co-funded by AFCN (The Administration of the National Cultural Fund), Romania, 2018.

Contact Info: 

Horea AVRAM, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Cinema and Media
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Project Manager ECCA (European Center for Contemporary Art)
Contact Email: