Symposium in Beijing

The Collective Eye Symposium
Group subjectivity and its aesthetics
in the light of cultural differences

An International Symposium of the Franco-German “The Collective Eye” Project 
30.05. & 31.05. & 01.06. 2014
CAFA Museum, Beijing, China

It is realized in partnership with the Goethe Institut and the Institut Français,
supportet by Élysée-Fonds


Download “The Collective Eye Symposium Booklet” here -> download

 As the most recent Documenta and Manifesta as well as diverse biennials demonstrate, in times of and under the conditions of globalisation the number of collectives increases, and alongside them the attention the art world devotes to them. The subject matter of the symposium “Collective Subjectivity and Its Aesthetics in Light of Cultural Differences” – initiated by “The Collective Eye” project – which will be held in Beijing on May 30th and 31st 2014 will be dedicated to different questions.

Why is the collective practice, which prevails in other areas like theatre, cinema or music, becoming increasingly important? What can a collective achieve? What are the motivations and intentions of collective thinking and seeing, working and acting? How different are the aesthetics that are developed collectively to those of an individual artist? What occurs in the moment when different subjectivities converge, cooperate with each other and join forces in a collective, whether temporarily or over a longer period of time?

Is there a significant difference in the creation of an aesthetic collectively or by an individual artist? How can artist collectives be politically, aesthetically, sociologically, historically and philosophically represented? Is the self-image of a collective different when it forms in a social system which understands itself as collective, such as communism (Russia, China, GDR) than in a society which advances the subject in the centre?

At a time when the art world is becoming ever more internationalised and the country pavilions at the Venice Biennale are evermore disregarding the aspect of the national a mixing and decontextualisation of cultures is coming about. The question is, what consequences does the speed of globalisation have on aesthetic practice?

That the symposium takes place in China also has to do with the fact that the concept of the collective plays a different role there with regards to historical materialism. Yet the question is also to what extent culture influences the intentions, subjects, practices, ideas and understanding of the strategy of collectives? To what extent do collectives react to the objective spirit of their culture in societies which consider themselves collective? How is this, to quote Jean-Paul Sartre, individuated?

The symposium considers itself not only a place where lectures are given and discussions initiated but also an attempt to set in motion a theoretical discourse which is laid out rather phenomenologically, that is to say openly. In this way the most varied aspects will be treated in an exchange between theoreticians and collectives. In addition the symposium should have another character, namely that of a temporary association of collectives and theorists from any number of continents.

Particpants of the Symposium are:

Heinz-Norbert Jocks (Düsseldorf), Frédéric Rambeau (Paris), Stephen Wright (Paris), Zandie Brockett (Beijing), Karen Smith  (Beijing), Nataline Colonnello (Beijing), Ou Ning  (Huangshan, Anhui), Wang Huangsheng (Beijing), Qiu Zhijie (Beijing), Bao Dong (Beijing), Philip Tinari (Beijing), Song Yi (Beijing), Jeff Leung Chin Fung (HongKong)

Bert Theis, Isola Art Center (Milan), Mariette Schiltz, Isola Art Center (Milan), Jorge Orta, Lucy+Jorge Orta (Paris), Alain Snyers (Paris), Carola Wagenplast, Jochen Schmith (Hamburg), Peter Hoppe, Jochen Schmith (Hamburg), Peter Steckroth, Jochen Schmith (Hamburg), Niels Betori Diehl, NBDBKP (Berlin), Barbara K. Prokop, NBDBKP (Berlin), Robin Kahn (New York), Sebastian Alonso (Montevideo) , Tatiana Arzamasova, AES+F (Moscow), Lev Evzovich, AES+F (Moscow), Tian Yibin (Beijing), Sunyuan & Pengyu (Beijing), Su Wei, Carol Lu & Liu Ding (Beijing)





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