Aesthetics in the Wild: Art and Design Practices and Pedagogies After the Situated Turn
Author: Michel van Dartel
Humans are inseparable from the world around them. Yet remarkably, time and again, human-oriented research and development treats them as isolated from their surroundings. This is particularly true in the domains of art and design, where convention has it that work is produced in studios and experienced in the sterile environs of art and design venues.
How can we expect art and design to forge meaningful connections to the world when they consistently treat artists, designers, audiences and users as if they were separate from it?
In this essay, Michel van Dartel shows that the stakes involved in this isolation are higher than they may appear at first glance. As we live in cities developed around data and act within the inscrutable structure of the present-day economy, there exists an unprecedentedly urgent need for artists and designers to help us understand how we relate to our surroundings.
Connecting ideas from fields ranging from cognitive science to avant-garde art and design history, Van Dartel argues that we need to consider aesthetics “in the wild” if we are to respond to this exigency.
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A shortened version of this essay was delivered as a lecture on the occasion of the inauguration of Professor Michel van Dartel on 18 November 2016 at Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands.
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