I am delighted to start my new Postdoc position with the new professor for Practical Philosophy, Nadia Mazouz, at the ETH Zurich!
My paper “Representing and Embodying a Peripheral City’s Place in the World” is now published in the illustrious Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology.
In an increasingly globalizing world, the aesthetics of Dubai have become potentially available even for impoverished, peripheral cities such as Belgrade. With the explicit rhetoric of finally achieving a “global profile” for the city, the Serbian government has hired an Emirati company to build a “world city” in a centrally located district of Belgrade. The rationale for the development is explicitly aesthetic, and the high-rises planned articulate the globally recognizable aesthetic vocabulary of superlatives and (generic) modernity. The tall buildings suggest economic growth while forming a façade against which Belgraders play the role of extras. This paper builds on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the body schema as well as James J. Gibson’s notion of affordances and recent contributions to architectural aesthetics that grew from it, to outline an alternative, embodied ideal of urban aesthetics. The paper presupposes that the common world is to be understood as a task to be achieved. The city, understood in its material form, as urbs, as well as in terms of social relations, as civitas, is the place where the common world can potentially be tangibly experienced. Its architecture narrates, but also affords and prohibits social change, and reversely social and political relations influence the making of the material city. The paper argues that a city’s place in the world is not a matter of gaining access to a supposedly pre-existing reality by displaying the right look, but of engaging actively in the making of the common world.
Currently exploring entanglements with non-human agencies (particularly pigeons!) together with performance artists Jonas Gillman and Seraina Dür, as well as with the designer and ecologist Flurina Gradin.
We are planning a guided tour of the central train station in Zurich during the Otherwise festival at Gessnerallee in Zurich, as well as during my upcoming workshop “The City and the Wild” (more infos coming up!)
Sanna Lehtinen and mine special issue on Philosophy of the City at the East Asian Journal of Philosophy is now out: http://eajp.online/publication-256994@reader.
I’m delighted to give an online talk at the Royal Institute of Philosophy (Oxford branch) next Wednesday at 19h CET. The title is “The City in Philosophy and Philosophy in the City”.
If you are interested in attending, contact Daniel O’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom link.
What is the broader social and cultural relevance of academic aesthetics? Can it help us make out why a show seems a little flat? Or analyse for instance racial fetishes? What is the aesthetic attitude and how may one take it up? All this and more in an interview with the philosopher Alex King!
It was a pleasure to work together with Alex King at Aesthetics for Birds and to produce this guest post.
I am very excited to have been granted a Junior Fellowship at the interdisciplinary institute, Collegium Helveticum starting September! My new colleagues are a primatologist, a terrorism scholar, an architect, movie makers, a historian of India, a perfume synthesiser, and a composer. The new place of work: the old Semper observatory in Zurich.
Sicht:Bar [Visible], the neighbourhood development project that I have been managing since the beginning of the year now has its own website! We are excited to launch the association this summer.y