Confronting uncertainty: imagination in art and material culture
Thomas Fillitz (University of Vienna)
Paul van der Grijp (Universte Lumiere Lyon 2)
Thoma Fillitz / Paul van der Grijp
Thursday 12 July, 11:30-13:15, 14:30-16:15, Friday 13 July, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The workshop on art and material culture - as major cultural, economic, and political phenomena - addresses the dynamics of uncertainty and imagination for shaping good life. Three topics should be debated: collecting; imagination in art and design; which aesthetics in the present globalized world.

Long abstract:

Uncertainty and mobility are, in the contemporary world dominated by neoliberal capital, two notions which have been elevated to new qualities in the shaping of the individual's future life-worlds. They nevertheless create fears regarding the shaping of one's "good life". Societies were and are imaginative in order to confront such sensations and aspirations. Among the many cultural elements so created, material culture was early recognized by anthropologists as means for the development of human societies and the shaping of life. Particular objects, as loci of imagination and aesthetic attention, were considered powerful images for influencing the lives of people - they also became objects of collecting, and entered Western museums as art. Today, collecting art and material culture are important phenomena for individual collectors, as well as for cultural, economic and political regimes.

Focusing on the dynamics of uncertainty and imagination in the shaping of "good life", the workshop wishes to debate the following questions:

• The role of private and public collecting;

• Imagination in art and design of everyday material culture;

• Which aesthetics in art and material culture under present world conditions.