The global circulation of images, words and sounds, but also of technologies, concepts and ideas profoundly transforms our everyday aesthetic experiences. This programme probes the globalisation of aesthetics as well as the aesthetics of globalisation. It builds upon the tradition of the humanities in which aesthetics are studied in relation to cultural forms, tastes and interpretations. But it also moves beyond that: aesthetics not only involves the study of art and perceptions we call 'beautiful' or 'sublime' but also encompasses the study of culture as a form of life.
Processes of globalisation inspire not just a circulation and redistribution of aesthetics but also feed into a dialogue between different conceptualisations of the aesthetic. These differences will be explored across time as well as across space. How does the aesthetic function in different cultural contexts? And how does the aesthetic experience of, say, the 19th century differ from today’s experiences in a media-saturated world? What have been, are and may become key centres for the production of aesthetic forms like performance, cinema, art and television? A comparative and genealogical approach allows for insights into these questions. In addition, we probe the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and study aesthetic experiences in relation to place, in particular the city and its creative industries.