Why Would I Lie? is an interdisciplinary research biennial organised by researchers enrolled at the Royal College of Art, aimed at broadly exploring ethics and aesthetics in contemporary research practices connected to art and design. The biennial comprises exhibited works, discursive presentations, a film programme, publication, and a major conference. It takes place at the RCA’s Dyson Building in Battersea on 18–25 April with the two-day conference on the opening weekend (18–19 April).
As Dan Fox and Jennifer Higgie observe in their 2011 frieze article ‘Keywords’, ethics is ‘a word used with surprising frequency by a community as murky and unregulated as the art world.’ But, according to art and design philosopher Clive Cazeaux, there are deep links in the history of ideas between ethics and aesthetics: ‘concepts of morality,’ he claims, ‘are worked out within theoretical frameworks which are also responsible for determining concepts of art and the aesthetic.’ How do ethics come into play in contemporary research in art, design, architecture, critical writing and curating? How does the act of challenging convention – the hallmark of the avant-garde – engage with the ethical? Can breaking social, legal or disciplinary contracts of agreed behaviour reveal another ethical aesthetic? And in what ways can working subversively within conventional structures engage with ethical questions?
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