Sensing collectives: "aesthetic and political practices intertwined" (Call for contributions)

In collaboration with the ICI Berlin (Institute for Cultural Inquiry) the workshop "Sensing Collectives – Aesthetic Political Practices Interwined" will take place on November the 14th-16th. With keynotes by Antoine Hennion (Centre Sociologie d'innovation, Mines Tech) and Sophia Prinz (Berlin University of the Arts and the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Call for contributions running until august 15th, 2018.

With this workshop, the organizers, Jan-Peter Voß, Nora Rigamonti, Marcela Suarez and Jacob Watson want to re-examine the nexus between aesthetics and politics by turning away from their conception as institutionally or communicatively differentiated spheres and instead take a "practice turn" to have a look at what is actually done, and how, and to what effect – both in art, design and aesthetics and in politics, policy-making and governance.

The aim of their workshop is to further probe and outline a more conceptually refined practice-oriented approach toward the intertwined and reciprocally constitutive relationship between aesthetic and political practices. The organizers hope to learn from concrete empirical examples about a variety of specific ways in which sensorial perceptions and collective subjectivities and agencies are shaped and about how they relate to each other, interact, and co-produce or jointly work to dismantle collectively lived realities. They expect that a focus on sensorial perception, affectivity and aesthetic practice will contribute a novel perspective on the (un)making of collective orders as it traditionally concerns studies of politics, governance and innovation, but where, so far, social order has largely been reduced to institutional, discursive and cognitive dimensions.

Call for Contributions

Therefor they invite contributions in the form of academic papers as well as artistic performances or accounts of interventions which provide exemplary demonstrations of aesthetic and political practices intertwined. Academic papers may focus on theoretical and methodological aspects directly related to the issues mentioned or may provide close-up empirical accounts of the intertwining of aesthetic and political practices and on their combined effect on specific, historically situated orders. Primarily they are interested in papers of performative demonstrations concerned either with the disruptive interplay of aesthetics and politics breaking, subverting and deconstructing collective orders or with the constitutive interplay of aesthetics and politics building, maintaining and reinforcing collective orders. Collective orders may in any specific case be old, established and hegemonic or new, alternative, emancipatory realities and ways of life. They suggest that within this complex intertwining and nesting of aesthetic and political practices, and their ambivalence as both order-creating (modes of governance) and order-disrupting (modes of emancipation), a more differentiated approach may reveal a map of sorts, a sophisticated mingling and overlay of these practices and their effects.

Abstracts of up to 500 words, outlining the intended contribution to the workshop, either in the form of a paper or a demonstration are invited and to be submitted by august 15th 2018. A selection from submitted contributions and notify contributors will be made by the 1st september 2018. A program of confirmed contributions will be circulated shortly thereafter.

Please submit abstracts and any enquiries regarding the workshop to the team of organizers via email at: sp(at)