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Aesthetics Re-loaded

International conference,

December 11-13, 2012

Aarhus University, Denmark



The aim of the conference is to advance and exchange basic research on aesthetics within the field of new technology. The conference will explore the concept of aesthetics by investigating the challenges new computational technologies pose for current aesthetic theory. Confirmed keynote speakers include Bernard Stiegler, Olga Goriunova, and Mark B.N. Hansen.


The Aesthetics Re-loaded conference is open to scholars, PhD students, researchers, designers, and artists working in the fields of aesthetic theory, contemporary art, digital design and related fields. The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics is a joint partner of the conference and article versions of presentations and papers will be considered for publication in the journal.


  • Abstract proposals of no more than 300 words and a short bio (100 words) should be submitted before September 15, 2012 to – authors will be notified of paper acceptance or non-acceptance by October 1, 2012 (pre-notification is possible on request if necessary for funding of travel costs etc.). Each paper is allotted 20 minutes for presentation plus time for discussion. Registration – including payment of a conference fee of 70€ – is due on November 1, 2012 via the conference website.


Thematic strands of interest include (but are not limited to):


The relation between aesthetic practices and aesthetic theory in the 21st century


In the 1990s, the focus of inquiry was on aesthetics in relation to the new digital phenomena of the time (such as hypertext structures and virtual reality). What are the aesthetic implications and potentials of contemporary practices that make use of new technology (such as mobile and social media, apps, touchscreens, DNA-manipulation at the kitchen table etc.)? Are there new dimensions, works and practices we might understand better by rethinking aesthetic theory? Are there dimensions of traditional aesthetic theory that are becoming less important and others which are becoming more important?

Invisible and/or computational aesthetic


Given that an aesthetic relation by definition concerns the human subject's encounter with a sensuous form, what is the significance of that which takes place "behind" the monitor – in the code, the protocols, the hardware, etc.? What is the significance of the fact that the sensuous aesthetic dimension is governed by an invisible code?

Relationships between the concepts of 'digital', 'aesthetics', 'art', and 'culture'


These four concepts often appear to be more or less intentionally merged in descriptions and analyses of digital phenomena within the field of the so-called new media art and culture. How are we to differentiate among them today? Do new ways of utilizing digital technology in artistic and cultural practices invite us to understand the concepts of aesthetics, art, and culture as synonymous as a consequence of new practices, possibilities and business models? Or is it still meaningful to maintain a distinction among them? What do we mean when we apply the adjective ‘digital’ to new practices today?



Download Call for Papers as PDF


June 12, 2012

The Organisers: Lotte Philipsen and Jacob Lund


Please visit the conference website for further information:

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Revised 11.10.2012