Main Speakers

The International Conference on the Arts in Society will feature plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners

Keynote Speakers

This year, our invited Main Speakers will address the Arts Conference on selected conference themes, with focus on our overarching Conference theme of Art and Education.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

Garden Conversations

Main Speakers will make formal 30 minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60 minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Crafted Panels

The Arts Conference, in collaboration with the Conference Secretariat, features several Crafted Panels throughout the program. These are invited or curated sessions developed in specific relation to symposium themes, and/or with the assistance of supporting organizations or sponsors.

The Speakers

  • Ruth Noack

    Ruth Noack is the Curator of Documenta 12. She has studied art history, audiovisual media and feminist theory in the USA, England, Germany and Austria. She has been a lecturer since 1990, and has been published since 1992. Since 1996, she has curated feminist events on art and film. Since 2000, she has taught at the University of Vienna, the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (film theory), and the University of Lüneburg. From 2002-03 she was president of the AICA, Austria. Exhibitions Jointly Curated With Roger M. Buergel: Loci (exhibition series in private spaces in Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin, 1992-93);Scenes of a Theory: The Artwork as Agent of Filmic Discourse (Depot, Vienna, 1995);Things We Do Not Understand (Generali Foundation, Vienna, 2000); Organisational Form (Kunstraum of the University of Lüneburg, Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana, and Gallery of the Academy of Graphic and Book Art, Leipzig, 2002-03); The Government (exhibition series, Kunstraum of the University of Lüneburg, MACBA-Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Miami Art Central, Secession Vienna and Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2003-05).

  • Ayse Gülec and Wanda Wieczorek

    Ayse Gülec is the Spokesperson of the Documenta12 Advisory Board, and Education Director for the Kassel Cultural Centre Schlachtof. Wanda Wieczorek is the Assistant of Artistic Direction for Documenta12.
    Ms. Gülec will discuss her work with the Documenta 12 Advisory Board, which consists of about forty local ‘experts’ who live and work in Kassel. Advisory board members contribute their own experience and viewpoints in the areas of formal or informal education, town planning, academic and research work, social work, political organisations, religious and cultural communities, as well as from their work with children and young people. In collaboration with the Documenta 12 team, they have been considering the significance of the leimotifs in the city of Kassel, linking them to mindsets, contexts and topics of local relevance. She will elaborate on her role and the advisory board members to serve as contact and support persons for artists developing their work in or with reference to Kassel, making contact, creating access and bringing their local knowledge to bear on the Documenta 12 process.

Ayse Gülec

  • Gerald McMaster

    Gerald McMaster, since 2005, has been the Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, where he is leading his curatorial team in the reinstallation of the Canadian galleries. From 1981 to 2000 Dr. McMaster was Curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in charge of exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications of contemporary Indian art. He later became Curator-in-Charge of the First Peoples Hall from 1995 to 2000. While with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, he curated some of the most important exhibitions in our history, including Indigena (1992), Reservation X (1998), and Edward Poitras: Canada XLVI Biennale di Venezia (1995). These exhibitions were always at the forefront of establishing a critical and articulate voice for aboriginal artists in the art world. In 2000 he left Ottawa for Washington to work at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian where he was the both the Director's Special Assistant for Mall Exhibitions (2002-2004) and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources (2000-2002). During his tenure at the Smithsonian he was responsible for design and content of Museum's new permanent exhibitions, as well as curating First American Art and New Tribe/New York. He is widely published. Dr McMaster's awards and recognitions include the 2001 ICOM-Canada Prize for contributions to national and international museology; the 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award; and more recently was given our country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. Dr. McMaster is originally from Saskatchewan.

  • Carmen Mörsch

    Carmen Mörsch is an artist, educator and researcher whose work is concerned with issues of participatorty art practices, and the development of new media materials for art education. She is currently Associate Professor at the Institute for Cultural Studies: ART-MEDIA-TEXTILES, Universitat Oldenburg, Germany. Her current research includes collaborative projects between art education, such as the past and present Documenta education programs, as well as transcultural and gender perspectives in cultural education in the arts. Her exhibitions and publications include artist programs for the NGBK in Berlin, policy projects for the ministry of research and education, and recent articles for the International Journal of Art and Design, and in Art of Encounter/Engage (London).

    For a an interview with Carmen Mörsch at the Documenta, please see:;=1

  • Plenary Panel 1: Intersections of Art, Education and Technology: Leonardo Education Forum, Pacific Rim New Media Summit and Beyond
  • This panel brings together representatives from Leonardo Working Groups in dialogue about various objectives in relationship to the arts/educational outlet of Leonardo Magazine and the Leonardo Educational Forum (LEF). The LEF also joined with representatives of the Pacific Rim New Media Summit, and these intersections will be discussed as they engage the main conference themes of Art and Education, and in keeping with the vision of building global arts communities through the emerging art and science technologies.

    The Leonardo Education Forum (LEF) promotes the advancement of artistic research and academic scholarship at the intersections of art, science, and technology. Serving practitioners, scholars, and students, LEF provides a forum for collaboration and exchange with other scholarly communities and organizations.

    Panelists: Nina Czegledy (Chair) (Senior Fellow, KMDI, University of Toronto and Adjunct Associate Professor, Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal; Honorary Fellow, Moholy Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, Daniela Reimann (Visiting Professor and Lecturer at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria at the Department of Art Education), Andrea Polli (Director of the MFA Program in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College) and Victoria Vesna (Professor and Chair of the Department of Design and Media Arts at the UCLA School of the Arts).

  • Plenary Panel 2: Across the borders: Education Through Art – Interdisciplinary Approaches
  • This panel considers cross-cultural education through art and interdisciplinary learning initiatives developed and implemented through the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA), and in conjunction with UNESCO.

    As the representative body for visual arts and educators worldwide, InSEA promotes cross-cultural understanding and co-operation and catalyzes joint research and teaching projects in art education among specialists from different learning perspectives. In this panel, examples of culturally specific and interdisciplinary approaches will be presented, as well as transnational implications for cultural policy in arts education.

    Panelists: Gabriele Lieber (Institute for School and Curriculum and the Didactics of Social Sciences at the University of Giessen, Germany, Anette Seelinger (University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt, Germany) ; Carl-Peter Buschkuehle (Head of department, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Institute of Art Education, Olsberg, NRW, Germany), and Joachim Kettel, Professor of Visual Arts and Didactics at the University of Education, Karlsruhe)