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29 June 2009, 10am – 4.30pm

This one-day symposium looked at the role of ‘not knowing’ within the creative process. The day examined how artists formulate strategies of not knowing and use the states of ignorance, doubt, block and failure within their decision making process. The state of ‘not knowing’ is also clearly acknowledged as an important aspect of all research, and speakers from across disciplines joined visual artists to debate these issues from a number of perspectives.


Prof. Dennis Atkinson professor of Art in Education, Goldsmiths, University of London, Prof. Georgina Born, professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Music, University of Cambridge, Sonia Boyce artist, Sarah Cole artist, Rebecca Fortnum artist, Reader in Fine Art, University of the Arts, London
and research fellow at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, Dr Rachel Jones lecturer in philosophy, University of Dundee, Prof. Gary Peters chair of Critical and Cultural Theory at York St John University, Zoe Svendsen theatre maker & researcher, Neal White artist & initiator of the Office of Experiments, Alison Wilding artist.


The Long Room, Murray Edwards (New Hall) College, University of Cambridge, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DF

Organised by Rebecca Fortnum in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, the Visual Intelligences project at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University and How Art Thinks research project at the International Centre for Fine Art Research at the University of the Arts, London.

The symposium is accompanied by an illustrated book. You can buy this here.