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Symposium: Salvage 2.0: Meanings / Material / Value

  • Logan Center for the Arts 915 E 60th St Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

A sequel to our 2014 Salvage 1.0 Conference, Salvage 2.0: Meanings, Material, Value will consider a range of salvaged materials and ask how shifts in materiality—wrought by age, wear, neglect, recontextualization, or revolutions in manufacturing—affect the conceptual meanings and practical functions available to types of materials and processes.  If the act of salvaging can be considered an act of disobedience, an effort to disrupt the 'laws' of obsolescence, disposability, and decay, then how might a multifaceted consideration of re-purposed and salvaged materials change the way we think about artistic practices and their relation to commercial and cultural worlds?


Introduction / Bill Brown (English, UChicago)

  • Presenter / George Scheer (Director, Elsewhere)

    • Speaking about Elsewhere, the "living museum inside a thrift store"

      • Respondent  / Hannah Higgins (Art History, UIC) 

  • Presenter / Malynne Sternstein (Slavic, UChicago)

    • "More in me than myself": Spolia as salvage and salvage as spolia may motorize our toil through the dour identities of each in an effort to overcome correlationalist thinking that gets us up to the door, but won't let us in.  If we think on salvage as spolia, we are allowed to think of power in total.  Why are broken-down things, complete with their speed of decay not discarded but rather flamboyantly discomposed into "new monuments," the surfaces of enunciatory power?

      • Respondent / Niall Atkinson (Art History, UChicago)
  • Presenter / Dan Peterman (Artist, Chicago)

    • "Things That were are Things Again": a talk on salvage in his artistic practice.

      • Respondent / Jessica Stockholder (DoVA)

Presenter Bios

George Scheer // Scheer's artistic practices explores creative communities as political constituencies. He is a co-founder and Director of Elsewhere, a living museum, international residency program, and collaborative laboratory set within a former thrift store. George is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication and Performance Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, and holds an MA in Critical Theory and Visual Culture from Duke University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Communications. His current research explores the cultural economy of art and urban placemaking. //

Malynne Sternstein // Sternstein is an Associate Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Chicago, and she is interested in questions relating to the intersection between art and literature, film and politics. She is author of The Will to Chance (Slavica 2008), a book on the Czech historical avant-gardes, from Poetism to Surrealism, and Czechs of Chicagoland, a photographic history. Professor Sternstein has also authored articles and reviews on such topics as iconic language, gender and citizenship in the arts, and the prevailing dialectical concerns of surrealism.

Dan Peterman // Peterman is an artist combining innovative strategies of local engagement and activism, with national and international exhibitions. Among his diverse projects, Peterman explores networks of recycled, or discarded materials producing starkly minimal works that function interchangeably as stockpiles, sculpture, functional objects, and critiques of environmental waste and neglect. Peterman is a founder, former board president and current board member of the Experimental Station, an innovative  Chicago-based incubator of small-scale enterprise and cultural projects. Peterman is also an Associate Professor in the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Peterman is represented by Galerie Klosterfelde-Berlin, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.  His works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Venice Biennal, Italy; Vanabbe Museum Eindhoven, NL, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel Switzerland; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; among other venues.