Aesthetics as Void - Today Art Talk

2014-12-06 17:00 - 18:30

Aesthetics as Void - Today Art Talk

When: Dec 6 2014 Sat 17:00-18:30
Where: Today Art Museum - 2nd Floor Exhibition Hall of Building 2

Aesthetics as Void - Today Art Talk


This presentation will explore the idea that the historical periods typically understood as "modernity" and "postmodernity" are in fact best thought of as the byproduct of the age of aesthetics.  In this regard, this presentation will contribute to the conversation centered around the exhibition "Modernity: Transmission and Alternation-Three Asian Cases" a report on the notion of modernity as it exists within European and North American debates regarding art.

Building upon the recent investigations of the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, this presentation will seek to clarify the meaning of aesthetics, understanding aesthetics, first and foremost, as a historically constituted way of identifying and relating to art.  It will argue that the idea of the aesthetic functions as a type generative void, one that has been essential for the creation of art within the Western world for the past two hundred or so years.  Throughout this presentation, we will ask whether or not aesthetics might not provide us with a more inclusive framework with which to analyze and appreciate cultural productions that have their starting point outside of the standard Western narratives regarding modernity as the conquest and purification of a given medium.


Joseph J. Tanke is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Philosophy the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He has published and lectured extensively on issues in aesthetics, art theory, Continental philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Dr. Tanke is the author of Foucault's Philosophy of Art: A Genealogy of Modernity (Continuum, 2009), and Jacques Rancière: An Introduction-Philosophy, Politics, Aesthetics (Continuum, 2011).  Dr. Tanke has recently completed (with Colin McQuillan) a major, new anthology of aesthetic theory, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics (Bloomsbury, 2012), a textbook for courses on the philosophy of art.

Dr. Tanke is the editor of the series for Global Aesthetic Research, a new book series published by Rowman International dedicated to publishing the latest research in the field of aesthetics.  Additionally, Dr. Tanke researches established and emerging artists in China, producing essays for exhibitions held at major Chinese art institutions.  Before joining the Cranbrook Academy of Art in the fall of 2014 as the Critical Studies Fellow, Dr. Tanke will be teaching a summer seminar on comparative aesthetics at Renmin University in Beijing.  Dr. Tanke is currently working on a book entitled Castles In the Sky: Aesthetics as a Philosophical Discourse.  Castles In the Sky offers an original account of the major figures in the field of aesthetics for those interested in understanding theoretical issues in contemporary art and design.


Tel: 010-58760600
Add: Pingod community, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing


*Information provided by Today Art Museum

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