Workshop on Socialist Exhibition Cultures 1950-1990

Organizer: Sven Spieker, with Bojana Videkanić and Polly Savage (November 18, 2021). Online workshop with 30 international participants devoted to international art exhibitions in the Socialist World between 1950 and 1990.

Fallout: Chernobyl and the Ecology of Disaster

Co-Organized by Sara Weld and Sven Spieker. Two-day online international conference (April 29-30, 2021) at UC Santa Barbara devoted to the afterlife and reverberations of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in a variety of fields, including the sciences, literature, film, and the arts.

Akusmatik als Labor / Acousmatics as Laboratory

Organizers: Sven Spieker, Mario Asef. (November 15-16, 2019), University of Lüneburg, Kunstraum (Curator: Clemens Krümmel). Two-day conference devoted to the phenomenon of acousmatics in art, film, psychoanalysis, and music.

Nabokov’s Idioms: Translating Foreignness

Co-Organizer: Sven Spieker (with Sara Weld). One-day conference at UC Santa Barbara (February 19, 2016). This this one-day symposium investigated Nabokov’s writerly practice as a broadly conceived effort of translation. An émigré writer whose works were translated into many languages, Nabokov was himself a notorious translator. Yet translation, in his work, is much more than the mere transposition of a literary text from one language into another – it is a creative principle.

The Office in the Studio. The Administration of Modernism

Co-Organizer: Sven Spieker (with Hans-Christian von Herrmann). Two-day conference at Jena University (January 23-24, 2009). This interdisciplinary conference was devoted to the way the office and its administrative practices figure in 20th-century art. A space for the production, administration, and display of knowledge, the modern office – which may redouble as an artist’s studio – is one of the crucibles of 20th-century modernism.

Video After Video in the Post-Media Age

Organizer: Sven Spieker. Symposium on the state of current video art. UCSB, May 14, 2008. Participants: Jenny Schlenzka (MoMA); Rudolf Frieling (SFMOMA); Terrence Handscomb (Santa Barbara); Erika Suderburg (UCR); Darrin Martin (UCD); René Daalder (L.A.); Clemens von Wedemeyer (Berlin). Moderators: Sven Spieker (UCSB); Laurie Monahan (UCSB). The symposium coincided with video-artist Clemens von Wedemeyer’s residency on campus (curated by Sven Spieker).

Science as Navigation: Leonhard Euler’s Journeys. Symposium on the Occasion of Euler’s 300th birthday

Organizer: Sven Spieker. A symposium on the occasion of Euler’s 300th birthday. UCSB, November 30, 2007. The conference investigated the central role played, in the life and work of the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), by the description, calculation and analysis of sites or places (topoi). The one-day conference, which included a lecture by Vladimir Welminsky, looked at the Russian mathematician Leonhard Euler’s activities in a multitude of disciplines, between art and the sciences.

Eye or Ear: Walter Benjamin on Optical and Acoustical Media

Co-Organizer: Sven Spieker (with Elisabeth Weber and Wolf Kittler). UCSB, December 1, 2006. This one-day international conference investigated the relationship between  language theory and radio in Benjamin’s thinking. Since the essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” is predominantly focused on painting, photography and film, much more is known about Benjamin’s understanding of these (optical) media than about his approach to such acoustic devices as the telephone, the wireless telegraph, radio, and sound film. The conference aimed to address this gap in Benjamin scholarship.

Calculating Images. Representation by Algorithm in Science and Art

Organizer: Sven Spieker. Calculating Images. This international conference (held at UCSB March 4-5, 2005) investigated the digital image at the interstice of art and the sciences.

On Computable Texts and Images: Markov’s Bequests

Co-Organizer: Sven Spieker (with Philipp v. Hilgers and Wladimir Velminski). Conference at the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin (April 2003). The conference addressed Vladimir Markov’s impact on literature, as well as, more broadly, the relationship between mathematics and writing.

Packrats and Bureaucrats: Study in the Archive

Organizer: Sven Spieker. Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Barbara, February 5-6, 2001. The conference was devoted to the archive and its histories and contexts in 20th-century art. Held in conjunction with Ilya Kabakov’s residence at UCSB.