The Seminar of Aesthetics

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Hand Photogram, 1925

The Seminar of Aesthetics is an interdisciplinary forum for new research at the intersection of aesthetic theory, philosophy and art.

Since 1988 the seminar has presented a long series of guest lecturers from all over the world, among them Paul Ricoeur, Jacques Derrida, Norman Bryson, Jean Starobinski, Julia Kristeva, Gayatri Spivak, Arthur Danto, Thierry de Duve, Sarat Maharaj, Michael Fried, John Rajchman, Boris Groys, Peter Kivy, Andrew Benjamin, Gianni Vattimo, Martin Seel, Hélène Cixous, Gernot Böhme, Gottfried Boehm, Mieke Bal, Peter Brooks, Eric Alliez, Wolfgang Ernst, WJT Mitchell, Hal Foster, Mark B. Hansen, Lorraine Daston and Mark Wigley.

The Seminar organizes a series of open public lectures every semester and is a collaboration between IFIKK, ILOS, IMV and IMK. Chairs: Ina Blom, Andreas Nilsen Ervik, Erling Guldbrandsen, Christian Refsum, Liv Hausken,  Eivind Røssaak, Knut Stene-Johansen and Ingvild Torsen.

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Time and place: Sep. 13, 2019 6:00 PM8:00 PM, Litteraturhuset, Amalie Skram-salen

In this lecture, Whitney Davis (Berkeley) will discuss the evolutionary modernity of picture-making in the human species.

Time and place: May 10, 2019 4:00 PM6:00 PM, Aud 4, Eilert Sundts Hus

In this lecture, Luciana Parisi (Goldsmiths University) will present a critique of technology that, originating from within computational media, makes it possible to discover forms of machine thinking that cannot simply be conflated with machine functions.  

Time and place: May 3, 2019 10:00 AM6:00 PM, Henie Onstad Art Center

Space Colonization in the Age of the Anthropocene  is a one-day symposium organized in connection with the exhibition The Moon. From Inner Worlds to Outer Space at the Henie Onstad Art Center (15.02-19.05.2019). 50 years after the first manned moon landing, the exhibition brings together art, cinema, music, architecture, cultural history, design and natural history. The symposium addresses the advent of a new space age from a variety of perspectives.  Speakers: Peter Adey, Lorenz Engell, Jill Stuart, Cath le Couteur and Stefano Catucci

Time and place: Apr. 11, 2019 2:00 PM4:00 PM, Aud. 4, Eilert Sundts Hus

In this lecture, Daniel Heller-Roazen (Princeton University) discusses questions raised by the image of missing persons in literature ranging from the classical and medieval to the modern age.

Time and place: Oct. 31, 2018 3:15 PM5:00 PM, Aud. 4, Eilert Sundts Hus

In this lecture, Spyros Papapetros (Princeton) will discuss how a ritual practice such as magic can inform the history as well as present-day techniques of art and architecture.

Time and place: Sep. 17, 2018 3:00 PM4:00 PM, Salen, ZEB-bygget

Composers and musicians George Lewis and Rolf-Erik Nystrøm present the results from the two-day Ultima Festical workshop exploring how contemporary music can promote aesthetic diversity.

Time and place: Aug. 31, 2018 6:00 PM8:00 PM, Litteraturhuset, Amalie Skram-salen

In this lecture, McKenzie Wark (New School of Social Research, New York), revisits economist and philosopher Alexander Bogdanov's early 20th century theories on climate change in order to rethink labor with nature in the age of the anthropocene. The Friday lecture is followed by a Saturday seminar on the art and politics of The Situationist Times.

Time and place: Aug. 24, 2018 3:15 PM5:00 PM, Aud. 4, Eilert Sundts Hus, Blindern

In this lecture, Patrick Jagoda (University of Chicago) will discuss "gamification" - the impact of game-mechanics on a variety of social and cultural practices - by focusing on the experimental nature of videogames.

Time and place: May 31, 2018 2:15 PM5:00 PM, Aud 4 Eilert Sundts Hus, Blindern

The symposium will explore differing conceptions of love in the Western cultural context. Speakers are Simon May (Kings College, London) as well as Unn Falkeid and Christian Refsum (University of Oslo)

Time and place: Apr. 26, 2018 3:00 PM5:30 PM, Aud 3 Eilert Sundts Hus

In this guest lecture, philosopher and sociologist Maurizio Lazzarato will discuss the major topics of his ongoing intellectual project: capital and debt, time and temporality, and the ways in which these forces structure the social world.

Introduced and organized by Bruce Barnhart, ILOS.

The lecture will be held in French with parallel English translation by Francie Crebs. Q&A to follow!

Time and place: Feb. 2, 2018 3:00 PM5:00 PM, Aud 5, Eilert Sundt's Hus

In this lecture, Aron Vinegar, professor at the Dept. of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, will explore the question of "holding forth" that emerged in Roland Barthes' late lecture courses at the Collège de France (1977-80)

Time and place: Jan. 19, 2018 3:15 PM5:00 PM, Auditorium 2, Eilert Sundts hus

In this lecture, Michael Marder, Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, will discuss the art and aesthetics of plant life. The lecture is open for everyone, and will be followed by an informal reception.

Time and place: Dec. 7, 2017 2:15 PM4:00 PM, Seminarrom 152, Georg Morgenstjernes Hus

In this lecture, Kristin Gjesdal, Associate Professor at Temple University and Professor II at IFIKK, will discuss the changing reception of Shakespeare's work in 18th and 19th Century philosophy. The lecture is open for everyone, and will be followed by an informal reception.

Time and place: Sep. 7, 2017 6:00 PM8:00 PM, Kunstnernes Hus

For the 2017 FORART lecture, Darby English (University of Chicago) will present topics related to 1971: A Year in the Life of Color (2016). In this highly original book, English discusses how black American artists in the early 70's experimented with modernist art and color theory in order to articulate cultural interaction and instability and gain freedom from overt racial representation.

Time and place: Sep. 6, 2017 7:00 PM10:00 PM, Cinemateket, Oslo

In this lecture, Robert Pippin (University of Chicago) will discuss the philosophical implications of unknowingness in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), and its relevance for understanding late modern societies. The lecture is followed by a screening of Vertigo.

Time and place: Sep. 6, 2017 3:15 PM5:00 PM, Aud 2, Sophus Bugges Hus, Blindern

In this lecture, author and cultural historian Marina Warner (Birkbeck College) will discuss the medieval concept of sanctuary and how words helped define the character of a place and, with it, the rights of fugitives and other dislocated individuals.

Time and place: Apr. 28, 2017 2:30 PM5:30 PM, Cinemateket, Oslo

Tom Gunning (University of Chicago) and filmmaker Paul Kaiser will discuss moving images that shift  from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality. The program includes the premiere of the Norwegian 3D film UIysses in the Subway (2016)

Time and place: Apr. 26, 2017 2:15 PM4:00 PM, Aud. 6 Eilert Sundt's Hus

In this double lecture session, Professor Grace Cheng (School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Professor Louis Lo (Department of English, National Taipei University of Technology) will discuss the construction of Chinese art history and image/media theory.

Time and place: Mar. 3, 2017 10:00 AM5:00 PM, Aud. 3 Helga Engs Hus

The one-day symposium «Technologies of Space: Verticality, Volume, Infrastructure» interrogates recent calls across spatial disciplines to expand space and its mapping from horizontal, plane surface to vertical dimensionality and volume. Lectures by Mark Dorrian, Stuart Elden and Lisa Parks.

Time and place: Jan. 28, 2017 11:00 AM5:00 PM, Kunsthall Oslo

The symposium inaugurates a research, exhibition, digitization and publication project devoted to The Situationist Times (1962-1967), a cultural magazine which experimented with topological approaches to contemporary and historical image cultures. Lectures by Tiziana Terranova, Eric de Bruyn, Mattew Fuller and Jacqueline de Jong, editor of the Situationist Times.

Time and place: Nov. 25, 2016 2:15 PM4:00 PM, Aud. 3 Eilert Sundts Hus

Trond Lundemo (Stockholm University) will discuss early film theory as archive theory; or - more precisely - the uses and abuses of film theory for thinking the digital.

Time and place: Oct. 14, 2016 10:00 AMOct. 15, 2016 3:30 PM, University of Oslo, Blindern

A two-day open public workshop on the philosophy of sculpture in its past and present forms. With Sherri Irvin, Andrei Pop, Jason Gaiger, Julia Peters, Fred Rush, Jonathan Gilmore, Robert Hopkins, Ingvild Torsen and Kristin Gjesdal.

Time and place: Oct. 13, 2016 1:00 PM4:00 PM, Aud 6, Eilert Sundts Hus, Blindern

Symposium in cooperation with the research group Traveling Texts, University of Oslo

Time and place: Sep. 9, 2016 6:00 PM8:00 PM, Litteraturhuset, Amalie Skram-salen

In this year's FORART lecture, Sianne Ngai (Stanford University) will present Theory of the Gimmick - her new book on the gimmicky artwork as a capitalist aesthetic category.

Time and place: June 1, 2016 3:15 PM5:00 PM, Aud. 5, Eilert Sundts Hus, Blindern

In this lecture, Tarek El-Ariss (University of Austin, Texas), will examine the question of leaking as a political practice (think WikiLeaks) as well as a fictional order involving storytelling and anticipation.