Prato Conference 2017, 25-27 October 2017

@ Monash University Centre, Prato, Italy

General Call for Papers


Special Stream: Art as Archive: Archive as Art & The Imagined Archive

Registrations are now open via the Monash ecommerce website. Catch the early-bird prices.

Call for Papers & Installations submissions open for very late submissions, but a place is not guaranteed.
For time critical, price, and other information, see under Important Dates below.

Background to the Conference

Since the founding colloquium in 2003, the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) has been marked by informality, collegiality and interdisciplinary thinking, bringing together people from many different countries in an ideal Italian setting.
Themes have ranged across issues such as privilege, gender and sexual identities, forms of knowledge, documentation, participation and community-based research, power, ideals and reality, and measurement.

We consider papers related to any aspect of Community Informatics Community Archiving, or Development Informatics. We are particularly interested in papers from researchers and practitioners that can address the challenges of locating community-based research within wider theoretical and practice frameworks.

This year, we have also chosen a theme that we hope traverses new spaces and boundaries and provokes thinking (and action) between different communities of interest. Thus, those focussed in more conventional activity in community, development and archival informatics may be provoked by what those in the art and archives space have to show and tell, and the reverse also applies. As we discuss the conference theme with different parties, more detail will be added. There is no reason to think that your 'conventional' work whether in the 'traditional' informatics space or in the 'art' space will not be of mutual interest. Given that all of us intersect in our use of different media and modes of production, and we probably intersect in theory as well (or not ) something is bound to happen... Present and see what happens!!

Our (inter-) disciplinary frame

Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the well-being of people and their communities through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control and likewise, Development Informatics or ICT4D is concerned with ICTs in the international development context. This orientation also has much in common with Community Archiving.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures and supporting reconciliation and recovery in the aftermath of conflict, oppression.

This year's special theme: Art as Archive: Archive as Art & The Imagined Archive

There has long been discussion about the relationship between art and archives, not just in the sense that archives may represent curated collections relating to specific artists or forms of art, but that art may be used to provide new ways of conceiving what is in archival collections, and new ways of thinking about the nature and meaning of those collections. These themes were explored by a number of papers discussing radical archives at Prato 2016, but this year we wish to go further explore the relationship from multiple perspectives.

The Venice Biennale has often used the idea of the archive to frame its exhibitions, and the 2015 exhibition, All the World's Futures, Curated by Okwui Enwezor ) had numerous artworks and installations drawn from historic collections and archives, including the installations “The Rock and Roll Public Library”, and Australian artist Marco Fusinato’s “From the Horde to the Bee” showcasing books consisting of scanned copies of resources from Milan’s radical left-wing Primo Maroni Archive. Okwui Enwezor's has explored such themes before, notably in a 2008 exhibition at the International Center of Photography, entitled “Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art” which featured works taking archival documents as their starting point, his purpose being to “rethink the meaning of identity, history, memory, and loss ”.

In his 2004 essay, art historian Hal Foster (2004) defined archival art as “a genre that “make[s] historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present. To this end [archival artists] elaborate on the found image, object, and favour the installation format”. It is not hard to extend this line of reasoning to the role of the Internet as archive.

More generally, art can serve to explore themes that are central to the concept and role of the archive. For example, Guasch argues that photography itself represents a kind of archive, with the photograph presenting a “non-hierarchical worldview” (ref) while others, such as Whitney McVeigh, explore the concepts of “personal and collective history, linking our common threads through land, our clothes, our everyday belongings and our philosophies” (Human Fabric ). Such work breaches the divide between the real and imagined archive.

See Hal Foster, “An Archival Impulse”, October 110, Fall 2004, pp. 3-22.


  • Tom Denison, Monash University
  • Vince Dzekian, Monash University
  • Joanne Evans, Monash University
  • Anne Gilliland, UCLA
  • Kiera Ladner, University of Manitoba
  • Sue McKemmish, Monash University (Chair)
  • David Nemer, University of Kentucky
  • Safiya Noble, UCLA
  • Colin Rhinesmith, University of Oklahoma
  • Mauro Sarrica, Sapienza University, Rome
  • Larry Stillman, Monash University (conference organisation and administration)
  • Martin Wolske, University of Illinois

What to submit?

For Prato 2017 we are seeking papers in all areas of community, development and community archives informatics.

We also seek papers, presentations & art installations that explore issues for the special theme.

Thus, you can submit traditional papers (refereed, non-refereed), works in progress, papers, presentations or installations and short papers for the Research Student stream.

As stated, we will also consider papers (refereed), works-in-progress, workshop proposals and posters, and proposals for installations and displays.

We also have a strong stream for students in Research Students (Masters and Phds) who wish to present their work to a larger audience.

The general paper limit is 7000 words, for students, 2-3000.

Submissions can be made via the submission databasee

Important dates

  • Call for papers & proposals.Abstracts/ papers can only be submitted through the conference database. Conference space is limited- submit quickly! The deadline is June 9.
Submit only via link.

  • Acceptance/modification/ rejection notices
As soon as possible thereafter
  • Full papers and abstracts for all streams due
31 July 2017
  • Referee reports to participants by
30 September 2017
  • Final version of papers, based on peer review and program committee decisions due
20 October 2017
  • Conference proceedings
Online/downloadable post- conference with ISBN
  • Registrations
Available from 1 July
  • Conference
25-27 October 2017


  • The Conference Proceedings contains referred, non-refereed and PhD colloquium papers and Powerpoints from the conference.
  • All full papers in the refereed category are subject to blind peer review by at least two reviewers, and reviewers’ comments returned to the authors. Authors are then required to make changes and if necessary, a further review conducted before final approval.
  • This is a publication (E1) for a conference publication for Australian participants.
  • Conference papers must be prepared in the Conference Format

Registration payments and prices

3 Day conference student/ developing country: Earlybird (21-August 21-Sepember)
3 Day Conference regular registration: Early bird (22 September – 27 October)
3 Day conference student/ developing country: (22 September – 27 October)
3 Day conference regular registration (22 September – 27 October)
Conference Banquet 26 October (friends, families welcome)

Pay via the Monash University ecommerce site (you will need to set up an account).

Information about Prato, travel, accommodation

Please see the Monash University Prato Centre for general information.

Additional travel and tourism information will be made available as the conference nears. The Centre is just off the main piazza of a small Tuscan town. It is close to Italian transport hubs including Pisa and Florence airports. The location of the Monash Centre is described on the Monash website. The nearest airports are Pisa and Florence airports, and you can get to Prato by train from Rome in about 2 ½ hours. Please note that we are not in a position to recommend particular airlines or airports, or to provide train schedules. See for train information. Trenitalia often has great bargains if you book Frecciarossa (highspeed trains) between major cities well in advance. This will help keep your costs down.

Prato has many reasonably priced hotels, and many people stay at the Flora or Giardino Hotels. Some semi-serviced apartments may be available at Residence Manassei or Residence Accademia and other newer locations. There is also a thriving and growing bar scene around the campus. Refer to the Monash Website for accommodation information The centre of Prato is quite small. Prato is also rich in museums, churches, and other cultural and culinary treasures, without the crowds.

All travel & participation decisions are made at your own risk and the organizers accept no responsibility. We cannot arrange accommodation or travel. Please try to use web resources to find answers to such questions before sending an email to us! The program is also subject to change. Please also note that obtaining visas (if you require one) is your responsibility and confirmed registration and hotels are required. If you require a letter from the Conference, this should be organised well in advance of travel, and payment must be received beforehand.

Enquiries: prato2017 AT

Teacher and students image from The Past Re-Imagined as the Future: Video Remix Contest with Prelinger Archives