Keynote Speaker: Steve Kurtz, Founding Member of the Critical Art Ensemble"

  • The Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall 317 Dundas St W Toronto, ON M5T 1G4

Lecture: When Aesthetics is Not Enough

In this lecture, Steve Kurtz will examine the difficulties of producing and deploying art in the public sphere that moves beyond monumentality and/or decoration. In a time of crisis across all the global orders (financial, military, political, and environmental), Kurtz will argue that it is incumbent upon artists to assist in any way they can in the opening of public space, in creating shared platforms of expression, and in creating assemblies (both social and mechanical) through which discourse, debate, and direct action in pursuit of social and environmental justice can emerge.

Steven Kurtz, PhD, Professor Emeritus, is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed art and theater group Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). CAE is an award-winning collective of artists of various specializations—including digital imaging and web design, wetware, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance—dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, political activism, and critical theory. For three decades CAE has produced and exhibited art that examines questions surrounding information and communication technologies, biotechnologies, and ecological struggle. The collective has performed and produced a wide variety of projects for an international audience at diverse venues ranging from the street, to the museum, to the internet, and has been invited to exhibit and perform in many of the world’s leading cultural institutions, including Documenta, the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, the Corcoran, the ICA (London), Schirn Kunsthalle, and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

A post talk reception will take place at Prenup Bar (191 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1P9) from 8:30-10:00.