Aesthetic Investigations 2023-01-31T14:56:15+01:00 Rob van Gerwen Open Journal Systems <p>The aim of the journal <em>Aesthetic Investigations</em> is to develop contemporary debates in the philosophy of aesthetics, and initiate new ones—and to do this from any available angle. We are open to any contributions, but to generate new discussions we also issue specific calls.</p> Arts and Politics: What Has Ontology to Do With It ? 2023-01-15T18:10:05+01:00 Arthur Cools Jan Bierhanzl <p>Introduction to the issue Arts, Ontology and Politics. This text gives a survey of the articles included in the special issue Arts, Ontology and Politics and of the challenges that these articles have to deal with in approaching the central them.</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Arthur Cools, Jan Bierhanzl The Disobedience of Seeing 2022-10-13T15:47:28+02:00 Jan Bierhanzl <p>This paper addresses the subject’s relationship to visual culture and its norms. I start from the fact that contemporary visual culture presents itself as a constant circulation of images that always bring with them a certain ‘politics of truth’, which includes a normative framing of what is and is not considered human. I propose the possibility of an ethico-political resistance to this framing on the part of the perceiving subject, who is simultaneously shaped by this framing. First, I focus on the problem of the disobedience of seeing as an ethico-political stance towards the ‘politics of truth’ in the framework of Foucault’s thought as it applies to several of Hito Steyerl’s artworks (‘Politics of Truth’ and ‘The Courage of Truth’). I next discuss the tension between the circulation of images and the agency of the seeing subject with reference to Judith Butler’s ethical and political approach to visual culture, arguing for an ethics of photography that transcends the Foucauldian framework.</p> <p> </p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Jan Bierhanzl Engagement for Engagement’s Sake 2022-12-10T16:49:51+01:00 Aukje van Rooden <p>The aim of this paper is to search for a new, contemporary, form of literary engagement by avoiding a return to the 20<sup>th</sup> century idea of literary engagement that presents literature either as autonomous and un-political or as explicitly committed to some political cause. Taking the Dutch poet laurate Lieke Marsman's debut novel <em>Het tegenovergestelde van een mens </em>(The opposite of a human being) as an exemplary case study, this paper stresses that the literature of the millennial generation explores a new and different form of engagement, a form that is consonant with our 21<sup>st</sup> century living conditions, that are more complex, fluid, and volatile than they have ever been.</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Aukje van Rooden Dissolved Politics and Artistic Imagination. On Kristeva's Revolution and Revolt 2022-12-12T14:28:12+01:00 Lenka Vojtíšková <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In her work, Julia Kristeva uses two disparate concepts: revolution and revolt. In this article we will try to outline these concepts as different approaches to the relations between power, art and psychoanalysis. By placing the concepts of revolt and revolution in dialogue with each other, and by pointing out that the dialogue departs from the notion of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">experience</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, we will attempt to reconstruct the important contribution that Kristeva's work offers. Her perspective reveals that artistic expression is linked to a specific kind of politics (</span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">dissolved politics</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">). Kristeva's view of literary and psychoanalytic practice is then, we argue, something that can contribute to its realisation, albeit in a limited way.</span></p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Lenka Vojtíšková Democratising Conceptual Art 2022-12-10T16:32:00+01:00 Alexandra Van Laeken <p>In this paper I elaborate upon the elitist character of the mainstream theories on conceptual art. I show that the elitism is founded on wrong presumptions concerning the relation between artists and spectators. Working from the philosophy of Jacques Rancière, I reject the hierarchical structure present in the mainstream theories on conceptual art. Instead, I propose to take a ‘democratic turn’, as understood by Rancière. In such an outlook, the contribution of the spectator is revalued as equally active and creative as the contribution of the artist. The democratic turn has serious consequences for the theoretical foundation of conceptual art. We can no longer maintain that the conceptual work of art is <em>solely</em> the artist's idea, nor that the material appearance is negligible. Furthermore, the democratic alternative opens up conceptual art for a broader audience, while the very core of its practice remains intact, namely that the idea behind it is essential. But it adds an important caveat: what the idea represents is more than what the artist initially had in mind.</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Alexandra Van Laeken On Purposefully Poor Images: Aesthetic Encounters with Alienation 2022-11-10T13:25:55+01:00 Lucie Chateau <p>This article introduces the concept of purposefully poor images. Building on Hito Steyerl’s theory of poor images as images that travel through networks and lose resolution and information, (2009) the theory of the purposefully poor image looks at the phenomenon of images that are produced with the intention of looking poor. These are images that draw attention to their own process of objectification by satirising their degradation. In showcasing the material markers of objectification, purposefully poor images allow for an aesthetic encounter with the experience of alienation. This article draws the autonomist Marxist approach of Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi (2009) to argue that their place within semiocapitalism allows purposefully poor images to draw attention to and overcome alienation from within capitalist relations. It is argued that purposefully poor images are a product of collective circulatory logics within digital capitalism, but also a powerful tool for aesthetically representing alienation.</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Lucie Chateau Beyond Autonomy and Activism: 2022-10-13T11:16:37+02:00 Divya Nadkarni <p><span lang="EN-US">This paper takes the particular case of poetry to chart a middle route between the extremes of the autonomist and activist dimensions of understanding aesthetic politics. I argue that the politicality of poetry lies neither in the politics of the author or the text (activist), nor in their removedness vis-à-vis concrete political situations (autonomist). Instead, politicality needs to be located in the intersubjective dynamic between readers and poems or works of art more broadly. I propose an intersubjective pragmatist framework of interpretation, which takes the actualization of a decolonial and anti-identitarian political plurality as the basis of poetry’s politicality. I develop the framework by bringing together three conceptual frameworks: Hannah Arendt’s theory of political plurality, Édouard Glissant’s concepts of relation and opacity, and John Dewey’s pragmatist theory of aesthetic experience. At its core is the concept of ‘poetic understanding’, </span><span lang="EN-US">a transformative quality of understanding that facilitates between the reader and the text a dynamic and contingent process of mutual transformation and constitution. I explore the potential of such understanding as a ground for political community. </span></p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Divya Nadkarni The Art of Political Representation 2022-05-18T15:20:52+02:00 Mihail Evans <p>Rarely in the postwar period has the western system of representative democracy seemed more criticised and less respected. From historically low turnouts to the disparagement of the motives of politicians as individuals and as a class, voters seem increasingly disillusioned and disengaged. Questions of representation are centrally at stake in both art and politics and the premise of this essay is that recent art can help us understand the current democratic predicament. The particular work which provokes my reflections is Devolved Parliament, Banksy’s thirteen foot long oil painting of the House of Commons, which recently sold for a record breaking sum. Its sale price no doubt says much about the state of the art market in the UK and elsewhere, but what, if anything, does the painting have to say about contemporary politics?</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Mihail Evans Another Outcry for Artistic Relevance 2023-01-31T08:34:28+01:00 Rob van Gerwen <p>Editor's column</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Rob van Gerwen A Review of Sherri Irvin, Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art 2022-12-26T09:30:43+01:00 Sue Spaid <p>I don't think abstracts are needed for reviews.</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Sue Spaid Everyday Aesthetics - Review 2022-12-24T00:32:05+01:00 Thomas Froy <p>This article reviews the volume 'Everydayness: Contemporary Aesthetic Approaches', edited by Lisa Gombini and Adrián Kvokačka. Thomas Froy assesses the relation, explored by the contributing authors, between the notion of the 'everyday' and the field of aesthetics, focussing on questions about the 'who' and the 'what' of everyday aesthetics, and its place in the modern world.&nbsp;</p> 2023-01-31T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Thomas Froy