‘Big Ruins: The Aesthetics and Politics of
Supersized Decay’

14 May, 2014. Limited places remaining (for
attendees only)

Attendees are invited to book a place on the
following event. Tickets are limited, and available via Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/big-ruins-the-aesthetics-and-politics-of-supersized-decay-tickets-10733583437?aff=eorg

As global capitalism intensifies its hold on the
planet, so its ruins are scaling up in size: from vast junkyards of jumbo-jets
in Nevada to entire empty cities in China waiting to be inhabited. Meanwhile
the urban ruins of the Cold War era continue to resist appropriation, whether
because of their toxicity, ideological misplacedness, or as a consequence of
intractable ethnic conflicts. Coupled with a recent plethora of
(post)apocalyptic visions of ruined cities in cinema and computer games, the
links between real and imagined ruination are becoming increasingly blurred. If
we are to imagine large-scales sites of decay, how might their possible ruin be
represented in a way that helps us adequately respond to that very possibility?

This event will address that question by focusing
on the wider significance of big ruins in an age of global capitalism. Drawing
from a wide range of sites – both real and imagined – this conference aims to
create a dialogue between big ruins and the culturally-prescient theme of the
imagination of disaster and to open up an emancipatory space that, following
Slavoj Žižek, accepts the universal inevitability of ruin in order to break its
ideological grasp and thus to suggest liberating alternatives.

Confirmed speakers include:

Keynote – Tim Edensor: ‘Ruins are everywhere’

Luke Bennett: ‘The ruins of ruins’

Michael Crang: ‘Mired but alive’: the aesthetic
taming of toxicity

Anca Pusca: ‘Postcommunist ruins: the fine line
between decay vs. rebuilding’

Mark Sanderson: ‘Derelict utopias’

Matthew Philpotts: ‘Rocket-fuelled ruin:
Re-territorialising the traces of German dictatorship’

Emma Fraser: ‘Reading the ruins of Detroit: poetic,
dialectical and phenomenological approaches’

Clare O’Dowd: ‘Gregor Schneider and the ghost

Paul Dobraszczyk: ‘40 years later: ruin gazing in

Camilla Røstvik: ‘Like sleeping dragons: an
exploration of the ruins of CERN’

Carl Lavery & Lee Hassall: ‘Return to
Battleship Island: Future of Ruins’

William Viney: ‘Futures in ruin’

Andrew Hardman: ‘Where is my apocalypse? Living in
a ruined future’

All welcome. Tickets for the conference can be
booked via Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/big-ruins-the-aesthetics-and-politics-of-supersized-decay-tickets-10733583437?aff=eorg

Other upcoming ruin-related events from CIDRAL are
listed on the 2014 programme: http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/cidral/events/