Event Date/Time: Oct 20, 2009 End Date/Time: Oct 21, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Jun 20, 2009
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Aesthetic Dimension of Visual Culture

International 2-day conference to be held at the Conference Centre of the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and organized by the Institute and the Aesthetics and Film Studies Departments of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
The contemporary situation in humanities and social sciences is often characterized by the so called “visual turn”, or the increasing emphasis of theory on the power and scope of the visual in everyday life, science, and art. Reflection of this increased influence of image, pictoriality, and visually mediated information and expression has resulted also in the formation of the notion of visual culture and the field of Visual Studies. The rise of Visual Studies involves several fundamental problems related to the status of aesthetics. Theoreticians of visual culture often suspect philosophical aesthetics of committing the sins of ahistorism and blindness towards cultural differences; according to the culturalist perspective, aesthetic experience is to be conceived as conforming to the ruling cultural ideology. Aesthetics is also often seen as irresponsive to the challenges of new media, post-conceptual art practices and the digital revolution. On the other hand, aesthetic vocabulary has far from vanished from contemporary debates on the nature and various shapes of our visual experiences, a fact especially pertinent where a dissatisfaction with vulgar value relativism prevails. The driving thought behind this conference has been to provoke a debate among scholars coming from different quarters on the aesthetic dimension of the visual. Therefore, participants from different fields – aesthetics, film studies, art history and theory, literary theory and philosophy, but also culture studies, visual and media studies, sociology, psychology and cognitive science – are invited to consider the following proposed topics organized into three thematic groups:
1) Debating Disciplines: Pluralist Aesthetics / Local Visual Studies
Visual Studies: a national or transnational project?
Local variants of visual studies and their potential of application: What are the possibilities of localizing visual studies?
Pluralist aesthetics: an oxymoron or a reform?
The visual and/or the aesthetic: Do visual studies allow for an aesthetics?
2) Defining art(s) in the 21st century
Recent perspectives in definitions of art
Art without the aesthetic? Defining conceptual and post-conceptual art practices
The legacy of Institutionalism; reappraisal of institutional/pro­cedural approaches
Artworks or images: making sense of aesthetic canons
3) Appreciating the Visual
The fate of aesthetic autonomy after the visual turn
How has the digital revolution changed our appreciation of the image?
Aesthetic blindness: individual or social disease?
Aesthetic alienation or aesthetic distance? Aesthetic experience in the age of spectacles
Perception and/or sensation: contemporary perspectives on phenomenology of the aesthetic visual experience
Invited are abstracts of no more than 200 words (in English) on these or broadly related topics. Speakers will receive 30 minutes for presentation. We also invite PhD students to present their work. PhD student submissions should be clearly marked as such.
Selected papers will be published in conference proceedings.


Additional Information

The conference fee is 10 Euro, students are exempt from this fee.