One of the recent turns in the humanities and arts research is the switch from a focus on art as a static, representational thing to art as an active actor within a larger network of agential objects. What unites these approaches is that they all suggest that art is something that does things. Such a perspective explodes the notion of art, opening it up to a broad range of practices, where art participates in society instead of merely reflecting society. Art is thus not only a cultural field a la Pierre Bourdieu (1993) but also a range of practices intent on engaging our senses and sensibilities. Where earlier aesthetic and cultural research focused on matters of meaning, signification, and hermeneutics, this special issue asks questions of aesthesis, materiality, agency, performativity, sensation, and feeling. Not as a matter of rejecting earlier findings but simply as an attempt to explore the “other side” of the experience of art.
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