Aarhus University Seal

Aesthetic Seminar. Visibilities and Invisibilities in the Realm of the Umwelt: Contested Images and the Polis

Caroline A. Jones. Professor of Art History at the Department of Theory, History and Criticism, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She studies modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception

Info about event


Thursday 14 April 2016,  at 14:15 - 17:00

Just as every statement requires a silence to render it audible, so regimes of the visible require invisibilities: blanks and voids that shadow and adumbrate what we see and “know.” This lecture examines how the visibility operates through scientific and popular environmental imagery to produce specific kinds of knowledge. In particular, I examine biological notions of the Umwelt – potentially incommensurate worlds inhabited by coexistent species, spatially overlapping but epistemically unique. This relates to the special challenge presented to humans by planetary climate change. How can humans make visible global systemic effects, which transcend normal registers of visual culture in their temporal and spatial scales? Which visibilities are most effective in provoking individual and cumulative action? Can we use philosophical tools to shift the balance between visibilities and invisibilities? Are there innovative means of visualization that might produce new collective human sensitivities for the Anthropocene?

The lecture is open to the public.

Speaker: Caroline A. Jones