CFP: Signs o’ the Times: Music and Politics in Contemporary Art (CAA Chicago, 2022)–proposals accepted through Sept. 16, 2021

Maria Elena Buszek (CU Denver) and Johanna Gosse are co-chairing an in-person session on contemporary art, music, and politics at the 2022 CAA conference in Chicago (February 16-19, 2022). Buszek and Gosse are very open to proposals that expand the conventional scope of “art history” and the panel might expand into two sessions.


To apply, send us a 250-word abstract, a shortened CV (under 2 pgs), and a completed proposal submission form to maria.buszek@ucdenver.edu and johannagosse@gmail.com by September 16. We will notify participants by September 23.

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Signs o’ the Times: Music and Politics in Contemporary Art


Scholar Bernard Gendron has compellingly argued that rock music took over the avant garde in the 1970s, holding “onto its ‘pop’ moorings while becoming ‘art.’” Visual artists like Laurie Anderson and William Pope L. started writing, performing, and recording music, and performers like Grace Jones, DEVO, and Die Tödliche Doris treated their music as performance art, blurring the lines between popular music and visual art in ways that have profoundly affected contemporary art ever since. This seemingly effortless crossing of the era’s art/music and high/low divides was in reality born of struggles that often sprang from the era’s civil rights and liberation movements, which in the ‘70s sought new ways to reach broader audiences and to critique the myopia or elitism of these movements’ earlier iterations. This tendency continues today in the work of contemporary artists who engage with popular music, not just as an index of contemporaneity, but as a rich archive of cultural and political significance, as well as formal and aesthetic inspiration and exchange.
This panel seeks to convene new approaches and perspectives on the intersection of art and popular music since the tail end of the sixties up to the present day. We’re particularly interested in work that examines cultural politics alongside formal concerns, while moving beyond the exhausted modernist preoccupation with policing the high/low divide.
For more information on the conference and how to submit your abstract see: https://caa.confex.com/caa/2022/webprogrampreliminary/meeting.html 

Author: Jacqueline Francis

Writer, educator, curator, arts consultant, and occasional artist in San Francisco, California. Follow me on Twitter @JackieFrancisSF and Instagram--jackiefrancissf

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