“No limits – just edges! Exploring the boundaries of art”

A joint symposium of the International Research Training Group “InterArt / Interart Studies” and the Copenhagen School of Doctoral Studies in Cultural Theory, Literature, and the Arts

April 26-28, 2007, in Berlin


In times when the boundaries between art and daily life have begun to oscillate as have those between individual genres of art, reflection on the concept and phenomenon of the “border” must once again move into the centre of aesthetic theory. The transgressions performed as a result of the hybridization and intermediality in the arts can only be negotiated and analyzed by locating existing borders and probing their nature and dynamic. The problem of the border is vital regardless of whether art is seen as an evocation of liminal experience which suspends the spectator / listener / observer in a fragile, in-between state by transferring them into a liminal space between reality and fiction. It remains urgent whether art elevates the crossing-over between traditional art forms to an aesthetic principle, or even, in the breach of taboos, exhibits the transgressions in their seemingly irrational violence. At all events, liminal states and transgressions are marked by borders; in fact, they must intrinsically refer to borders for them to be experienced as liminal and transgressive in the first place. Therefore, questions about the creative potential of establishing, dissolving and crossing borders are of pivotal importance both to the reception and the creation of art.

What is the logic of borders and their creation within the framework of the aesthetic? Does the creation of borders circumscribe intentional acts or discursive spaces, which inevitably precede the subject? What lines of demarcation constitute the arts and aesthetics? What roles do medium and mediality play? What is the function of the “in-between” (Aristotle), which allows one to experience borders through the very act of transgression, especially in the arts?

We invite all members of the International Research Training Group “InterArt / Interart Studies” and the Copenhagen School of Doctoral Studies in Cultural Theory, Literature, and the Arts to co-conceptualize this event with a paper. Short paper proposals (no longer than one page / approx. 300 words) must be submitted to the organizers by Thursday, April 5, 2007. The proposals should outline the theoretical approach to the topic or chosen project and include some details about the author.



Thursday April 26

11.00 – 12.00             Registration

                                   Coffee, sandwiches

12.00 – 12.30              Welcome by Erika Fischer-Lichte, spokes-person of the Berlin Research Training Group “Interart Studies”


                                   Section 1: Literary boundary-games

12.30 – 13.15              Martin Urmann: "Metaphor and Resonance – on the metaphysics of the border in Mallarmé and Hofmannsthal"

13.15 – 14.00              Dr. Isak Winkel Holm: "Kafka on the Edge. Political and Poetological Borders according to Franz Kafka and Jacques Rancière"

14.00 – 14.15              Coffee

14.15 – 15.00               Maria Finn: "Images between the word and the film"

15.00 – 15.15              Coffee

15.15 – 17.00              Prof. Erika Fischer-Lichte/Prof. Frederik Tygstrup: „W.G. Sebald’s Novel Austerlitz“

18.15 – 19.45              Lecture Series of the IRTG „InterArt“ at the Intitute for Theatre Studies: Dr. Robert Pfaller: „Schluss mit der Komödie! Das Theater der Psychoanalyse“

20.30                           Dinner at Restaurant “Alter Krug”, Königin-Luise-Straße 52, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem


Friday April 27

                                   Section 2: Spacial reflections

10.00 – 10.45             Caitlin Madden: "Borderline Architecture"

10.45 – 11.30              Lene Aagaard Denhart: “The Spacing of Practice / of a World to Act In”

11.30 – 11.45              Coffee

                                   Section 3: Artistic interventions

11.45 – 12.30             Miu Lan Law: "Translating / Interpreting on the Borders"

12.30 – 13.15              Dr. des. Kristiane Hasselmann: "Artistic self-restriction and taboo – on production and productivity of aesthetic taboos in the arts"

14.00 – 15.30              Lunch at Restaurant “Luise”, Königin-Luise-Str. 40-42, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem

16.00 – 16.45              Johanne Ejbye-Ernst: “Notes on art and interventions”

16.45 – 17.30              Pia Wiegmink: "Janus-faced Performances: The Yes Men’s Media Hoaxes"

17.30 – 17.45              Coffee

17.45 – 18.30              Somogy Varga: "Aesthetics as Ethics. Paradoxes of a Transgression"

20.00                           Joint visit of  the theatrical performance „4 Elemente – 4 Jahreszeiten“ at Radialsystem, Holzmarktstraße 33, 10243 Berlin, Spreeufer am Ostbahnhof