Sensing Collectives – Aesthetic and Political Practices Intertwined

It goes without saying today that aesthetics and politics interact and intermingle, even give rise to one another, but specifically how?  By turning away from thinking about either one in the terms that they are generally conceived of, institutionally or communicatively, our workshop takes a practice turn to have a look at what is actually done, and how, and to what effect – both in art, design and everyday aesthetics and in politics, policy-making and governance.

The workshop will investigate aesthetic practices as the doing (and undoing) of sensorial perceptions and political practices as the doing (and undoing) of collective subjectivities and agencies. Simply put, aesthetic practices shape or disrupt collective ways of sensing; political practices mobilize or contest collective identities and interests of groups of people.

The variety of specific forms of entanglement between aesthetic and political practices are this workshop’s focus: the interplay and tensions that constitute collective orders and patterns of governance as well as those that are disruptive. From the choreography of social movements to the practice of whistleblowing as a means of shaking political foundations. From the way preparing food and eating together can bring people together to how the taste of bitterness can offer a form of rebellion (to mention but a few…).

A guiding question for this endeavor: How do practices of shaping sensorial perceptions and practices of shaping collective agencies intertwine in specific situations, to what effect and for which kinds of collective orders?