7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art
Coal•Essence: Iron Forming Art, Ritual and Landscape
Celebrating 15 years of iron casting at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum, Latvia
June 19 – 23, 2014
The 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art is being hosted at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum in Latvia during the week of the national Latvian celebration of the Summer Solstice from June 19 – 23, 2014. This conference will explore the conceptual and aesthetic context of sculptural iron casting and its effect on contemporary art, forms of ritual and the transformation of landscape. The conference will be a platform to share ideas, processes and work, and will contribute to the aesthetic and cultural dialogue of sculptural iron casting.
Coalescence: Cultural Exchange
The mission of the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art is to “create an international platform for the exploration and practice of contemporary cast iron sculpture and to inspire global participation in the aesthetic, conceptual, cultural, historical, and technical dialogue on contemporary cast iron art.” Latvia is a country rich in cultural history, aesthetic traditions and practical technology. The possibilities for cultural exchange inherent in the siting of the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Latvia, will be inspiring to all participants.
The 7th ICCCIA will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the introduction of iron casting as a medium for contemporary sculpture at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum in Latvia. In 1999 Carl Billingsley, Professor of Sculpture, East Carolina University – US, and Ken Payne, Professor of Sculpture, Buffalo State College, New York – US, introduced the process, inspiring the growth of contemporary sculptural iron casting in Latvia. Conference Co-Directors Ojārs Feldbergs, Founder and Director of the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum and Kārlis Alainis, Lecturer in Sculpture, Riga Academy of Art, have created opportunities for the creation and exhibition of contemporary cast iron sculpture and supported its growth as a sculptural medium in the region. The siting of the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Latvia recognizes their dedication and contributions to the art.
The conference will be an amazing opportunity for international artists and iron sculptors to work side by side, exchange aesthetic and technical ideas, share conceptual questions and engage in the ongoing dialogue of contemporary cast iron art.
Coalescence: Educational Exchange
The International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art was founded as an academic conference exploring aesthetic and technical questions related to sculptural iron casting. The educational aspects of the conference are many, from the panel presentations and talks to the mold-making workshops and practical demonstrations. The opportunity for delegate participation in the conference also creates a perfect teaching and learning environment, where sculptors at every level of experience can simultaneously teach and learn new information. Many of the conference organizers and participants are educators or students involved in the academic exploration of contemporary cast iron art, and an equal number are also practicing artists and sculptors involved in aesthetic and conceptual explorations of iron.
As a platform for an international educational exchange, the ICCCIA is unprecedented in sculptural history. Artists, students and educators from all over the world work shoulder to shoulder on molds, iron pours and sculpture projects, dialogue side by side on sculptural concepts and aesthetic explorations at panel discussions and presentations, and exhibit sculpture to sculpture in outdoor, experimental and open call exhibitions of art. The opportunity to continue this exchange in Latvia creates an incredible opportunity for the advancement of contemporary cast iron art as sculptural form and conceptual adventure.
Coalescence: Technological Exchange
One important aspect of the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art is the exchange of information regarding new and developing technology. Developments in materials and processes, equipment and technology, are shared through presentations, demonstrations and workshops. Industry representatives are invited to give practical demonstrations and encouraged to sponsor the conference.
Recent developments in digital technology, including digital form and pattern making and digital mold making, have greatly expanded the abilities and possibilities of the contemporary foundry. Another area of interest has been adapting furnace designs to reduce their carbon footprint. These exchanges, between very ancient technologies and the most current explorations of process, create a vibrant dialogue for conference delegates and an opportunity to participate in the formation of culture.
Coalescence: International Exchange
The 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art will be an international coalescence of cultures and artists engaging in contemporary cast iron art. The focus of the conference on the aesthetic application of iron casting to forms, ritual and landscape, through exhibition, performance and land-based sculpture, will resonate with current directions in contemporary art. Siting the conference in Latvia, a country renowned for its visual and folk design, will augment the profile of the conference internationally and enhance Latvia’s year of celebration as the European Union Capital of Culture for 2014. The timing of the conference to coincide with the national Latvian celebration of the Summer Solstice will elevate the relevance of performance in the practice of contemporary cast iron art and contribute to the rich tradition of ritual practiced at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum during Jāņi. The location of the conference will integrate forms, rituals and processes of contemporary sculptural iron casting within the landscape of Pedvale, contributing to the current discourse on site and land-based art forms within contemporary art. Essentially, the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art will be an amazing platform for participation in the historic, contemporary and future trajectory of cast iron art.
We welcome your participation in the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in 2014!
Ojārs Feldbergs – Director, Open-Air Museum at Pedvale, LV
Tamsie Ringler – Associate Professor of Sculpture, St. Catherine University, MN, US
Kārlis Alainis – Teacher of Sculpture, Latvian Academy of Art, LV