The group “Art, Critique and Aesthetic Experience” gathers together researchers working on aesthetic issues, exploring their cultural significance and influence in our individual and collective existence. Moreover, the philosophical investigation of aesthetic experience aims at thoroughly understanding the conditions governing our sensorial apprehension of reality, as well as the specific knowledge unfolded in artistic processes and aesthetic judgment. The group was created in 2015 in the context of the former AELab, under the name Image and Concept, and was coordinated by Maria Filomena Molder until 2017. The group’s members have taken an active part in IFILNOVA’s longstanding engagement with the research on aesthetics (see, for instance, the project Morphology: Questions on Method and Language and the running FCT funded project Fragmentation and Reconfiguration: experiencing the city between art and philosophy). This has created the background for the research group’s current thematic lines:
• the study of aesthetic values from the perspective of their historical-philosophical transformation and its relation to artistic practices and critique;
• the investigation of the city’s aesthetic experience in the intersection between philosophy and art.
Over the last three years, the research group has collaborated with professors and researchers from numerous Portuguese and international institutions. While making full use of the academic environment and activities (such as seminars, conferences, and publications), the group is also developing a dissemination project with several ongoing and planned activities with non-academic institutions (such as the Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, Radio Antena 2 and Art Schools), which shows its growing involvement with society at large. The regular participation of its members in cultural and artistic productions contributes to a fertile dialogue with the artistic practices, often reinforced with the precious inside knowledge stemming from the creative process.