Department of Culture and Learning

call for papers

“The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate.”
John Keats

This conference argues that we must account for the intensity of art, otherwise we can only explain part of our aesthetic experience. This argument is found in critics as diverse as Brian Massumi, Charles Altieri, and Sianne Ngai. Philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead, Henri Bergson, and Steven Shaviro have argued that much of our perception is not cognitive but intuitive; we connect to the world through our senses.

The conference is part of a debate on how to understand our sensory perception of art as part of a larger process. Where most aesthetic and cultural research has focused on matters of meaning, signification, and hermeneutics, this conference asks questions of aisthesis, sensation, and feeling. More than representation, more than form, art is production. New materialisms, affect theories, performativity theories, and actor-network-theories have all shown that the artwork is never passive, never inert. Art produces sensations, new modes of being, new knowledges, and new feelings. Not a matter of rejecting earlier findings, we are simply trying to explore the 'other side' of the experience of art. Cognition and feeling are not distinct but articulated together; their relation changes depending on the specific artwork.

By exploring the sensory experience of art, we can also understand the intersection of art, culture, and politics in new ways. Art produces new subject positions and becomes a doorway to new experiences, new sensations, and new modes of thought. In this way, art expands our world, becoming a motor for cultural and political manifestations. A process-oriented approach to art extends current approaches, revealing that thought, act, and creativity cannot be separated. Instead of observing a distinction between work and subject, process-oriented approaches instead turn to individuation as the mode of becoming, insisting that we are always more than one and art adds to this more than one.

The conference will be a new initiative in this field within the Nordic countries, and also the beginning of a new Nordic research network in the turn to affect.

We invite papers on any of the following topics:

  • Affect and aesthetics
  • Process-oriented approaches to art
  • Art and sensation
  • Structures of feeling and art
  • Art and epistemology
  • Productive aspects of art
  • The aesthetic experience

Focus on any artistic practice from dance, literature, film, music, digital media, and more are welcomed. We invite abstracts between 300-400 words with a deadline of July 1st. Invitations will go out August 15th.

Please note that the number of participants for this conference is limited to 40 participants.


  1. Login to the ART 2015 submission page provided by EasyChair.
    Users of EasyChair may login to EasyChair using their existing “user name” and “password”. New users must sign up for an EasyChair account on the EasyChair website.
  2. When logged into EasyChair click on the ”New Submission” button in the top left corner.
  3. Please fill in the required information under ”Authors” and paste your abstract text into the form (max. 300-400 words), and add ”Keywords” (minimum three keywords on separate lines). You need not upload a paper for the call for abstracts.
  4. Click on the ”Submit” button (you can revise the abstract and author information etc. until the abstract deadline).

Submission deadline: July 1st 2015



Conference coordinator Steen Ledet Christiansen

Conference coordinator Jens Lohfert Jørgensen

Conference secretary Julie Skibsted Larsen

Further conference information