Conference: Aesthetics, Contemporaneity, Art

Recent theoretical developments claim that the general condition of our everyday life and artistic production today is one of contemporaneity, where the urgent question of being with time, or being genuinely 'contemporary', is a matter of understanding a coexistence of different temporalities and various 'ways of being in relation to time'. Thus, in recent decades we have seen a worldwide shift from modernity and postmodernity to contemporaneity, perhaps most evident in the fact that "contemporary art" has substituted "modern art" as descriptor of the art of our historical present. Advances in communication technologies - in short, the internet - in particular have produced an extreme spatial and temporal compression, which alters the ways in which we experience places, events, and time as everything happens as if contemporaneously.


With this conference we want to explore the aesthetics of our contemporary time, this condition of contemporaneity, and its relations to art and aesthetics more generally. We propose to analyze and discuss how contemporaneity affects our experience of time, aesthetic sensibility, the everyday, and our conception of contemporary art.

Keynote speakers:

Thierry de Duve (New York)

Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann (Uppsala)

David Joselit (CUNY)

Dan Karlholm (Södertörn)

Topics of interest might include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary art in general
  • Aesthetics and the everyday in contemporary society
  • Specific art practices
  • Image-circulation
  • Aesthetics between modernity and/or postmodernity and contemporaneity
  • The very concept of contemporaneity
  • World art, world literature, world music
  • Post-history
  • Globalization/mondialisation
  • Cosmopolitanism and sensus communis
  • The role(s) of media/technology in the production of contemporaneity