2004 - Sydney and Melbourne

9th General Meeting
Sydney & Melbourne, Australia, 10 – 16 August 2004

KNOWLEDGE + DIALOGUE + EXCHANGE - remapping cultural globalisms from the south

Convened by
NICHOLAS TSOUTAS Executive Director Artspace
SAMANTHA COMTE Director Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces
A conference initiative developed by


A six-day conference for Res Artis members and delegates involving Australian & international speakers, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, commissioned performances, music & literary events. International conference speakers will be invited from Asia, Africa, South America & Australia to join with their Australian colleagues & Res Artis delegates to rethink the direction & flow of globalism from the critical position of the South. The Conference is constructed as a city-wide program across Sydney & Melbourne, the two largest capital cities in Australia. A key objective is to ensure that the culturally diverse international delegates & members of Res Artis artist-in-residency centres are exposed to the multidisciplinary infrastructure of Australian art & cultural organisations. The Conference program has been designed on the basis of cultural inclusivity, industry development, international networking & cultural exchange. The intention of the Conference is to generate discussion that is
inclusive & participatory within a framework that privileges contributions at all levels & reduces the space between cultures & difference, as well as between speakers & audience participants. The Conference will be a discursive space for dialogue & engagement in the exchange of cultural knowledge & art.


The postcolonial space is a site where the experimental cultures of the
periphery converge to define new modalities for cultural inclusion. The
Conference functions as a set of dialogues between civilisations, in a
project that begins with the assumption that the margins are redefining
& transforming the worlds of the centre. The Conference will explore the
new globalisms & mobility of the South through ways of shared living,
representation & the experiencing of contemporaneousness in art, theory
& cultural production. The South is now permanently visible, present
& active in exceeding the borders that once operated as mechanisms
of exclusion & limit. By focusing on Asia & the South Pacific rim the
Conference will provide a space for the rigorous examination & analysis
of the processes & contexts that differentiate the ideas of what we mean
by the term periphery. The Conference will move beyond the closure
& limits of current definitions that continue to divide & separate, whilst
engaging with the possibilities of new convergent positions & space of
shared cultural experience & knowledge. Global multiculturalism is a key
logic of the cultures of the future.

KNOWLEDGE + DIALOGUE + EXCHANGE - remapping cultural
globalisms from the south - is a conference project about the remapping
of global orders, histories & cultural production from the perspective of
a critical matrix positioned geographically south & outside the dominant
hegemonies of European & North American traditions. This conference is
positioned at the very edge of the politics of difference.
KNOWLEDGE + DIALOGUE + EXCHANGE - remapping cultural
globalisms from the south - will focus on four key issues:

Wednesday 11 August > Museum of Contemporary Art
Following the crisis of 9/11 we now live in a permanent condition of
change, seemingly in a permanent state of emergency as we rethink our
relationship & obligations to the notions of democracy. Social, political &
cultural paradigms are now subject to realignment & reevaluation requiring
& creating new global interfaces, contexts & relationships. How will this
new dynamic & complex global reorientation impact upon, inform & give
meaning to the debates on cultural production, mobility & exchange?
What are the new strategies in this global reshaping in the new post-terror
spaces of national culture, immigration, cultural mobility & increasing
displacement? Where are the new dissolved boundaries? & from which
directions will global change be generated?
> LU JIE China
> IEN ANG Australia

Thursday 12 August > Boomalli Aboriginal Artists’ Cooperative
If we are to better comprehend & understand the contribution of contemporary art & artists in reshaping the cultural futures we need to open up new spaces for the critical engagement of the discursive diversity of contemporary art & cultural practices. A space in which to think & seriously analyse the complex networks of global knowledge circuits which inform the interpretation of cultural processes & upon which meaningful research depends. This session will focus on the languages, critical discourses & theoretical regimes emerging in the art & cultural practices of Asia, Africa, South America & Australia. How is this art perceived globally from within the multiple spaces of difference within the South as well as from the complexity of relations with the North? How is it written, contextualised & theorised? Who writes it? & what are the processes of dissemination & distribution & further, how is it contextualised in the hierarchies of signification? This thematic is concerned more with the writing & production of cultural theory in the postcolonial spaces in relation to the complex equations of social geopolitics & power of the new globalisms of the South than with the mechanical questions of documentation & archive. The intention is to examine these very processes of exchange & develop the strategies & means to better represent the vital codes of change that are being developed across the cultures of Asia, Africa, South America & Australia
> LEE WENG CHOY Singapore
> GHASSAN HAGE Australia

Saturday 14 August > Asialink, Sidney Myer Centre, University of Melbourne
This session will engage with & examine the new digital cartographies &
electronic mappings that result from the rapidly changing implications of
technology. Computer technology has systematically realigned the world
in an interface that includes & excludes, simultaneously generating cultural
zones or blind spots in the evolving debates of new globalisms. Who gets
connected to the information systems? who will ride the super highways?
& where is culture and cultural difference constructed in the debates &
electronic virtual spaces of the worldwide web? What are & who controls
the interfaces in the information & communication systems? Increasingly
the divide between uneven cultures within the South are the result of an
economic imbalance in globalism’s technological hard-wiring of electronic
networks. Who gets connected & who will miss out? What are the costs? &
what are the implications of the economies of new technologies in relation
to artists & art organisations within the cultures of the South?
> Manray Hsu [Taiwan]
> Nikos Papastergiadis [Australia]

Sunday 15 August > Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria
This session will focus on art’s relationship to ethics, justice & subjective
agency questioning art’s capacity, function & efficacy as an effective
mediator of resistance to hegemonic power. It will further address the
central questions of cultural production that have emerged at the end of
the twentieth century as we enter the challenges of the new millennium.
What is art & culture’s transformative potential & how is it constructed?
How does it function as a catalyst for change? & what are the cultural
& institutional barriers & limits that confront it or incorporate it & what
are the mechanisms of power that enable it to extend beyond its own
boundaries? Where does the art & culture of the South reside in relation
to the dominant discourses of art? This session will also investigate the
idea & impact of artist mobility in relation to cultural exchange, agency &
resistance as strategies for cultural change
> Ana Labrador, Philippines
> Marcia Langton, Australia

Post-conference Publication

Knowledge + Dialogue + Exchange: Remapping Cultural Globalisms from the South
Nicholas Tsoutas (editor)
Ien Ang, Ghassan Hage, Manray Hsu, Lu Jie, Anna Labrador, Marcia Langton, Lee Weng Choy, Marco Marcon, Scott McQuire, Nikos Papastergiadis

Published by Artspace