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Engaging with aesthetic forms: Approaching the sociopolitical embedding and agency of arts [AntArt network] 
Bernardo Machado (Unicamp)
Jeannine-Madeleine Fischer (University of Konstanz)
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Jennifer Clarke (Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University)
Maxime Le Calvé (Humboldt University in Berlin, ExC Matters of Activity)
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/007
Thursday 28 July, 14:45-16:30

Short Abstract:

Assuming that aesthetic forms are permeated by political powers, this panel explores their affective and transformative potentials in transnational flows and local settings. We ask how diverse agents engage with aesthetic forms and their emergent embeddings, transits and agencies.

Long Abstract:

This panel addresses how diverse agents challenge and/ or foster common social orders by engaging aesthetic forms in various contexts. We approach forms as "shapes and configurations", "ordering principles", and "patterns of repetition and difference" (Levine, 2015: 3) that are based on attached values (cf. Sharman, 1997) and shared appreciation (cf. Strathern, 1990). Aesthetic forms are, in our view, continuous becomings in a never complete process of 'forming'. Ranging from acting techniques, dance and musique styles to visual artwork, aesthetic forms are taken by more-than-representational aspects, but as powerful agents that "intra-act" (Barad, 2005), "enfold" and "emerge" (Handelman, 2021) with their surroundings.

The discussion is interested in the ways aesthetic forms move across, depart from, and arrive in various places. These translocal, multidirectional flows are always accompanied by co-creations and co-transfers of concomitant sets of meanings, values, and practices. We assume aesthetic forms to be permeated by post-, neo- or colonial practices and structures of political and economic power. In that regard, the panel also inquires which anthropological concepts can be fruitful to discuss "art" in a critical perspective (Gell, 1998; Cesarino, 2017).

We invite contributors to explore how aesthetic forms are embraced, embodied, ignored, contested, categorized, or actively resisted and rejected. Both empirical research and theoretical contributions providing analytical keys for reflections on the subject are welcome.

Accepted papers: