Aesthetics, Art, and Politics

“Aesthetics, Art, and Politics,” 6-7.5.2010, University of Helsinki

The Finnish Society for Aesthetics together with the research project Artification and its Impact on Art (www.artification.fi) will arrange a two-day seminar on the theme “Aesthetics, Art, and Politics” from the 6th of May to the 7th of May 2010 at the University of Helsinki. The keynote speaker of the seminar is Professor Aleš Erjavec (Slovenia).

Significant connections between aesthetics, art, and politics continue to exist in the new millennium. However, alongside traditional questions about art’s relationship to politics and the political aspects of aesthetic phenomena, a new set of issues has gradually arisen which are as much a result of changes occurring in aesthetics and art as they are a result of changes that have recently shaped politics. The criticism that different traditions of contemporary aesthetics have aimed against
the idea of “pure aesthetics,” i.e., an aesthetics severed from political considerations, has been widely accepted. But what is the position of aesthetic theories which emphasize the social function of art and aesthetics today? Do the main traditions of contemporary aesthetics any longer manage to account for the current forms that the relationship between aesthetics, art, and politics takes or are novel approaches required for analyzing those connections?

Many other social practices besides art are to a growing extent characterized by features which have traditionally been associated primarily with art. What sorts of aesthetic and political consequences could this process known as “artification” involve? What are the effects of this development, for example, to the alleged autonomous nature of art or is this supposition a mere fallacy anyway?
Different artistic traditions and movements embody different kinds of ideologies. How should one understand the relationship between art and politics in a world where faith in the impact of politics is increasingly diminishing? Changes of approach in recent art research also provide a new outlook on the theme of the seminar. Do the different research approaches articulate specific views of the connection between aesthetics and politics and what sorts of political underpinnings, if any, could
these approaches themselves involve?

The organizers of the seminar kindly invite people interested in theme of the seminar to send an abstract of their paper (max. length 250 words) to the secretary of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics (kalle [dot] puolakka [at] helsinki [dot] fi). One of the two days of the seminar will be in English.
It is also possible to offer a presentation in the form of an artistic presentation or a performance.

The deadline for abstracts is the 28th of February 2010.

Jan van Boeckel
www.naturearteducation.org
gsm Finland: +358(0)449374141

Finnish Society for Aesthetics

PO Box 4, FIN-0 0 0 1 4 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI

www.estetiikka.fi