Call for papers

Itinera, 26 (2023)

Mimesis as conditio humana

Edited by Salvatore Tedesco e Valeria Maggiore

The concept of Mimesis originates in the Greek context in the 5th century BC. and since then, it has been at the heart of Western aesthetic reflection. Indeed, the classical paradigm of mimesis has its roots in the platonic dialogues Republic and Sophist and finds its best-known formulation in the Aristotelian affirmation according to which “art imitates nature” (Physics II, 2, 194a 21- 27). Starting with this definition, aestheticians have traditionally questioned themselves about the “passive” role of mimetic practices (why does art feel the need to imitate reality? What kind of strategies have been used to operate this imitation?); however, as Christian Wulf pointed out, «mimesis cannot be understood in a restrictive way concerning art, poetry, aesthetics. The mimetic faculty plays a role in almost all areas of human acting, representing, speaking, and thinking» (C. Wulf, Mimesis, l’arte e i suoi modelli, Mimesis, Milano, 1995, p. 9): it is conditio humana. Therefore, it must not be comprehended in a narrow sense as the mere reproduction of copies, but its field of investigation must also take into account an “active” meaning of the term since it also indicates a process that leads us to aesthetically come into contact with external reality and to creatively reproduce its traits even in our own body. This meaning is already present in the famous Aristotelian statement mentioned above: it is inserted in a work in which the philosopher of Stagira deals with the subjects and causes of natural becoming (i.e. of those processes whose principle is in the object itself, an object that evolves) and, from an accurate contextual reading of these words, we can understand that art does not limit itself to "taking nature as a reference model for its production" but "operates like nature itself" because it is identical to it in the way of proceeding. It is in this complexity, which connects the notion of mimesis not only to the terms of imitation and verisimilitude but also to those of individual plasticity and autopoiesis, that the topicality of the question lies.

The issue of “Itinera” is therefore dedicated to the analysis of these issues, starting from the traditional definition of mimesis up to its most recent interpretations. Here are some possible areas for discussion:

  • The Greek definition of mimesisand its implications in philosophical debate;
  • The history of the concept of mimesisand its possible contemporary interpretations;
  • The relationship between art and nature in the light of the concept of mimesis;
  • Mimesisas production of appearances: poetry, plastic arts and digital images;
  • Mimesisand plasticity;
  • Mimetic activity as an anthropological and social practice.

 

Deadline for submission: July 15th, 2023

Expected Release: Decembre 2023

Papers can be written in English, Italian and French.

Submissions must be sent to: valeria.maggiore@unipa.it

Salvatore Tedesco (salavtore.tedesco@unipa.it)

Valeria Maggiore (valeria.maggiore@unipa.it)

 

 

Itinera, 26 (2023)

Mimesis come conditio humana

A cura di Salvatore Tedesco e Valeria Maggiore

Il concetto di Mimesis prende forma in ambito greco nel V secolo a.C. e da allora si colloca al cuore della riflessione estetica occidentale. Il paradigma classico della mimesis affonda, infatti, le sue radici nella Repubblica e nel Sofista di Platone e trova la sua formulazione forse più nota nella celebre affermazione aristotelica secondo la quale «l’arte imita la natura» (Fisica II, 2, 194a 21-27). Facendo appello a tale definizione gli studiosi di estetica si sono tradizionalmente interrogati sul ruolo “passivo” delle pratiche mimetiche (perché l’arte sente il bisogno di imitare il reale? Quali sono le strategie messe in campo per operare tale imitazione?); tuttavia, come sottolineato da Christian Wulf, «la mimesis non può essere ristretta all’arte, alla poesia, all’estetica. La facoltà mimetica gioca un ruolo in pressoché tutti gli ambiti dell’agire, del rappresentare, del parlare e pensare degli uomini» (C. Wulf, Mimesis, l’arte e i suoi modelli, Mimesis, Milano, 1995, p. 9): essa è conditio humana. Non deve quindi essere intesa in senso ristretto come la mera riproduzione di copie, ma il suo campo d’indagine deve tener conto anche di un’accezione “attiva” del termine, poiché essa indica anche il processo che ci porta a entrare esteticamente in contatto con la realtà esteriore e a riprodurne creativamente i tratti nel nostro stesso corpo. Tale accezione è, infatti, anch’essa già presente nella celebre affermazione aristotelica, inserita in un’opera in cui il filosofo di Stagira tratta i soggetti e le cause del divenire naturale, cioè di quei processi il cui principio è nell’oggetto stesso che diviene: da un’accurata lettura contestuale si comprende che l’arte non si limita a prendere la natura a modello di riferimento per il suo produrre ma opera come la natura stessa, perché è a essa identica quanto al modo di procedere. È in questa complessità, che connette la nozione di mimesis non solo ai termini d’imitazione e verosimiglianza, ma anche a quelli di plasticità individuale e autopoiesi, che risiede l’attualità della questione.

Il numero di “Itinera” è quindi dedicato all’analisi di tali questioni, prendendo le mosse dalla tradizionale definizione di mimesis fino alle sue più recenti interpretazioni. Di seguito si riportano alcuni possibili ambiti di discussione:

  • La definizione greca di mimesis e le sue implicazioni nel dibattito filosofico;
  • La storia del concetto di mimesis e le sue possibili interpretazioni contemporanee;
  • La relazione tra arte e natura alla luce del concetto di mimesis;
  • La mimesis come produzione di apparenze: poesia, arti plastiche e immagini digitali;
  • Mimesis e plasticità;
  • L’attività mimetica come pratica antropologica e sociale.

 

Deadline for submission: 15 luglio, 2023

Expected Release: Dicembre 2023

Gli articoli possono essere scritti in inglese, italiano e francese.

Le proposte devono essere inviate a: 

Salvatore Tedesco (salavtore.tedesco@unipa.it)

Valeria Maggiore (valeria.maggiore@unipa.it)

 

 

Itinera, 25(2023)

The Performing Arts and Architecture

Edited by Paolo Furia, Serena Massimo, Rita Messori and Federico Vercellone

 

The increasing centrality conferred to the performative character of artistic practices, namely, their ability to involve spectators directly and pervasively (Dixon 2007), imbues the relationship between architecture, the performing arts, and the spectator’s experience with a relevance that is worthy of further investigation. Noteworthy, for example, is the role played by digital technologies – “liquid architectures” (Novak 1991) – which contribute to the creation of interactive performing spaces that intensify the participatory and immersive nature of performances. The sharing of the scenic space by spectators and performers is, in fact, essential for the co-production of a common energy which acts as a “transforming force” and thereby opens up the shared experience of discovering oneself and the other as a union of the body and the mind (Fischer-Lichte 2004).

The critique of the traditional conception of scenic space – which began in the second half of the twentieth century –and the establishment of a new relationship with the natural and urban environment are decisive for overcoming the distinction between performers and spectators. The identification of the scenic space as a “metonymic” space, i.e. a continuum of the real (Lehmann 1999), and the choice of urban spaces – streets, factories, dumps, prisons …– as places for artistic performances, make architecture a key element of the spectator’s experience. This identification supports the broader goal of replacing the idea of space as a mere background of social action with that of an implicit and circumstantial dimension of action (Casey 1997). As “guests of the same space” (Ibid.), spectators and performers are actors in the reactivation of artistic spaces, a reactivation that in turn results from the influence exerted on them by architectural spaces, which, by leaving their impression on performers and spectators in the form of “corpography” (Martínez Sánchez 2021), solicit the latter explore new ways of movement, expression, and interaction. Of course, particularly in the case of abandoned spaces, the performing arts also overcome the paralysis of social action that marks ruin (Simmel 1911) and that is somewhat perpetuated by “ruin porn aesthetics” (Siobhan 2018). Thus, the performance prefigures possible reinterpretations of space in the direction of a possible habitation, which remains the embodied destination of building (Heidegger 1951, Ricoeur 2016).

Performers’ and spectators’ bodily, affective, and dynamic experiences of architectonic spaces thus reactivate the affective and performative nature of architecture. By hosting bodily actions that, in a performative way, give continuity to the bodily process involved in the construction of these same architectonic spaces, architecture itself appears as a performing art (Gomez 2003). This call therefore aims to address the connections between architecture and the performing arts in its various aspects and from multiple points of view. Some of the topics that may be discussed are:

  • The relationship between performance and representation. Performance is usually considered to be an aesthetic practice involving both artists and spectators in the here and now. While representational approaches in aesthetics emphasize the role of sight over the other senses and lead to the hypostatization of an observational subject detached from its surroundings (Berleant 1991), a stronger focus on practices leads to the exaltation of the multisensorial, embodied, and immersive character of aesthetic experience. Both landscapes and urban environments are considered differently in representational and non-representational approaches. Moreover, in the last twenty years one can note a growing interest in non-representational approaches in both human geography (Thrift 2007) and architecture (Kozlowski 2020). It has been maintained that representation and practices should not be contraposed, as representations of space play a key role in planning and building and help to shape the meanings of practices themselves (Lorimer 2005). Papers should address issues regarding how the performative turn has transformed both the theory and the practice of architecture, and how representational and non-representational elements are intermingled in contemporary architectural practices.

 

  • The performing arts and public art. An emblematic example of the synergy between the performativity of architecture and the performativity of the performing arts is the impact of performances based on the direct involvement of the local area and its inhabitants. By offering a participatory collective experience, such performances connect the private to the public sphere – a form of “communing” (Chatterton 2010) – in order to transform the public space into a “common” space (Gurney 2015) whose activation and reconnection is carried out by the users themselves (Mitrache 2012). This explains the involvement of the performing arts in urban regeneration projects thanks to their ability, on the one hand, to convey and thereby enhance the performative action of architectural contexts and, on the other hand, to inspire architectural design itself (Sieni 2021). By acting itself as a “performer” (Rufford 2019), architecture offers – also in an experimental way (Jackson 2011) – spaces that simultaneously welcome a “community” of performative actions and artistic practices, thus strengthening the link between the latter and everyday life and enhancing their social function. Examples of this include the Pistoletto Foundation (Biella) and Centquatre#104 (Paris). Papers should explore how the performativity of architecture and of the performing arts interact, and how their mutual influence contributes to the social function of art.

 

  • The performing arts and the ecological question. Far from being a place where norms about how to build, live, and “act” space are merely prescribed, architecture is a performative practice that explores new artistic and behavioural practices within and beyond its boundaries (Rufford 2019). Site-specific architectural works and site-specific performances leverage this aspect, exhibiting the continuity and mutual influence between environment, architecture, and corporeality, which leads to the realisation of a “performative ecology” of the subject (Giannetti, Stewart 2005). Thus, a peculiar declination of the relationship between art and nature and between aesthetics and ethics – which are investigated by environmental aesthetics and in particular by ecological aesthetics (Toadvine 2010) – emerges. It follows an enhancement of the dialogue between the performing arts and the principles of ecological design (Fried, May 1992) and of “deep ecology” (Næss 1973, Perruchon 2021), in the direction of a "sustainable turn” in the performing arts and the overcoming of the dualism between subject and object, nature and culture. Crucial, in this regard, is the introduction of the notion of performativity within the debate on “material agency” (Latour 1993, 1999, 2993, Cole & Bennett 2010, Brown 1998, Gell 1998), which allows it to interpret the relationship between human and non-human entities as a relationship of mutual constitution (Dalmasso 2020). We will accept papers that address the issue of performativity in the interaction between corporeality, architecture, and environment, focusing on how the performing arts lead us to rethink the relationship between art and nature, aesthetics and ethics, through their questioning of the dualistic conception of the relationship between subject and object.

 

Deadline for submission: 15 aprile 2023

Expected Release: July 2023

Number of characters: between 25, 000 and 40, 000.

Submissions must be sent to:

Paolo Furia (paolo.furia@unito.it)

Serena Massimo (massimoserenak@gmail.com)

 

 

 

Itinera, 25(2023)

Arti performative e architettura

A cura di Paolo Furia, Serena Massimo, Rita Messori e Federico Vercellone

 

L’indagine del rapporto tra architettura, arti performative e fruizione delle performances artistiche è particolarmente rilevante alla luce della crescente centralità conferita alla performatività delle pratiche artistiche, segnatamente alla capacità di coinvolgere in modo diretto e pervasivo gli spettatori (Dixon 2007). Cruciale, a questo proposito, è il contributo delle tecnologie digitali – “architetture liquide” (Novak 1991) – alla creazione di spazi performativi interattivi che intensificano la natura partecipativa e immersiva delle performances. La condivisione dello spazio scenico da parte di spettatori e performers è infatti indispensabile per la coproduzione di un’energia che, agendo come “forza trasformatrice”, schiude all’esperienza condivisa di scoperta di sé e dell’altro come unione di corpo e mente (Fischer-Lichte 2004).

Decisiva nel superamento della distinzione tra performers e spettatori è la messa in discussione della concezione tradizionale di spazio scenico e l’instaurazione di un rapporto inedito con l’ambiente naturale e urbano a partire dalla seconda metà del Novecento. L’individuazione, nello spazio scenico, di uno spazio “metonimico” inteso come un continuum del reale (Lehmann 1999), e l’elezione degli spazi urbani – strade, fabbriche, discariche, prigioni…– come luoghi di performances artistiche, rendono l’architettura un elemento chiave del processo fruitivo. Si tratta di superare una concezione di spazio come mero sfondo dell’azione sociale a spazio come dimensione implicata e circostanziante dell’azione (Casey 1997). “Ospiti di uno stesso spazio” (Ibid.), spettatori e performers operano una riattivazione degli spazi artistici, riattivazione che risulta a sua volta dall’influenza esercitata su di essi dagli spazi architettonici, che conferiscono la loro impronta – in forma di “corpografia” (Martínez Sánchez 2021) – a performers e spettatori inducendoli a scoprire modalità inedite di movimento, di espressione e di interazione. Naturalmente, soprattutto nel caso degli spazi abbandonati, le arti performative aprono anche alla possibilità di superare quella paralisi dell’azione sociale che contraddistingue la rovina (Simmel 1911), in qualche modo perpetuata dall’estetica del ruin porn (Siobhan 2018). La performance prelude dunque a possibili reinterpretazioni dello spazio nella direzione di un abitare possibile, che rimane la destinazione incarnata del costruire (Heidegger 1951, Ricoeur 2016).

L’esperienza corporea, affettiva e dinamica degli spazi architettonici da parte di performers e spettatori riattiva dunque la natura affettiva e performativa dell’architettura (Pallasmaa 2005), che appare essa stessa come un’arte performativa (Gomez 2013) che trae la sua vitalità dall’ospitare azioni corporee che, in modo performativo, si pongono in continuità con i processi corporei coinvolti nella costruzione degli spazi architettonici. La call si pone l’obiettivo di indagare i rapport tra architettura e arti performative sotto diversi aspetti e punti di vista. Alcuni degli argomenti che possono essere toccata sono indicate di seguito:

  • La relazione tra performance e rappresentazione. La performance è normalmente considerata una pratica estetica che coinvolge artisti e spettatori nel qui ed ora dell’evento artistico. Mentre gli approcci rappresentazionali in estetica danno maggior risalto alla vista che agli altri sensi e conducono a ipostatizzare un soggetto osservatore separato dai suoi dintorni (Berleant 1991), un più forte accento sulle pratiche porta all’esaltazione del carattere multisensoriale, incarnato e immersivo dell’esperienza estetica. Tanto i paesaggi quanto gli ambienti urbani sono considerati diversamente negli approcci rappresentazionali e non-rappresentazionali. Inoltre, negli ultimi vent’anni è possibile riscontrare un interesse crescente per approcci non-rappresentazionali tanto in geografia umana (Thrift 2007) quanto in architettura (Kozlowski 2020). Si è comunque sostenuto che rappresentazioni e pratiche non dovrebbero essere contrapposte, dal momento che le rappresentazioni dello spazio giocano un ruolo centrale nella pianificazione e nella costruzione, contribuendo a dar forma ai significati delle pratiche medesime (Lorimer 2005). I papers proposti possono indagare questioni come: in che modo il performative turn abbia condizionato tanto la teoria quanto la pratica architettonica e come elementi rappresentazionali e non-rappresentazionali siano mescolati nelle pratiche architetturali contemporanee.

 

  • Arti performative e arte pubblica. Un esempio emblematico della sinergia tra performatività dell’architettura e performatività delle arti di scena è costituito dall’impatto suscitato da performances basate sul coinvolgimento diretto del territorio e dei suoi abitanti. Nell’offrire un’esperienza collettiva partecipata, tali performances fungono da anello di congiunzione tra il privato e il pubblico – una forma di “commoning” (Chatterton 2010) – capace di trasformare lo spazio pubblico in spazio “comune” (Gurney 2015) la cui attivazione e riconnessione viene operata da parte dei fruitori stessi (Mitrache 2012). Si spiega così il coinvolgimento delle arti performative in progetti di rigenerazione urbana grazie alla loro capacità da un lato di valorizzare, veicolandola, l’azione performativa dei contesti architettonici e, dall’altro lato, di ispirare la progettazione architettonica stessa (Sieni 2021). Agendo essa stessa come un “performer” (Rufford 2019), l’architettura offre – anche secondo modalità sperimentali (Jackson 2011) – spazi che accolgono, simultaneamente, azioni performative “comunitarie” e prassi artistiche, rinsaldando il legame tra queste ultime e la vita quotidiana ed esaltandone la funzione sociale. Esempi: Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella), Centquarre#104 (Paris).

 

  • Arti performative e questione ecologica: lungi dal porsi come luogo di prescrizione di pratiche normative circa il modo di costruire, vivere, e “agire” lo spazio, l’architettura è una pratica “performativa” di esplorazione di prassi artistiche e comportamentali inedite dentro e fuori i suoi confini (Rufford 2019). Opere architettoniche site-specific e performances site-specific fanno leva su tale aspetto, mettendo in scena la continuità e l’influenza reciproca tra ambiente, architettura e corporeità, realizzando una “ecologia performata” del soggetto (Giannetti, Stewart 2005). Si assiste così a una declinazione peculiare del rapporto tra arte e natura e tra estetica ed etica sondato dall’estetica ambientale e, in particolare, dall’estetica ecologica (Toadvine 2010). Tale nesso è altresì centrale nel dialogo tra le arti performative e i princìpi dell’ecological design (Fried, May 1992) e dell’“ecologia profonda” (Næss 1973, Perruchon 2021) nella direzione di una “svolta sostenibile” delle arti performative e del superamento del dualismo tra soggetto-oggetto, natura-cultura. Cruciale, a tale proposito, è l’introduzione della nozione di performatività all’interno il dibattito circa la “material agency” (Latour 1993, 1999, 2993, Cole & Bennett 2010, Brown 1998, Gell 1998), che consente di delineare il rapporto tra enti umani ed enti non umani come un rapporto di costituzione reciproca (Dalmasso 2020).

 

Deadline for submission: 15 aprile 2023

Expected Release: July 2023

Number of characters: between 25, 000 and 40, 000.

Submissions must be sent to:

Paolo Furia (paolo.furia@unito.it)

Serena Massimo (massimoserenak@gmail.com)

 

 

Itinera, 25 (2023)

How to Make an Earth? Aesthetics and New Cosmologies

Edited by Pierre Montebello and Gregorio Tenti

How to make-Earth, or how to make an Earth? How is an Earth different from a world? One can begin by noticing that, in Timothy Morton’s words, «world means significantly less than it used to». Since Kant denounced the possibility of conceiving a cosmic totality as a metaphysical reverie, “world” is no longer an objectifiable entity, but rather a form of access, a transcendental domain, an ontological and/or experiential bond. And nonetheless, “world” is still what can have an end. As it revels in the eventuality of the end of its world as the end of itself, mankind turns his gaze to other worlds, far from its native planet.

Whereas a world is the extension of a (personal or collective) ego, an Earth is what grounds and at the same time unsettle a worlding operation. Some 20th-century philosophies expressed this concept through the idea of a heterogeneous physis in which the categories of Being and Becoming collapse into each other (let us think of Whitehead’s Process and Reality, Merleau-Ponty’s The Visible and the Invisible, Simondon’s Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information). A neo-cosmological sensibility is taking hold in newer debates with different speculative outcomes, and the need of conceiving a cosmicity which does not overlap with the notion of world seems increasingly urgent.

In the field of aesthetics, the concept of Earth raises numerous and topical questions. The problems revolving around the idea of Earth-shaping, for instance, evoke a whole new view on making in general. How is it possible to transform what, by definition, transforms us? How can an Earth be shaped, or even built from scratch? And can an Earth be represented, or can it only be narrated? Can we still talk of Earth-narratives? The epoch in which symbolic and geologic doing seem irrevocably intertwined is the same epoch in which the human being has gained access, for the first time in its history, to a photographic depiction of its own planet. It is also a time that produces dramatically problematic narrations about itself and the future of the Earth we live with.

 

This issue of Itinera welcomes articles addressing the philosophical notion of Earth, with special regard to its aesthetic implications. Some of the topics that may be discussed are:

 

- Aesthetics and phenomenological cosmologies (Heidegger, Minkowski, Tymieniecka, Barbaras…)

- Aesthetics and living territories

- Cosmomorphic aesthetics and geoaesthetics

- Aesthetics and geophilosophy

- Cosmopoiesis and techno-ecological praxis (Sloterdijk, Haraway, Yuk Hui…)

- Cosmopoiesis in anthropology (Viveiros de Castro, Latour, Descola…)

- Artistic cosmological practices, representations of the Earth

- Post-world aesthetics

Deadline for submission: April 15th, 2023

Expected Release: July 2023

Papers can be written in English, Italian and French.

Submissions must be sent to: grgr.tenti@gmail.com
 
 

 

 

Itinera, 25 (2023)

Comment faire une Terre ? Esthétique et nouvelles cosmologies

Sous la direction de Pierre Montebello et Gregorio Tenti

 

Comment faire-Terre, ou comment faire une Terre ? En quoi une Terre est-elle différente d’un monde ? On peut commencer par noter qu’aujourd’hui, pour le dire avec Timothy Morton, « le terme monde signifie beaucoup moins qu’auparavant ». Dès que Kant a dénoncé la possibilité de concevoir une totalité cosmique en tant que rêve métaphysique, « monde » n’est plus une entité objectivable, mais plutôt une forme d’accès, un domaine transcendantal, un lien ontologique et/ou expérientiel. Et pourtant, « monde » est encore ce qui peut avoir une fin. Lorsqu’elle considère l’éventualité de la fin de son propre monde comme fin de soi, l’humanité tourne son regard vers autres mondes, loin de sa planète d’origine.

Alors qu’un monde coïncide avec l’extension d’un ego (personnel ou collectif), une Terre fonde et à la fois appelle une opération différente. Certaines philosophies du XXème siècle ont parlé d’une physis hétérogène dans laquelle les catégories d’être et devenir se mêlent (il suffit de penser a Procès et réalité de Whitehead, a Le Visible et l’invisible de Merleau-Ponty, l’Individuation à la lumière de notions de forme et d’information de Simondon). Une sensibilité néo-cosmologique émerge dans les débats les plus récents avec des résultats différents : l’exigence de penser une forme de cosmicité qui ne se superpose pas à la notion de monde représente une urgence croissante.

Dans le domaine esthétique, le concept de Terre soulève nombreuses et importantes questionnes. Les problèmes qui tournent autour de l’idée de « faire-Terre », par exemple, évoquent un nouveau paradigme du faire en général. Comment est-il possible de transformer ce que, par définition, nous transforme ? Comment peut la Terre être formée, ou même bâtie ex novo ? Et encore : peut la Terre peut-elle être représentée, ou peut-elle seulement être narrée ? Peut-on parler encore de narrations de la Terre ? L’époque dans laquelle l’agir symbolique et l’agir géologique semblent irrévocablement imbriqués est en fait l’époque dans laquelle l’être humain a accès, pour la première fois dans son histoire, à une représentation photographique de sa planète ; un temps qui produit des narrations dramatiquement problématiques par rapport à soi-même et au futur de la Terre avec laquelle nous vivons.

 

Pour ce numéro de Itinera on prendra en considération des articles autour de la notion philosophique de Terre, particulièrement dans ses implications esthétiques. Des sujets qui pourraient être adressés sont :

 

- Esthétique et cosmologies phénoménologiques (Heidegger, Minkowski, Tymieniecka, Barbaras...)

- Esthétique et territoires vivantes

- Esthétique cosmomorphe et geoesthétique

- Esthétique et geophilosophie

- Cosmopoièse et praxis techno-écologiques (Sloterdijk, Haraway, Yuk Hui...)

- Cosmopoièse dans l’anthropologie (Viveiros de Castro, Latour, Descola...)

- Pratiques artistiques cosmologiques, représentations de la Terre

- Esthétiques du post-monde

Deadline for submission: April 15th, 2023

Expected Release: July 2023

Les articles peuvent être rédigés en anglais, italien et français.
Les propositions seront à envoyer à : grgr.tenti@gmail.com  
 

 

Itinera, 25 (2023)

Come fare una Terra? Estetica e nuove cosmologie

A cura di Pierre Montebello e Gregorio Tenti

Come fare-Terra, o come fare una Terra? In che cosa una Terra è diversa da un mondo? Si può cominciare notando che oggi, come scrive Timothy Morton, «il termine mondo ha un significato molto minore che in passato». Da quando Kant denunciò come fantasia metafisica la possibilità di concepire una totalità cosmica, “mondo” non è più un’entità oggettivabile, ma piuttosto una forma di accesso, un dominio trascendentale, un legame ontologico e/o esperienziale. E nonostante questo, “mondo” è ancora ciò che può avere una fine. Mentre considera l’eventualità della fine del proprio mondo come fine di sé, l’umanità volge lo sguardo verso altri mondi lontani dal suo pianeta natio.

Laddove un mondo è l’estensione di un ego (personale o collettivo), una Terra è ciò che fonda e insieme inquieta un’operazione di mondeggiamento. Alcune filosofie del XX secolo hanno espresso questo concetto nell’idea di una physis eterogenea in cui le categorie di essere e divenire collassano l’una sull’altra (si pensi al Whitehead di Processo e realtà, al Merleau-Ponty de Il visibile e l’invisibile, al Simondon dell’Individuazione alla luce delle nozioni di forma e informazione). Una sensibilità neo-cosmologica sta prendendo piede nei dibattiti più recenti con esiti speculativi differenti, e l’esigenza di pensare una forma di cosmicità non sovrapposta alla nozione di mondo sembra affacciarsi con urgenza crescente.

In ambito estetico, il concetto di Terra solleva numerosi e importanti questioni. I problemi che girano attorno all’idea di “fare-Terra”, per esempio, evocano un nuovo paradigma del fare in generale. Come è possibile trasformare ciò che, per definizione, ci trasforma? Come può una Terra essere formata, o addirittura costruita ex novo? E ancora: può una Terra essere rappresentata, o può solo essere narrata? È ancora possibile parlare di narrazioni della Terra? L’epoca in cui l’agire simbolico e quello geologico sembrano irrevocabilmente intrecciati è difatti anche l’epoca in cui l’essere umano ha accesso, per la prima volta nella sua storia, a una rappresentazione fotografica del suo pianeta; un’epoca che produce narrazioni drammaticamente problematiche riguardo a sé stessa e al futuro della Terra con cui viviamo.

 

Questo numero di Itinera accoglie articoli dedicati alla nozione filosofica di Terra, con particolare attenzione per le sue implicazioni estetiche. Alcuni argomenti che possono essere trattati sono:

 

- Estetica e cosmologie fenomenologiche (Heidegger, Minkowski, Tymieniecka, Barbaras...)

- Estetica e territori viventi

- Estetica cosmomorfa e geoestetica

- Estetica e geofilosofia

- Cosmopoiesi e prassi tecno-ecologiche (Sloterdijk, Haraway, Yuk Hui...)

- Cosmopoiesi in antropologia (Viveiros de Castro, Latour, Descola...)

- Pratiche artistiche cosmologiche, rappresentazioni della Terra

- Estetiche del post-mondo

Deadline for submission: April 15th, 2023

Expected Release: July 2023

Gli articoli possono essere scritti in inglese, italiano e francese.
Le proposte devono essere inviate a: grgr.tenti@gmail.com

 

 

Itinera, 24 (2022)

The immortal Fascination of the Monster. Monstrous Births and human Phenomena between Normality and Deviation.

Edited by Marina Mascherini and Bruno Accarino 

Today wonders and prodigies are on the agenda and populate literature, cinema, art, philosophy. A new curiosity about deviance and normality has certainly contributed, and still contributes, to the fascination ascribable to the extraordinary and the marginal. Once the ideals of order and rationality entered deeply into crisis, wonder and the marvelous have assumed an unimaginable importance, especially in intellectual circles.

Why are all kinds of wonders and prodigies arousing so much interest?

The reason is that both contradict and destabilize an already variable, inconstant and heterogeneous nature. Monstrous births are one of the sensational events that cause wonder and astonishment and which we fully consider prodigies. In the literature on monsters and portents there have been some technical and conceptual difficulties in defining the scope of the subjects to be analysed. It is therefore important to clearly specify the type of phenomena that we intend to discuss: natural alterations and anomalies, deviations from the norm and abnormalities. We define the anomaly, that which is off the track, irregular, a derailment of development that generates nothing but change.

The human monster, the deformed, the monstrous births, the freaks; embryos whose development has been interrupted at a certain level and which Deleuze called bizarre and irregular, force us to deal with a second nature in the making.

It is by looking at the monster that man recognizes himself and acquires self-awareness, it is by observing this pole of attraction and repulsion at the same time that man reconstructs his own image.

The visual representation of the monstrosity, its aesthetic form, is that of the grotesque, the excessive, the caricature: exaggerated figures and shapes in motion that break the monotony by virtue of unexpected combinations. Between the coexistence of these contrasts and the reconstruction of a lost unity, the monster is manifestly such and the display of this monstrousness provokes and is present in all cultures. The monsters to be found in the Natural History Cabinets are not easily classifiable. They are as likely to be found in Curiosity cabinets as in circuses or in laboratories and anatomical tables.

These prodigies exhibit a high form of hybridization in which science and entertainment merge.

The analysis of the present perception of the monster is aimed at its ambiguity, presenting itself as a union of contrasting features that stand out on a horizon that leads back to otherness and difference.

Our fascination with freaks gives rises to confusion. These monsters whose fascinating and attractive characters inevitably intertwine with a contrasting shape, appear as horrible as they are attractive and bewitching.

Some examples of topics that may be addressed are:

  • The marvellous and the prodigious between the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Monstrous births from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment.
  • Cabinets of curiosities, monstrous collections and uncanny sentiment.
  • Studies on monsters between the 16th and 17th centuries in France and England.
  • Naturalists, zoologists and anatomists in Europe between the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The Freaks: between science and entertainment.
  • The anomaly and the deformed in art (painting, sculpture, architecture, theater, music)
  • The monster in literature and/or cinema.
  • The normal and the pathological: deviations from the norm.

The support of iconographic material combined with sources and captions is desirable, useful for grasping the object of analysis with a certain degree of clarity and concreteness.

Paper can be written in Italian, English or French 

Deadline for submission: 15th September 2022

Expected Release: December 2022

Editors:

Marina Mascherini (marina.mascherini@unifi.it)

Bruno Accarino (bruno.accarino@unifi.it)

 

 

 

 

 

CALL FOR PAPERS, ARCHIVE (only most recent ones):

Itinera, 23 (2022)

Aesthetics, Technique and Emotion

Edited by Alice Barale, Claudio Rozzoni

In June 2020, a Summer School was organized to discuss the topics of aesthetics, technique and emotion. The School was led by the University of Milan in collaboration with the European Seminar of Aesthetics at the Lake Como School of Advanced Studies (https://aeat.lakecomoschool.org/). This issue of Itinera aims to develop this discussion further.

What is aesthetics, and what value can this question have today? Indeed, many changes are occurring nowadays in our aesthetic perception of the world. Against this backdrop, the boundaries of arts are also becoming more and more difficult to determine – considering, for example, the new challenges posed by art created by (or through) artificial intelligence, or the new productive possibilities offered by virtual reality. Moreover, aesthetic/artistic value is increasingly attributed to many aspects of our everyday life, like the images that we exchange daily via mobile phones and websites. In this context, the issue also arises regarding the nature of emotions raised by these new types of art: are they of the same type as those of real life, or are they different in some way?

In the face of these innovations, what tools for thinking can be provided by aesthetics, a discipline that was born in the eighteenth century, in a necessarily very different cultural environment? Moreover, what role can categories such as beauty, ugliness, sublime, kitsch, or concepts such as genius, creation and taste play today? How is it possible to rethink our idea of the art and the artist, or the relationship between the artists and the techniques used in their works?

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Art and performativity in virtual environments
  • Art, creation and artificial intelligence
  • Contemporary Art, Morality and Politics
  • Relationships between philosophy and the different artforms
  • Different approaches to the study of emotions elicited by art, particularly with respect to interdisciplinary approaches (both continental and analytic philosophy, psychology, cognitive sciences and neurosciences).

Deadline for submission: April 15th, 2022

Expected Release: July 2022

Editors: Alice Barale, Claudio Rozzoni

 

 

 

 

 

Itinera, 23 (2022)

Colour. Photography, Image, Reality

Edited by Andrea Mecacci, Gabriele Gambaro, Marcello Sessa, Linda Bertelli

The use of colour in photographic and cinematographic image-making has been largely discussed over the 20th century. Philosophers, art theorists, and media researchers have contributed to broaden the debate on the specific tense between realty and fiction, which has always characterized images.

The all-pervading digital technologies, the ensuing proliferation of images, and the ever increasing prompt access to techniques of photographic manipulation, have originated new attitudes and practices linked to the creation of images, to their use and fruition. Such innovations, deeply innervated in the tissue of our lives (both individual and social), allow the discussion on the status of the image – and not just the photographic one – to unfold the contemporary dimension and renew the actual analysis of the relationship between image and reality. Image can be considered as a factual, objective evidence of the external world as well as a subjective re-representation of it.

Colour reflects this “fluid” nature of the image today: it points out and questions at the same time every kind of identity. It can be the opportunity to examine every pattern of recognition (that can be ours or of others, human or non-human). Thus, the reflection on images encounters the philosophical debate on colour, the latest seen as reality or as subjective illusion. Additionally, the investigation on colour itself can contribute to the discussion on the relationship between image and reality.

Can the choice of a specific colour define the emotional tone of an image? In which ways can chromatic changes redefine experience and perception? Can the complexity of digital information flows be reduced by aesthetic quality of colours? Finally, which is the role of the sensible capacity of colour in making sense of a reality ever more conveyed by images?

A group of scholars tried to respond to these questions at the webinar “Photography, Reality, Colour” (University of Milan, 19th November 2020). The issue n. 23 of Itinera – concerning “Colour. Photograhy, Image, Reality” – aims to follow the same path with further steps. Namely, with additional contributions that study the image/reality dialectic moving from colour.

We are asking you to address the issue with multidisciplinary research tools (e.g.: art history, art criticism, theory of art, theory of image, semiotics, visual and media studies, digital humanities), with consideration of the starting and fundamental aesthetic framework, represented here by the reflection on colour.

Among the suggested topics of research:

  • Colour as writing
  • Colour in the shift from analogic to digital image
  • The use of the sensible capacity of colour in Data Visualization
  • Colour and socio-cultural re-narrations

Articles written in English, French and Italian are welcomed. Papers can be long from 25.000 to 40.000 characters (final bibliography excluded), and must be written in accordance with Itinera’s editorial standards: https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/itinera/norme

Deadline for submissions: 15th February 2022

Expected release: July 2022

Submission must be sent via e-mail to the editors not later than 15th February 2022:

Andrea Mecacci (andrea.mecacci@unifi.it)

Gabriele Gambaro (gabrielegambaro@gmail.com)

Marcello Sessa (marcello.sessa@phd.unipi.it)

Linda Bertelli  (linda.bertelli@imtlucca.it)

 

Itinera, 23 (2022)

Colore. Fotografia, Immagine, Realtà

A cura di Andrea Mecacci, Gabriele Gambaro, Marcello Sessa, Linda Bertelli

L’utilizzo del colore nelle immagini fotografiche e cinematografiche è stato ampiamente dibattuto nel corso del Novecento. Gli spunti offerti da filosofi, teorici dell’arte e studiosi dei media hanno contribuito all’ampliamento della discussione sulla particolare tensione tra realtà e finzione che da sempre attraversa l’immagine.

La pervasività delle tecnologie digitali, la proliferazione di immagini che ne deriva e l’accesso sempre più immediato a tecniche di manipolazione fotografica, hanno sviluppato nuove sensibilità e pratiche associate alla fruizione, all’uso e alla creazione di immagini. A fronte di queste innovazioni innervate nei tessuti delle nostre vite individuali e sociali, il dibattito sullo statuto dell’immagine – fotografica e non solo – si apre a una dimensione contemporanea in grado di offrire una riflessione attuale sul rapporto tra realtà e immagine, intesa ora come testimonianza oggettiva del mondo esterno e ora come sua ri-rappresentazione soggettiva.

Il colore riflette questo carattere “fluido”, facendo emergere e mettendo in causa al tempo stesso ogni identità. Il colore è qui più che mai possibilità di forma e interrogazione sui criteri di ogni riconoscimento (nostro e altrui, umano e non-umano). La riflessione sull’immagine incontra così il dibattito filosofico sul colore, considerato ora come realtà e ora come illusione soggettiva. E a sua volta, l’indagine sul colore sembra poter contribuire alla discussione sul rapporto tra realtà e immagine.

La scelta di un determinato colore può determinare la tonalità emotiva di un’immagine? In che modo le modificazioni cromatiche possono ridefinire un’esperienza e la sua stessa percezione? La complessità dei flussi informativi digitali può essere ridotta attraverso le qualità estetiche dei colori? Infine, quale ruolo assume l’offerta sensibile del colore nel dare senso a una realtà sempre più veicolata da immagini?

A queste domande si è provato a rispondere in un webinar organizzato dall’Università degli Studi di Milano il 19 novembre 2020, significativamente intitolato “Fotografia, realtà, colore”. Il numero 23 di Itinera – dedicato a “Colore. Fotografia, immagine, realtà” – vorrebbe proseguire questo cammino e arricchirlo di ulteriori contributi, che analizzino il rapporto tra immagine e realtà con un approccio teorico che muova proprio dal dato cromatico.

Si invita dunque ad accostare il problema con strumenti di ricerca multidisciplinari (per esempio: storia, critica e teoria dell’arte, teoria dell’immagine, semiotica, cultura visuale, digital humanities) senza dimenticare la cornice estetologica di base, qui incarnata dalla riflessione sul colore, per interrogarsi sul ruolo del colore nelle trasformazioni che investono lo statuto dell’immagine e, più specificatamente, della relazione di quest’ultima con la realtà.

Tra i possibili argomenti da affrontare, solo a titolo di esempio:

  • Il colore come scrittura
  • Il colore nel passaggio da immagine analogica a digitale
  • L’utilizzo delle qualità estetiche dei colori nella Data Visualization
  • Il colore e ri-narrazioni socioculturali

Si accettano articoli in inglese, francese e italiano. Ciascun contributo dovrà essere compreso tra i 25.000 e i 40.000 caratteri (bibliografia finale esclusa), e dovrà rigorosamente attenersi alle norme redazionali di Itinera, consultabili sul sito della rivista al seguente link:

https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/itinera/norme

Deadline for submissions: 15 febbraio 2022

Expected release: luglio 2022

I saggi vanno inviati entro il 15 febbraio 2022 agli indirizzi e-mail dei curatori:

Andrea Mecacci (andrea.mecacci@unifi.it)

Gabriele Gambaro (gabrielegambaro@gmail.com)

Marcello Sessa (marcello.sessa@phd.unipi.it)

Linda Bertelli  (linda.bertelli@imtlucca.it)

Gli articoli selezionati saranno poi sottoposti a un processo di double blind peer review.

 

Itinera, 22 (2021)

Diderot: Space and Movement

Edited by Valentina Sperotto

 

Newton and modern science, especially Mathematics and Physics, have completely changed the concepts of space and movement. Unlike other thinkers of that century, among whom Immanuel Kant stands for his remarkable thought, the new concepts of space and movement don’t seem to have influenced Diderot’s thinking effectively.

In his analysis about ontological and representational elaboration of these concepts in Diderot’s works, François Pépin has pointed out that the philosopher didn’t reject the universal and abstract conception of space claimed by mechanism and Newtonianism. Space wasn’t a central notion in Diderot’s materialistic philosophy. In fact, in his works there is an elaboration of that concept which can be defined as aside. Space is not a neutral physic space but it is more similar to something dynamic, concrete and plural.

Jean Starobinski has shown that, in aesthetic field, XVIIIth century represents a moment of overthrowing the hierarchical organization of space, which was a typical and central perspective of Art in the previous centuries. Multiplication of points of view and variation of the movement of the scene are emblematic of this period, also on a symbolic level. In Diderot’s considerations upon Arts there are elements close to that conception of space and movement.

Moreover, in his Salons Diderot seems to consider paintings as dynamic and crossing spaces experienced through description and imagination. Many questions arise connected to this statement: in what way the rhetoric figure of ekphrasis used by Diderot contributes to this effect? How does the philosopher conceive space in paintings? And in sculpture? What is the relation between space and movement in visual Arts? Just to list a few examples.

The reflection about space and movement does not only concern visual Arts, it comes to light even in the pages dedicated to dramatic Art and in literary works.

It is known that Diderot’s reflection about theatre represents a fundamental contribution for the innovation of the scene and of the genres, particularly with the introduction of the new bourgeois’ drama. There are some interesting philosophical elements about space and movement’s conception even in this field. For example, the conception of the theatrical scene as a succession of pictures or the concept of movement as gesture and pantomime. It can be considered also the decisive debate of that time about the role of theatre in society and the different idea of the theatrical space conceived by Diderot and Rousseau.

Finally, space is a crucial element also in novels and tales where it is integral part of the interactions between characters. Especially in Jacques le fataliste et son maître, the characters are constantly moving and this aspect can be seen through a philosophical point of view. How has Diderot envisaged the places that the protagonist passes through or stays in? What is the relation between characters and places? How space and movement are represented in others novels and tales? The answers to these questions bring out new aspects that have not been touched by literary critics yet.

Topics include but are not limited to:

 

- The concept of space in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music);

- The concept of movement in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music).

- The relation between space and movement in Diderot’s works of aesthetics (painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, literature, music).

- The comparison between Diderot’s concepts of space and movement in aesthetics and other contemporary authors.

 

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2021

Expected Release: December 2021

Editor: Valentina Sperotto (sperottovalentina@gmail.com)

Itinera, 21 (2021)

Is the sublime now?

The sublime is a concept that has never ceased to attract and to fascinate scholars. In its classical formulation, it dates back to the eighteenth century, but some of the issues that characterize its origin – such as the border between representation and the unrepresentable, or between form and formless, pleasure and terror – return strongly in contemporary thinking. In this regard, opinions are divided. Is the sublime an already outdated notion that can only be discussed from a historical point of view? Or does it also contain important elements for the current philosophical debate? Moreover, have the transformations that the sublime has undergone in the contemporary world substantially distorted it, or have they instead brought to light some new possible implications of this concept? This issue of "Itinera" is dedicated to these and other similar questions, starting from the traditional definitions of the sublime between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, until its most recent interpretations. Some examples of topics that may be addressed are:

  • The traditional definitions of the sublime and their implications for the current philosophical
    debate
  • The history of the reception (or less favourable fortunes) of the sublime
  • The sublime in the arts, from the eighteenth century to today
  • The sublime and the relationship between man and nature
  • The possible contemporary interpretations of the sublime
  • The sublime and color
  • The sublime and neuroscience
  • The sublime and wonder: psychological and pedagogical approach
  • The sublime and awe: complex experiences and transformation in psychology

Papers can be written in Italian, English, Spanish or French

Deadline for submission: 30th April 2021

Expected Release: July 2021

Editors:
Alice Barale (alice.barale@unifi.it)
Alice Chirico (alice.chirico@unicatt.it)
Claudio Rozzoni (claudio.rozzoni@gmail.com)