This research project investigates the aesthetic use of new technologies and new media. New artistic practices constantly arise that seem to walk the line between the established scene of contemporary art and technical invention in a broader cultural sphere (like DNA manipulation, inventions based on nano-technology, cloud computing etc.) In such experimental practices the distinction between work of art, everyday object and non-physical phenomena breaks down, just like the borderlines between art audience, everyday users and commercial prosumers often seem to be eroding.
Philipsen’s research at AIAS investigates such experimenting works and phenomena from the point of view of aesthetics in order to qualify and develop ways within academia to comprehend and analyse the aesthetic dimensions and potentials of these phenomena. She will analyse these phenomena, neither as works of fine art in a narrow sense nor as practices of science and technology, but instead as aesthetic practices. Hence, Philipsen will make use of methods from aesthetic theory and will take into consideration biological, technical and scientific dimensions of these new practices only to the extent that such dimensions constitute or contribute to potential aesthetic experience in the audience/user/prosumer.
Questions of relevance to Philpsen’s project are: How and to what extent are aesthetic practices in which advanced technology and science play pivotal roles able to convey aesthetic potentials to an audience that does not have full insight into advanced science or technology? How do aesthetic practices of crowd creation and organizational aesthetics challenge divisions in traditional aesthetic theory between creation and reception? Where is the object of aesthetic experience positioned in works that are based of advanced technology and presented to the public through textual and visual documentation only?
The project will focus on aesthetic practices that include scientific or technological discoveries or media inventions made during the last 10 years, since the cross-disciplinary character of such practices in particular falls beyond the bounds of established academic research.
Lotte Philipsen is a Jens Christian Skou Junior Fellow at AIAS. She holds a PhD in Art History and has done extensive research in contemporary art with a special focus on contemporary art and its relation to globalisation and to new media. She is the author of the book Globalizing Contemporary Art (AU Press, 2010).