To Make the Revolution Irresistible

April 19, 2024 (Friday)April 20, 2024 (Saturday)

Slought/Public Trust, 4017 Walnut Street
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Van Pelt Library, 6th floor, 3420 Walnut Street

To Make the Revolution Irresistible

The Role of the Artist in the 21st Century

Wolf 2024 Cinema & Media Studies Conference

Recent years have seen a groundswell of artworks that claim an investment in politics, especially in the wake of the George Floyd protests. But what does it mean to make political art within capitalist infrastructures? Is revolutionary art possible in our current age? This conference seeks to address the question of political artmaking practices, and shed light on artists that make community-oriented and public-facing work. Instead of a series of academic talks, this conference aims to bring together a community of artists, especially those with longstanding ties to Philadelphia and its environs. It brings together three roundtables, each of which are organized around a different theme: Graphic Arts, Community Engagement, and Speculative Poetics. The conference takes the late Philadelphia-based artist-activist Toni Cade Bambara’s dictum as a starting point: that the “role of the culture worker” is to “make the revolution irresistible.” How can artmaking today inspire the desire for mass transformation of our material and social realities? How can art help us imagine a new and better world?

This conference will also feature a ‘Book Fair’ during the lunch hour where the artists and writers will have the opportunity to sell their work.

Conference Agenda

Friday, April 19
Public Trust, 4017 Walnut Street

7:00-8:00pm | All That is Solid
a multi-channel performance by Erik Ruin, with collaborators D. Hotep (Sun Ra Arkestra, guitar) and Jesse Sparhawk (harp)

Public reception to follow


Saturday, April 20
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut Street

10:00am | Breakfast

10:15-10:30am | Welcoming Remarks
Ian Fleishman and Julia Alekseyeva

10:30am-12:00pm | Round Table I
Agitation in Comics & Graphic Arts

Chair: JS Wu

Julia Alekseyeva
Mattie Lubchansky
Josh Macphee
Ben Passmore
Erik Ruin
Chelsea Saunders

12:00-1:00pm | Lunch & Book Fair

1:00-2:30pm | Round Table II
Art and Community Engagement

Chair: Chi-ming Yang

Tabitha Arnold
Phoebe Bachman (Mural Arts)
Liza Goodell (SpiralQ)
Josh Graupera
Sarah Mueller (Cinespeak)
Rachel O'Hanlon Rodriguez (SpiralQ)

2:30-3:00pm | Coffee Break

3:00-4:30 | Round Table III
Film, Poetics, and Speculative Futures

Chair: Ricardo Bracho

Ephraim Asili
Sophie Lewis
M.E. O’Brien
Alina Pleskova
Ingrid Raphaël
Tafari Robertson

4:30-4:45pm | Closing Remarks
Julia Alekseyeva

4:45-6:00pm | Public Reception