Rosie Findlay – What’s Getting Us Through: Grazia UK as Affective Intimate Public During the Coronavirus Pandemic

26th January 2023, 16:00 – Jarman Studio 5, Hybrid format (in-person and online)

Rosie Findlay (Lecturer in Media Studies, University of Kent)

In this paper I examine the changes wrought to women’s/lifestyle media during the coronavirus pandemic. Closely analysing several issues of Grazia UK from the first UK lockdown, I argue that the societal and affective disorientation of the  pandemic allowed this magazine to do genuine political work – critiquing the government, advocating for non-capitalist subjectivities and forms of community work – which is normally absent from such publications due to their imbrication in commercial logics and industries.

At the same time, fashion was reframed as a tool to navigate the affective uncertainties of the pandemic, offering levity (comfort, play) and escape (dreaming of better days to come) which shows us how closely woven fashion is with affect and mood. 

This seminar will be available to attend via Teams. Link to be added shortly.
Those intending to attend in-person are asked to please email mss@kent.ac.uk in advance.

Kathrine Cuccuru – Pedestrian at Best: the Politics, Philosophy, & Aesthetics of Walking When Poor

17th November 2022, 17:00 – Jarman Studio 5, Hybrid format (in-person and online)

Kathrine Cuccuru (Associate Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, University of Sussex)

Cuccuru’s ‘a philosopHER walks’ website here

My project ‘a philosopHER walks’ aims to philosophically and physically explore various types of walking. Although I am a somewhat experienced and well-equipped long distance walker, Stage One of the project, Pedestrian at Best, was born out of my frustration at finding a viable route to take and discovering the limits on someone like me, poor people, to walk.
As a result, this first stage tests what sort of walking is possible for those of us living on or below the poverty line, to be a pedestrian who uses only local busses and has to keep to a daily budget based on Universal Credit standard rates. This talk celebrates the end of stage one, offering my initial reflections on walking when poor.

Along with reporting on my experiences during these 21 days of walks, I shall reveal the political tension between walking as a radical act and the privilege of walking; identify some of the philosophy in developing a philosophy of walking; and present the aesthetics of walking, from the sartorial to the sublime.

This seminar will be available to attend via Teams. Link to be added shortly.
Those intending to attend in-person are asked to please email mss@kent.ac.uk in advance.

Call for Abstracts – The BSA Workshop on the Aesthetics of Public Art (WAPA)

10-11th November 2022, King’s College LondonHybrid format (in-person and online)

Conference website here

Keynote speakers: 
Vid Simoniti (University of Liverpool) 
Sarah Hegenbart (Technical University of Munich) 
Carleen de Sözer (artist) 

Recent protests against statues and monuments associated with racial injustice reflect increased ethical and social demands on art, especially as it occupies public space. Although public art has been the subject of a lively debate amongst scholars in art history and cultural studies, it remains largely neglected within the field of aesthetics, which results in the lack of a clear conceptualization of public art as an aesthetic category. 

The aim of this workshop is to foment discussion on the concept of public art and to question the boundaries which demarcate it from similar categories, such as street art, socially engaged art, and participatory art. Understanding what makes public art ‘public’ implies asking about its purpose, its accessibility, and the artistic process by which it is created. As the widespread removal of statues in 2020 shows, another important concern is who constitutes the public for public art – more specifically, the relation between public art and political authority and the way public art contributes to the construction of civic identity and historical memory. This workshop focuses on the aesthetic and artistic conditions which determine the public nature of a given work, with the purpose of consolidating the theoretical framework of current debates. 

Suggested topics include but are not limited to: 
– What is the purpose of public art? Does it necessarily involve a social or political intention? 
– What is the relation between public art and public space? How do we define public space? Is public accessibility a necessary condition of public art? 
– Can there be public art outside the public space? How does the change of location affect the meaning and value of a work? 
– What is the relation between public art and the public? How is the public for a work of public art defined? What is the role of the community in public art?  
– What is the relation between public art and political authority? Is public art necessarily sanctioned by the state?  
–  How does public art shape the public space? What is its role in the construction of civic identity and collective memory?  
– How is public art distinct from related categories, such as street art, socially engaged art, and participatory art?  
– How do we evaluate public art? Must it meet specific criteria to be artistically successful? What makes a public work of art good or bad? 
– Does the ‘publicness’ of public art involve any restrictions in terms of art form, artistic media, genres, and content? 
– More generally, what are the defining features of public art?

  We welcome contributions from all academic fields, including history of art and cultural studies, as long as they address the philosophical problems outlined above or related ones.  Each speaker will have 20 minutes for the presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Please consider sending your abstract (max. 500 words), accompanied by a short biographical note (max. 150 words), to beatriz.rodrigues@kcl.ac.uk until 31st August. We particularly encourage applications from scholars from underrepresented groups, including applicants with disabilities, applicants from BAME backgrounds, and women. The workshop will be in English and attendance is free. Successful applicants will be notified by 12th September.  

This event is funded by the British Society of Aesthetics (BSA) and sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy and Art (CPA).  

Organizers:  

Beatriz Rodrigues (King’s College London) 

Colette Olive (King’s College London) 

Television Aesthetics: Now What? | A British Society of Aesthetics conference

Thursday 7 – Friday 8 July 2022

Conference website: https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/tvaesthetics/

The Aesthetics Research Centre at the University of Kent is delighted to invite you to ‘Television Aesthetics: Now What?’ a two-day conference organised with generous funding from the British Society of Aesthetics.

The title of our conference – ‘Television Aesthetics: Now What?’ – is a provocative metacritical question about the state of the field. Our conference aims to bring together philosophical aesthetics with both television studies and television aesthetics. We wish to stimulate exchange across different disciplines and approaches, with contributions from television scholars, philosophers, and aestheticians. In bringing together these different perspectives, we hope to make some headway towards answering the question ‘Now what for television aesthetics?’

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:
Jason Mittell (Middlebury College)
Iris Vidmar Jovanović (University of Rijeka)

Registration for the conference is FREE.
Further details about about the conference will be available in the coming weeks on the conference website

Should you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us at televisionaesthetics@kent.ac.uk.
Lead Organiser: Dr David Brown
Programme Committee: Prof Murray Smith, Dr Margrethe Bruun Vaage, Dr Dieter Declercq, Michael Clark

BSA Symposium on Revaluing the Life Model in Art Practice

Thursday 7th May

The BSA Symposium on Revaluing the Life Model in Art Practice is a one-day event hosted by the Aesthetics Research Centre, University of Kent, which brings together philosophers of art, artists, and professionals of the London art sector to engage with the role of the life model in contemporary art practice. 


Come and join our discussion, where we connect this developing debate on life models with the philosophy of art. Through the exchange of professional, practical, and philosophical insights, the symposium aims to rethink some of the ongoing practices within the life drawing room (how models are viewed and treated by artists and art schools), the gallery and museum space (how the creativity of models is acknowledged), and within philosophy of art (whether modelling can be an art and whether working from a life model can be considered a collaborative art form).

The Symposium is free to attend – everyone welcome to muse along! Check out our speaker bios, programme, and how to register on our site. We will be posting on Instagram and Twitter in the weeks leading up to the event!

Confirmed Keynotes:

Dr Anna Pakes, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Roehampton
Prof A W Eaton, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois Chicago
Dominic Blake, Art Writer & Performance Artist

Panel members:

Jo Baring, Director of the Ingram Collection, Curator
JJ Delvine, Artist, Curator, BP Portrait Award in 2006, 2011, 2018
Anne Noble-Partridge, Artist, Director of London Drawing, Gallerist
Prof Jean Wainwright, Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography at UCA, Director of the Fine Art and Photography Research Centre

This interdisciplinary event is the result of a collaboration between the Aesthetics Research Centre and Dominic Blake, art writer and performance artist. Dr Aurélie Debaene is hosting the symposium on behalf of ARC with the support of C A York. The BSA Symposium on Revaluing the Life Model in Art Practicehas been made possible by the generous funding of the British Society of Aesthetics.