Atmospheres: Between Ethics and Aesthetics
Roma, September 27th - 28th 2013
Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen Roma - Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna Roma
The meeting aims at examining the role of atmospheres in the life world (first of all in cities and museums) and at defining their main characteristics as emotional qualia that radiate from environments and objects. Starting from the philosophical project outlined by Hermann Schmitz and Gernot Böhme and subsequently developed by many other scholars (philosophers and architects, urban planners and sociologists, geographers and psychologists, designers and political experts, etc.), the purpose is to thematise the emotional tones of different spaces (affordances) and to assess their impact on the felt-body: an impact that cannot be reductively considered as an arbitrary subjective projection and that poses not only aesthetical but also ethical problems.
An atmospherological approach could have vast and promising applications in the field of human sciences for all those who are interested in understanding the effectiveness of the emotions we feel in natural and/or artificial environments. In this way, by becoming aware of the fact that atmospheres are more effective than we have been rationally willing to admit and that traditional aesthetics, unilaterally oriented towards art, has underestimated this truth, it would be also possible to recognize and understand the mise-en-scène that makes up a large part of our daily life. And, last but not least, it would be also possible to realise the possibility we have of not being critically subjected to the effects of atmospheres, if we are aware of their generative mechanisms.