From the President

The theme of the 18th World Congress of Aesthetic is « Aesthetics in Action. » What might « Aesthetics in action » mean? It is not a call to abandon research and teaching and turn to the streets. Rather it is to take stock of what we can do in making sure to investigate opportunities to connect aesthetics to other aspects of understanding and action in the world. In a changing world, it is essential that aesthetics take time to assess its place, not only in reference to the arts and philosophy, but also in reference to other areas of research and life. Nearly every aspect of education in the humanities and sciences as well as the professions, can benefit from investigating the aesthetic aspects of the particular domain.

Moving beyond the boundaries of aesthetic theory as it has been narrowly focused among analytic philosophers, continental philosophers, and the neo-Marxist critique of societal commodification will result in a plurality of options for the future of aesthetics. Among the interests of aestheticians today is the aesthetics of everyday life. Investigation of the various problems of the built and the natural environments is but one area for investigation.

One small step toward increasing the effectiveness of aestheticians in addressing such matters is to strengthen the infrastructure of the national and international organizations such as IAA, the European Aesthetics Association, and other international associations with an interest in aesthetics. IAA exists to foster communications among the various national societies across the world. At this time, IAA’s leadership in the Executive Committee is engaged in promoting liaisons among other international organizations in a position to advance aesthetics. Newly formed liaisons are being established with the European Society for Aesthetics and the International Association of Philosophical Societies FISP. (See below) as a part of this effort.

The various national societies, for example, in China, Great Britain, the USA, Slovenia, Poland, and elsewhere across the world foster the advancement of aesthetics through on-going o scholarly conferences and symposia focused on particular topics in aesthetics. These efforts will continue to raise the profile of aesthetics both in academic studies and in the greater world. The projects of the conferences point to various ways to address the problems of aesthetics, often outside the traditional questions. Thanks to all who are contributing to the advancement of aesthetics in their personal work and through institutional resources.

Here are some current IAA Events of Note:

I. « Aesthetics in Action » 19th International Congress of Aesthetics, July 21-27, 2013. Hosted by the Polish Society of Aesthetics. All IAA Members and guests are encouraged to participate in the IAA Congress in Krakow Poland. Thanks to Krystyna Wilkoszewska Congress Chair and the Organizing Committees for their efforts in planning the Congress. (See the Congress Announcement on the IAA Website for Details).

II. Support for younger Emerging Aestheticians: At the June 2012 meeting in Bologna, the IAA Executive Committee approved offering 10 grants of $500 each to graduate students or younger scholars toward the cost of attending the IAA Congress in Krakow. These competitive awards were based on submission and approval of a paper for the Congress Program. Entries closed April 1.

III. Membership in The International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP). IAA has been accepted to membership in FISP. IAA members will be participating in the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy in Athens August 2-8, 2013. The Theme is “Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life.” Members of IAA are encouraged to attend the world Congress of Philosophy in Athens.

IV. Membership of The European Society for Aesthetics: The IAA officers and Executive Committee members welcome the European Society for Aesthetics as a member of IAA. Professor Zsolit Batori will represent the European Society on the IAA Executive Committee. Welcome!

V. Yearbooks: Renée Van de Vail is editing the 2011 IAA International Yearbook, “Gimme Shelter: Global Perspectives on Aesthetics”; Peng Feng is editing the 2012 Yearbook, “Aesthetics and Contemporary Art,”; and Jale Erzen is editing the IAA International Yearbook of Aesthetics for 2013, “Nature/City”.

VI. Elections: Please remember to vote in the Election of IAA Officers for the period 2013 to 2016. The ballot information is being sent to all current members. Current members include only those who paid the registration fee for the Beijing Congress in 2010, or who have since paid individual memberships of $30US for the three year membership period that ends with the upcoming Congress in Krakow. Note all Executive Committee Members are expected to register as individual members of IAA and pay the $30US membership. Thanks to Secretary General Gao Jianping and the Elections Nominating Committee: Aless Erjavec, Chair, Eva Man, and Mary Wiseman for their service in organizing the 2013 Election Process.

VII. Communications: Thanks to the excellent support of Web Master Jos de Mul, whose efforts have resulted in a first rate Website to serve the members of IAA, Alan Shear, Editor of the IAA Newsletter, and the Editors of the annual Yearbooks, we now have a viable network of communications to facilitate sharing information on current activities and on-going scholarly efforts of IAA members.

Curtis L. Carter, President of IAA

From the Secretary General

The Krakow Congress is approaching quickly, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all. Curtis Carter, our president, provides us with an interpretation of “Aesthetics in Action.” This does not mean that aesthetics will turn to the streets, but should connect to other aspects of understanding and action in the world. Aesthetics must do something for the contemporary society, rather than only to be something of teaching and analyzing in universities. Today a term is prevalent among the Chinese aestheticians, which is jiedi or “to connect with the ground.” I still remember that, 15 years ago, when we meet in Ljubljana, many of us began to say that, aestheticians should not be enclosed in a narrow academic field, but should develop relationship with art, society, and culture. This means going out of the traditional boundaries of aesthetics and art. We are now still on the same track, but the image of the new aesthetics becomes clearer. Let us wish our Krakow Congress a successful investigation of this issue, and make great efforts to achieve this goal. This is our centennial. Let’s celebrate it together.

Gao Jianping, Secretary General of IAA

Plenary presentations:

Presidential Lecture (Curtis L. Carter, President of the IAA)

Aesthetics and the Arts in Action

Four plenary panels:

– Aesthetic Engagement (Arnold Berleant (USA)

Participants: Madalina Diaconu (Romania/Austria), Xiangzhan Cheng (China), Nathalie Blanc (France), Jale Erzen (Turkey);

– Aesthetics and Politics (Aleš Erjavec (Slovenia)

Participants: Tyrus Miller (USA), Miodrag Šuvaković (Serbia); Gabriela Świtek (Poland)

– Somaesthetics (Richard Shusterman (USA)

Participants: Else Marie Bukdahl (Denmark), Tanehise Otabe (Japan), Krystyna Wilkoszewska (Poland);

– Aesthetics Beyond Aesthetics (Wolfgang Welsch (Germany)

Participants: Peng Feng (China), Eduardo Kac (USA)

Two ‘round table’ discussions:

– History and Future of the International Congresses.

Chair: Aleš Erjavec (Slovenia);

Participants: Curtis L. Carter (USA), Gao Jianping (China), Miško Šuvaković (Serbia), Bohdan Dziemidok (Poland), Chong-hwan Oh (Seoul, Korea), Arnold Berleant (USA), Zsolt Batori (Budapest, Hungary).

– Aesthetics in 20th Century Poland.

Chair: Alicja Kuczyńska (Poland)
Participants: Joseph Margolis (USA), Zdenka Kalnicka (Czech), Zofia Rosińska (Poland), Gao Jianping (China), Bohdan Dziemidok (Poland) .

Panel sessions:

Noël Carroll’s Theory of Interpretation (Ewa Bogusz-Bołtuć, Poland/USA, with Noël Carroll’s participation);

The Open of Interpretation (Joseph Margolis, USA);

Aesthetics in the Philosophy of Culture (Zofia Rosińska/Marcin Rychter, Poland);

Ordinary Life, Art Practice, Concrete Experience: Art Beyond Aesthetic Dogmas (Kenneth Stikkers, USA);

Aesthetics and Politics of Biotechnological Art(Polona Tratnik, Slovenia)

Towards a New Transaesthetics: Aesthetics and Ontology in Current Bio Art Practices (Ingeborg Reichle, Germany);

Global Aesthetics and Chinese Aesthetics (Eva Wah Man, Hong Kong);

Applied Social Art: The Potential of Art and Criticism after March 11, 2011 (Akiko Kasuya, Japan);

Aesthetic Accounts on Japanese Pop-culture (Hisashi Muroi, Japan);

The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution (Stephan Davies, Australia, Jerzy Luty, Poland);

Aesthetics and Landscape (Raffaele Milani, Italy, Yuko Nakama, Japan);

Spatial Perception and Aesthetics of Court and Garden (Jeongil Seo, Korea);

Cyberaesthetics – the Phenomena of Electronic Art (Michal Ostrowicki, Poland);

Art in Action (Maja Piotrowska Tryzno, Poland);

Participatory Art: Ethics and Politics (Michael Kelly, USA);

Artification (Yrjӧ Sepӓnmaa, Finland);

The Perfomativity of Images in the Social Context (Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz, Poland); Between Loss and Repetition. Creativity as Response to Death as the Negative Muse (Bogna J. Obidzinska, Poland);

Polish Music and Modernity (Teresa Malecka, Poland);

Rediscovering Susanne Langer’s Relevance for Contemporary Aesthetics and Theory of Art (Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, UK).

From three to six people take part in each panel session, with about 80 participants in total. Every panel session is intended to last 1.5 hour with discussion.

We received 370 abstracts for individual presentations. Among the 10 topics offered for selection, “Aesthetics – Vision and Revision” (100 abstracts) and “Aesthetics in Practice” (63 abstracts) received the most interest.


Preliminary Schedule of First Day of the Congress

Here is a preliminary schedule of the first day of the Congress.

The registration will start 21st July in the evening and will be continued July 22ndmorning.

The Opening Ceremony will start 22nd July, at 10.00, followed by the Presidential Lecture and the ‘round table’ discussion concerning the 100th anniversary of ICA. In the afternoon the first plenary panel and a concert will take place.

The complete schedule will be ready by May and every participant will be informed about the time and date of his/her presentation. The venue of the congress is Auditorium Maximum. Additional presentations will take place in nearby Collegium Novum and Museum of Contemporary Art.

The host of the congress is the Jagiellonian University. Additional support for the Congress is provided by other institutions in Krakow: The City of Krakow, the Academy of Music, Pedagogical University, Krakow Frycz Academy, Academy of Fine Arts, Museums (Mocak, Manggha, Bunkier of Art).

Dear Friends, thank you once more for your interest in the ICA in Krakow. We are looking forward to having you here in Poland.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,

Krystyna Wilkoszewska