Our next Reading Group will be lead by Reader Dr Robert Halsall , Reader and the Research Coordinator in Communication for the department of Communication, Marketing and Media. Robert’s areas of research and teaching fall within the fields of cultural and critical theory, intercultural communication, semiotics, postmodern culture, and the aesthetics of media.
Gernot Böhme: Atmosphere as the Fundamental Concept of a New Aesthetics
This is an English translation of the first Chapter of Gernot Böhme’s 1995 book Atmosphäre (still to be translated in its entirety into English). In the book he argues for a new concept of aesthetics which overcomes the ‘subject-object dichotomy’ which pervades much of aesthetic theory. Böhme seeks to overcome this dichotomy by turning to phenomenology: which is concerned with how things appear to us. In the natural world and to some extent in the artificial world things appear to us in the context of ‘atmospheres’: which are, in phenomenological terms, neither ‘objective’ nor ‘subjective’, but both. Understood in these terms artists and designers are ‘creators of atmospheres’, and thus their knowledge transcends the subject-object dichotomy.
Böhme was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the Technical University of Darmstadt.
Some publications available in English:
Contribution to the Critique of the Aesthetic Economy: Thesis Eleven May 2003 vol. 73 no. 1 71-82.
An Aesthetic Theory of Nature: an Interim Report: Thesis Eleven May 1992 vol. 32 no. 1 90-102.