The “Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art” group brings together the researchers who have been working until recently in the “Art, Criticism and Aesthetic Experience” group and intends not only to consolidate the work that has been developed there but also to expand it in new directions that have been gradually coming out of that work. For over a decade, most of the members of this group have been working on issues of aesthetics, from its conceptual and philosophical dimension, but also exploring the cultural, social and political importance of aesthetic experience in the context of art, of different artistic practices (photography, cinema, architecture, dance, music and sound arts) and of everyday life, particularly in the context of the city, object and setting of the group’s main research project OBRA – Fragmentation and Reconfiguration: the experience of the city between art and philosophy (PTDC/FER-FIL/32042/2017), coordinated by Maria Filomena Molder (PI) and Nélio Conceição (co-PI). At least since 2015, the research of the group, as a collective, and of each of its members, in their individual research projects, has also been concerned with the problematic of values, following the main line of research of the NOVA Institute of Philosophy, and in particular the issue of aesthetic values, as demonstrated by some seminars, workshops and conferences, which resulted in at least one special issue (no. 14, 2017) of the journal Itinera – Rivista di filosofia e teoria delle arti, dedicated to values and historical tensions in the experience of the city, and to a book published in Mimesis International, with the title Aesthetics and Values (Conceição & Rozzoni, eds, 2021).
Furthermore, in recent years, the group has been collaborating with teachers and researchers from other Portuguese and foreign institutions. Taking advantage of the academic environment and activities (such as seminars, conferences and publications), the group simultaneously developed several dissemination activities with non-academic institutions (such as the Lisbon Municipal Archive [Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa] and RTP, Portugal’s public service of broadcasting, through its radio channel Antena 2), which consolidated its growing communication with society in general. The regular participation of its members in cultural and artistic productions has also contributed to a fertile dialogue with artistic practices, often reinforced by the precious inner knowledge arising from the creative process.
It is with this acquis and within this context that the group will continue to develop its work, electing the following lines of investigation as guides:
- The study of the core problems and concepts of philosophical Aesthetics and, in particular, aesthetic values, from the perspective of their historical-philosophical transformation and the challenges of contemporaneity, both in the social, cultural and political context of new forms of experience and sensibility, and in the context of art and different artistic practices;
- A reflection on the different ways of experiencing, creating, representing and expressing the city, in its various dimensions of the inhabitable space, public space, space of sensibility and imagination, having as a philosophical and artistic horizon the problems, concepts and ideas of fundamental thinkers on the modern and contemporary city (from Simmel to Rancière, as well as Benjamin, Kracauer, Lefebvre, de Certeau, among others) and the creative work of the various artists who drew inspiration from the city or who decided to intervene in the city in order to transform it and provoke action and thought.
- The philosophical study of the issues, problems and modes of artistic creation, participation and reception of art, in addition to the several artistic practices (photography, film, architecture, dance, music and sound arts), considering the discussion of the values of art in the contemporary era and the way in which art itself reflects, problematizes and stimulates or calls into question the social, political, economic, cultural or environmental values of contemporaneity.