The Symposium | The Journal | Who Should Attend

Arts Symposium, 2007

Artist: Bill Allen, from "Transit Series" 2000-2006

Welcome to the website of 2007 International Symposium on the Arts in Society. Held mid way between the annual International Conference on the Arts in Society (held in 2006 in conjunction with the Edinburgh Festivals), and the next Arts Conference, we will work in collaboration with New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and its Center for Art and Public Policy. Similar to our full annual conferences, this mid-year Arts Symposium will address a range of critically important themes relating to the arts today. The symposium will run in conjunction with The Armory Show International Art Fair, one of the leading and largest visual art fairs in the world. Conference presenters will include artists and organisers involved in The Armory Show, as well as leading theorists and practitioners from NYU and our International Advisory Board. The symposium itself will serve as an intellectual platform to investigate issues raised by the Armory Show and other international visual arts fairs, with respect to their impact on the art market and issues of inclusivity, innovation, and definitions and frameworks for conceptualising contemporary art through public display. Visual, performing and literary arts will also be central to presentations and topics related to the general theme of the symposium: Arts and Public Reception.

Symposium speakers and performers will include leading contributors in all areas of the arts - artists, curators, writers, theorists and policymakers - as well as papers, colloquia and workshop presentations by artists in all disciplines (visual, performing and literary) and arts researchers. This is a symposium for any person with an interest in, and a concern for, arts practice, arts theory and research, curatorial and museum studies, and arts education in any of its forms and in any of its sites.

The organising committee is currently inviting proposals to present at the 2007 Arts Symposium.

Participants are also welcome to submit a presentation proposal either for a 30-minute paper, 60-minute workshop, a jointly presented 90-minute colloquium session.

Parallel sessions are loosely grouped into streams reflecting different perspectives or disciplines. Each stream also has its own talking circle, a forum for focused discussion of issues. For those unable to attend the conference in person, virtual participation is also available.

We encourage all presenters to submit written papers to International Journal of the Arts in Society, a fully refereed academic journal. Virtual participants may also submit papers for consideration by the journal. All conference participants who have finalised their registration will receive a complimentary online subscription to the journal. This subscription is valid until one year after the conference end date.


The purpose of the both this Arts Symposium and the annual Arts Conference is to create an intellectual frame of reference for the arts and arts practices, and to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society. They are intended as a place for critical engagement, examination, and experimentation of ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world, on stage, in museums and galleries, on the streets, and in communities.

The theme of this Symposium is Arts and Public Reception. Its scope is deliberately broad and ambitious. Our times demand nothing less than cross-disciplinary and holistic approaches. The breadth of the symposium and the conference, and their accompanying journal, however, are without prejudice to finely grained discussion of the specific, the local, and the grounded practices. All papers will be eligible for publication consideration in the International Journal of the Arts in Society.

The symposium and conference provide a venue and a framework for the arts and art practices that can be situated within the context of international arts fairs, festivals and biennials as a concurrent, yet integrated, event. In this way, the Arts Conference serves as a node in the larger festival phenomenon and network.

Themes for the annual conference and the shorter and more focused symposia vary annually depending on the venue and parallel festival themes. The Arts Conference directly and indirectly co-creates an agenda in concert with festival directors and the local arts and academic communities in the location in which it is held. In this way, the structure of the conference remains flexible and context-specific. The Arts Conference thereby becomes an additional and alternative medium for creative expression of scholarship and collaborative possibilities among artists, scholars and cultural policy makers.

This symposium has been initiated by Common Ground. Previous conferences sponsored by Common Ground and run in association with arts festivals include our inaugural Arts Conference, held in 2006 in conjunction with the Edinburgh Festivals in Scotland, the Art of Dissent, the Fourth Pillar Conference, and the Indigenous Arts Conference held in conjunction with the Adelaide Festival of the Arts and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

The International Journal of the Arts in Society

Conference participants can submit papers to the Arts Journal, before the conference and up until one month after the conference. Papers submitted for publication will be fully refereed. The publication decision is based on the referees' reports.

For those unable to attend the conference in person, a virtual registration will provide participants access to the electronic version of the journal, as well as the option to submit papers to the Arts Journal.

For more information about the journal please visit the Publish Your Paper page.

Who Should Attend

    • Artists
    • Art Fair participants and organizers
    • Arts policymakers and advocates
    • Arts administrators
    • Curators
    • Community cultural workers
    • Art writers
    • Media specialists
    • Academics and researchers in the arts
    • Art educators
    • Students and faculty in all art-related fields

Conference Organisers

  • Common Ground

Graphic Design: Darling Deer Design www.DarlingDeer.com Painting portion of graphic from Bill Allen’s "Transit Series," 2002 - 2006, Acrylic on Paper (used with permission of artist)