“Aisthesis and the Common: Reconfiguring the Public Sphere”: international colloquium

“Aisthesis and the Common: Reconfiguring the Public Sphere”: international colloquium


Nadia Myre, Meditations on Red #2, 2013. © Nadia Myre. Courtesy of the artist and Art Mûr.
February 22, 2016
“Aisthesis and the Common: Reconfiguring the Public Sphere”: international colloquium

March 18–19, 2016

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montreal, Quebec


Aisthesis and the Common: Reconfiguring the Public Sphere proposes an interdisciplinary investigation into contemporary art’s renewed engagement with the public sphere. Bringing together artists, designers, art historians, curators, philosophers and media studies scholars, the colloquium examines the place and role of aisthesis—the faculty of perception by the senses and the intellect—in emerging models of the public sphere. These models represent different ways to challenge common sense through reformulations of common concern. They rethink the human/nonhuman relations of the public sphere’s communality, following a reinvented dialectic between mutuality and individuality, agreement and dissensus, common good and common activity. Some of the aesthetic models considered here include: the atmospheric; the magnetic; speculative realism; the edge and the action of edging; worldly cosmopolitism; the communism of the senses; the reinvention of the salon as an interspecies site; unbecoming communities; and performed or virtualized public spaces. With the working hypothesis that art offers a unique realm for the configuration of public spheres today, the colloquium asks: How is the public sphere rethought aesthetically (in terms of forms, media, materialities and sensibilities) in contemporary art? And how does an artistic public sphere succeed in permeating a political public sphere?

Keynote speakers (via Skype):
Jean-Luc Nancy, Université de Strasbourg
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea/Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino


Rethinking The Common
Santiago Zabala, ICREA/Pompeu Fabra University
Pierre Dardot, Laboratoire Sophiapol, Université Paris Ouest

Sound Atmospheres
Frances Dyson, University of California, Davis/UNSW: Australia
Caleb Kelly, UNSW: Australia

Sculpting The Common
Nadia Myre, Artist
Romeo Gongora, Artist
Marjetica Potrč, HFBK Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg

Sharing Space
Nermin Saybaşılı, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University
John Paul Ricco, University of Toronto

Virtualized Spaces
Adriana de Souza e Silva, North Carolina State University
Gerard Goggin, University of Sydney

The Digital Common
Dominique Cardon, SENSE Orange Labs/LATTS Université de Marne la vallée
Dietmar Offenhuber, Northeastern University

Critical Cosmopolitanism
Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne
Marsha Meskimmon, Loughborough University

Information, registration and livestream
Free and open to the public
French and English interpretation services available
Colloquium Programming Committee: Christine Ross ([email protected]/McGill University), Tamar Tembeck ([email protected]/McGill University), Olivier Asselin (Université de Montréal), Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph), Suzanne Paquet (Université de Montréal)

[email protected] is a hub of research, scholarship and public outreach on issues and controversies in media, technology and culture, housed within the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. Its activities are supported by McGill University and most notably by the Beaverbrook Fund for [email protected], created by a generous gift from the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation: www.media.mcgill.ca

[email protected] Colloquium Partners: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; McGill University – Dean of Arts Development Fund, Department of Art History and Communication Studies Speaker Series, Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC), Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), Grierson Chair in Communication Studies, James McGill Chair in Contemporary Art History, James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy.


“Aisthesis and the Common: Reconfiguring the Public Sphere” Media@McGill international colloquium

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