Conference
Mo 14 Dez 2015 – Di 15 Dez 2015

Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art I

Conference at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, organized by Hannah Baader, Sugata Ray and Gerhard Wolf

Robert Smithson, Asphalt Rundown, Rome, October 1969.
Robert Smithson, Asphalt Rundown, Rome, October 1969.

Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art I is conceived as an intellectual laboratory to address the ecological and aesthetic dimensions of human interaction with geographical, geological, botanical, zoological, astronomical, and climatic formations from the micro to a planetary scale. How was the interrelationship between the nonhuman and the human visually configured in geographically distinct, yet often interconnected, terrains in different moments of history? How did striated knowledge-systems, the agentive qualities of matter, and aesthetic practices shape such configurations, topographies, and spatial orders? To what extent were particular aesthetic practices related to the economies of religious systems or social arrangements? What are the conceptual interconnections, or conversely interstices, between theories of nature, ecology, environment, and aesthetics? While literary ecocriticism has become a field of intense debate over the last decades, the ecological turn in visual culture studies is still at its early stage. The conference thus aims to bring art history, a discipline that has for long been concerned with notions of landscape, nature, materiality, and aesthetic processes, into this emerging conversation. The conference aims to act as a crucial interpolation in the conversation between ecological and aesthetic studies, envisaged here in a historical and transcultural perspective from the earliest known human interaction with the natural environment to the present day.

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