Amateurism Across the Arts

Conference/Symposium | March 9 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. |  Hearst Museum of Anthropology

 Arts Research Center

Amateurism Across the Arts Conference
Friday, March 9, 2018, 10am-6:15pm
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

Amateurism Across the Arts is an exploration of vernacular, popular, fannish, kitsch, informal, self-taught, user-generated, and DIY production in music, architecture, literature, the visual arts, dance, and new media– especially in relation to raced, classed, and gendered notions of value. How do the implicitly skilled “arts” rupture and reorganize themselves around hierarchies of taste? And how can critical race and feminist/queer scholarship account for “hobbyist” — that is, extra-institutional, self-organized, or improvised — modes of cultural production and circulation? If amateurism has been traditionally disavowed in modernist and avant-garde historiographies, it is at the same time persistently—even obsessively—invoked, and is hence inextricably woven into those discourses.

The symposium asks how the “high” and the “low” are porous constructions by looking at the ways that these charged terms have been deployed and dismantled across several artistic disciplines, particularly as we examine the alternative economies and systems of distribution that attend such forms of making. While it has become commonplace for “fine” artists to recruit untrained participants into their practices, it is vital to acknowledge that many non-professional forms of making grow out of necessity and survival. In addition, though “amateur” is frequently used as a shorthand for the unpracticed and/or uninteresting, this conference seeks to understand its connections to its root word amare: a complex outgrowth of critical investment, pleasure, and love.

Amateurism Across the Arts Conference Schedule

9:30am: Doors Open to the Public

10am: Welcome by ARC Director Julia Bryan-Wilson

10:20: Self-Taught Student Music Performance with Judith Peña & the Wolf Girls

10:30-12:30: Street Modernists: Urban Undoings of High and Low

“God is Beautiful and He Loves Beauty” with Talinn Grigor
“Modern and Vernacular—How Brazilian mid-century architecture problematizes this inherent contradiction” with Fernando Luiz Lara (note: via Skype)
Response by Greg Castillo

12:30-1:30: Lunch Break

1:30-3:30: Self-Made: Cultural Production Outside of Industry

“Piracy and Fandom: DIY Media Distribution” with Abigail De Kosnik
“Post-autonomous literature in Latin America: the radical art of poverty” with Cecilia Palmeiro
Response by Natalia Brizuela

3:30-3:40: Student hip-hop dance performance with Identity X

3:45-5:45: Everyday Avant-Gardes and Non-Elite Evaluations

“Kenner und Liebhaber Revisited: ‘Advanced’ Music and Sound since 1950” with Benjamin Piekut
“Kaisik Wong: Extravagant Appropriation” with Marci Kwon
Response by Stephanie Syjuco

5:45-6:15: Student DIY Couture Fashion Show, hosted by Derrick Duren and FAST Student Group

6:15-7 Reception in the Hearst Musuem Patio

Amateurism Across the Arts is an event hosted by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, and co-sponsored in part by UC Berkeley's Division of Arts & Humanities, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the Stoddard Lecture Series/History of Art, University of California's Humanities Research Institute, Judith Butler's Maxine Elliot Endowed Chair Funds, the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Additional support is provided by the departments of Spanish and Portuguese, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, Critical Theory, and the Center for Race & Gender, all at UC Berkeley.

 All Audiences

 All Audiences

 Lauren Pearson, UC Berkeley, Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley 201 Dwinelle Annex #1054, Berkeley, CA 94720,