Cardinal Loop Conference Proposal: A Commitment to Contemporary Cultural Conversation in Chicago
Increased mobility and mass immigration during the two decades on each side of the millennium have dramatically changed our society and understanding of contemporary culture. Giving rise to my project's title, the cardinal designations of East and West faltered under the volume of the Fourth Wave of Eastern and Central European immigrants, whose presence exponentially grew the diaspora community in what some now call the former West. While European arts managers have increased programming to address the implications of this societal change on the fabric of contemporary culture, those in the United States have seemed largely unresponsive. In this thesis-- drawing on contemporary literature as well as my personal experience as a member of this diaspora --I hypothesize that this lack of relevant programming in the U.S. is due to a rift between the stakeholders in this area of inquiry and the diaspora community-namely the artists, arts administrators, researchers, and immigrants. Stemming from the desire to bring these players into a sustained and open conversation, I develop a proposal for a year long, multi-event conference that is rooted in the performative mode of discursive art practice. This paper outlines the art historical context, research methodology, theoretical and practical foundations, and central tenets in conceptualization/preparation of this conference: Cardinal Loop.