In many ways, the artistic debates prevalent in the 1970s are recurring in our time: the relation between art and ecology, the position of the artist within a information and media society and the crisis of (neo)liberalism. Although the societal context and diameters of these discussions have changed profoundly, their basis can be found in the period from 1965 to 1975, considered a paradigmatic shift in art and society. But how well do we actually know our immediate past and what can we learn from it? Smithson’s artistic heritage provides an interesting and relevant case study in this respect. Rethinking Robert Smithson aims to open up a discussion about current concerns in art and theory at the intersection of art historical debate and contemporary art practice. Along the line of two thematic approaches related to Smithson’s work, Art and Ecology and The Cinematic Condition, topical concerns in artistic practice are reconsidered by internationally renowned theorists and artists. 


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09.30: Doors open
10.00 – 10.15: Introduction: Ingrid Commandeur
10.15 – 10.25: Presentation of the first copy of Robert Smithson: Art in Continual Movement to Reyn van der Lugt, chairman of Land Art Contemporary
10:25: Kick off symposium: Anja Novak
[I] Art and Ecology
10.30 – 11.15: Lecture: T.J. Demos
11.15 – 11:45: Lecture: Nils Norman
11:45 – 12.00: Short break
12.00 – 12.15: Statement: Gail Whiteman
12.15– 12.45:

Discussion panel with T.J. Demos, Nils Norman,
Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Gail Whiteman.

Moderator: Sven Lütticken

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch
13.45 – 14.00: The Ultraperiferic. Presentation by Nils van Beek
[II] The Cinematic Condition
14.00 – 14.45: Lecture: Ann Reynolds
14.45 – 15.30: Lecture: Sabeth Buchmann
15.30 – 16.00: Short break
16.00 – 16.15: Statement/performance Trauerspiel Earthwork: Ian White
16.15 – 16.45: Discussion panel with Ann Reynolds, Sabeth Buchmann,
Ian White. Moderator: Eric C.H. de Bruyn
17.00: Word of Thanks
17.00–18.30: Drinks




Alauda Publications in cooperation with
Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines (LUICD)


Ingrid Commandeur, art critic and art historian,
co-editor Robert Smithson: Art in Continual Movement

Marlies van Hak

Research group

Eric C.H. de Bruyn (art historian, Leiden University)
Sven Lütticken (art critic and art historian, VU University Amsterdam)
Anja Novak (art historian, Leiden University, KABK The Hague)

Department of Artists' Theories and Artistic Practice (KABK)

Lectoraat Art & Public Space (LAPS), Gerrit Rietveld Academie






The symposium is generously supported by

Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines (LUICD)

Leiden University Fund (LUF) and Mondriaan Fund