2016 Introduction

What Now? 2016: On Future Identities

Friday, May 20, 4:00 – 7:00pm
Saturday, May 21, 1:30 – 6:00pm
The New School, Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Auditorium
63 Fifth Avenue at 13th St., New York

Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall, UL 105
Free Admission

Download 2016 program booklet

What Now? 2016: On Future Identities will examine notions of ‘future identities’, through discussions around the construction of the self, queer theory, self-determination, mutability, the body, technology and social media, and the ever-evolving relationship between the digital and the material. The symposium will bring together contributions from artists, curators, educators, cultural theorists, and psychologists, alongside artists’ interventions.

The symposium will consider how this contemporary political moment is different from the kinds of activism that arose around identity politics during the 1960s-1990s, and how new thinking might shape ideas around ‘performing citizenship’ or creating a new sense of commons in the future. Reflecting on the Vera List Center for Art and Politics’ focus theme of ‘Post-Democracy’, the final panel will also address what this could mean in relation to the formation of identity in relation to the nation state, multi-faceted citizenship, or conversely, the increasing condition of ‘statelessness’.

What Now? 2016: On Future Identities continues and advances the long-term lines of inquiry and research that began with the previous 2014 and 2015 symposia. Just as the importance of ‘listening’ came out of the discussions on What Now? 2014: Collaboration & Collectivity, ‘self-determination’ emerged from What Now? 2015: The Politics of Listening as a lens through which to explore the symposium topic for 2016.

Art in General would like to extend special thanks to the key funders of What Now? 2016; the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14) and the Trust for Mutual Understanding for their generous support of this initiative. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the 2016 program advisers Claire Barliant, Carin Kuoni, and Thomas Lax. The Vera List Center would like to also thank the Center’s Advisory Committee.

What Now? 2016 Committee: Frederieke Taylor, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, Chair; Michael Cohn, Michael Cohn Fine Art Consultants; Elizabeth Jacoby, BSJ Fine Art; Todd Levin, Levin Art Group; and Liz Parks, Parks Fine Art.