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Shusterman and Bukdahl

Double guest lecture by Richard Shusterman and Else Marie Bukdahl


03.09.2019 kl. 13.00 - 15.00


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Richard Shusterman

Aesthetic Transactions: Pragmatism, Somaesthetics, and Contemporary Art

This presentation examines the pragmatist model of transactional experiential inquiry that guides my philosophical research and that highlights the integration of theory and practice that is central to the project of somaesthetics.  The basic idea is that inquiry can develop new directions, forms, methods, and standards through the dynamic experiences acquired in the course of its pursuit and to which ongoing inquiry then submits its energies for future direction while also submitting its results for validation.  I examine the experiential model of inquiry through its exemplification in my aesthetic research: tracing how inquiry in pragmatist aesthetics led to the project of somaesthetics and then further into explorations in contemporary art and the idea of inquiry through artistic performance. The presentation draws on material from the recent art show I curated in Paris (May-June 2012), connected with an international conference at the Sorbonne to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication (in French and English) of Pragmatist Aesthetics (L’art à l’état vif).

Else Marie Bukdahl

The interaction between design, art and technology

The somaesthetic approach in Human Computer Interaction and Interaction Design has already given rise to many workshops on both theoretical models and concrete productions. This is also true of the relationship between contemporary art and the new digital technologies.

Several artists, particularly the Danish-Icelandic performance artist, Olafur Eliasson, have worked in this field. Several of his works, first and foremost the small lamp, Little Sun, can be regarded as a practical application of somaesthetics, because it contains an interaction between emotion and movement. This also visualizes the social and meliorist goal, which is a prominent element of somaesthetics.

Richard Shusterman has stressed that “the field of robotics is another area to which somaesthetics could contribute by analyzing how people feel in interacting with other bodies (both human and mechanical) in space”. The French artist ORLAN has visualised elements of this issue in a performance in which she meets a robot, which is an exact copy of her.

In the interactive and site-specific projects, the somatic experience and awareness are intensely heightened. This is clear among others from the project, which was created by the Danish video artist, Eva Koch. It comprises a large, multifunctional urban space, which is a meditative place during the day. In the evening it is transformed in its center into large living images of a field with poppies, which are projected down onto the square through a projector.


Rendsburggade 14, room 4.213/215

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