Call for Participants CATR Roundtable York University, Toronto

26 Jan 2017 3:44 PM | Deleted user

Pop-Up Culture and the Anticipation of the End
Call for Participants– CATR Roundtable
Organizers: Alana Gerecke and Laura Levin

This roundtable will explore pop-up culture in context of the geological time that structures the Anthropocene. As several theorists note, the Anthropocene has been shaped by the acceleration of consumption and production since the mid 20th century, an orientation to time and space coincident with what Jonathan Crary views as the non-stop, “world-destroying patterns” of 24/7 late capitalism. How might this orientation towards time give rise to and propel the recent pop-up trend in Canada and beyond, with its attendant urgency and hyper-temporality? Here we are specifically thinking of events and experiences that emerge temporarily in vacant, underused, or about to be demolished urban spaces, but also a much wider range of temporary inhabitations whose appearances—and meanings—are predicated upon their imminent disappearance.

With this session, we hope to start a conversation about the pop-up as a mode of address and a mechanism of assembly that is definitively structured by the anticipation of its own end. How does the pop-up spring from and speak to a culture of urgency that is preoccupied with inevitable endings and impossible futures? In selecting pop-up events to discuss, participants might consider the following prompts:

  • Is the pop-up simply a signature of a culture bent on filling every available moment and space with consumable (and/if exclusive) content? When does the form explicitly resist forces of consumerism (climate change awareness, human rights protests, Occupy, etc.)?
  • Can pop-up culture think long-term? What might this tell us about our relationship to possible futures?
  • Pop-up culture appears to be acutely contemporary: what are some historical precedents for the pop-up, ones that might also complicate the temporalization of the Anthropocene? 
  • How has the popularization of temporary inhabitation shaped perceptions of, and rationalized (dis)investment in, arts infrastructure in Canada and other national contexts (as Jen Harvie has noted in relation to the UK)?
  • The pop-up implies a leave-no-trace ethos; but, of course, events mark and make space. What does the pop-up leave in its wake: what physical, material, psychic, spatial, and/or social stuff remains? What detritus? What vacuums or ghosts?
  • What are the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion that structure pop-up events?

Structure: In the spirit of a fervent pace, this ninety-minute long PechaKucha-style roundtable will allow each participant 6.66 minutes to show 20 image-based slides (20 slides x 20 seconds each) while theorizing some aspect of pop-up culture. These brief presentations will be followed by a sustained conversation about all things pop-up. Slides are to be added to a roundtable Dropbox folder by 20 May 2017.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts and a brief bio to organizers Alana Gerecke ( and Laura Levin ( by 17 February 2017.

 Congress on Research in Dance
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