Art and Media Studies

 

Aesthetics as understood here deals primarily with forms. It examines the forms and conditions under which something is perceived as aesthetic, including media structures, frameworks of knowledge and social relations, drawing on media theory, art history and the history of science. The chair has three main themes: 1) history and theory of perception and optical media; 2) theories of space and topological debates; 3) relations between the sciences and the arts. In historical terms, the focus is on the early modern and (post)modern ages, both periods that generated optical media coupled with artificial languages, calculating machines, illusory spaces, and thirty-year wars. In all of these contexts, the question of the aesthetic becomes a critical examination of forms that are shifted, transferred, misunderstood, reinterpreted, etc.. This strategy aims to observe differences, gaps and transitions. When we speak of forms, we are also talking about tacit preconditions. In other words: what generates visibility without being visible. This precisely describes the blind spot in the eye: its blindness is not the opposite of visibility, but its precondition. Aesthetics is only possible by passing through the blind spots.

 

Valeska Bührer
aesthetics