Venice Biennale 2017


As part of this years Venice Biennale the Aesthetics Group will be presenting new research at the Research Pavilion. More to follow…



The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) at the Dublin Institute of Technology propose a 2-day program of seminars, panel discussions, interventions and performances in line with the overall thematic of The Utopia of Access. The focus of the program will be twofold, firstly, to revisit questions of digital aesthetics in the wake of the development of computational analytics and cognitive computing and secondly, to raise questions of new political economy through the development of new forms of economy, namely, the contributive economy.



Book Chapter…

Following a hugely successful and enjoyable conference  The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in Transnational Perspective at the University of Basel in July both Connell and Mick are writing a proposed book chapter titled “Caveman stuff”: Ireland’s Soccer Struggle with Identity, Style and Success”.

The chapter considers the complex relationship between style, success and Irish identity in relation to Irish soccer. Hoping to wrap it up over the coming week.


Style over substance…


Barcelona via Dublin: Re-turn to Schiller.


The Creative Agency in Local Communities conference in DIT Grangegorman, Dublin and the European Society for Aesthetics 8th Annual Conference in University of Barcelona

The Aesthetics Group also presented a live web conference between Barcelona and Dublin during the European Society for Aesthetics Conference and the Creative Agency in Local Communities conference. Members of the group chaired a live web session between both cities responding to a turn to education in aesthetic theory and practice and a mobilisation of Friedrich Schiller’s concept of the play drive.

The session brought together a range of theorists, art practitioners and educators including Professor Doris Sommer (Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University).


Live link from ESA Conference in Barcelona to The Creative Agency in Local Communities conference in DIT Grangegorman, Dublin, June 2016.


ESA 2016 Proceedings published

The European Society for Aesthetics Conference took place in the Department of Philosophy of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Barcelona in June past.

Members of the Aesthetics Group presented papers on a variety of topics. Néill O’Dwyer presented a paper “Death and Ecstasy: Reflections on a Technological Sublime” which focused on the shift, taking place in the arts, brought about by the migration from mechanical to digital technology and the import of software into working processes.The materialisation of mathematics and algorithms in artistic practice was highlighted which led to a questioning of the experiential shift taking place in the encounter with new digitalised art forms.

Mick O’Hara presented a paper titled “Tracing the Invisible” which addressed  Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive reading of Merleau-Ponty, focusing particularly on both philosophers’ writings on the visual arts. Defending Merleau-Ponty, the paper considered the role of embodiment in the mark making processes of drawing and painting while pointing to Merleau-Ponty’s deepening ontology of his later work.

Connell Vaughan returned to the experiential nature of digital media offering a critical analysis of iconoclasm in state building with a particular focus in Islamic State’s mobilisation of digital technology and the deliberate digital documentation of the destruction of cultural heritage sites. The paper titled “Statecraft: Vandalism and Iconoclasm in the Digital Age” argued that such documentation was strategic and not simply blind iconoclasm but vandalism in the service of state formation.

The Proceedings from the conference have just been published and can be read and downloaded here.