Calls for papers

Issues 2014–2017

Discussion on Noël Carroll’s theory of art interpretation. Mentalism, Abductive Reasoning, and Art Criticism. Editor: Ewa D. Bogusz-Bołtuć, submissions are closed.

45) Inspiration in Contemporary Arts and Creative Processes. Editor: Bogna J. Obidzińska, Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2014.

The modernist break from the past and introduction of radical discontinuity with the past induced, according to Walter Benjamin, a disconnect from the present as well, and thus it shifted the orientation of human activity from the cause-and-effect pattern to a largely aesthetic one. As a consequence, this process has virtually remade our understanding of creative processes or creativity, over the last hundred years.

One of the outcomes is the apparent oddity that arises when one brings up the question of “inspiration” in connection with the problem of creativity. It is a question that even seems a little out of order in the context of contemporary art, and it often provokes smiles of embarrassment, as if it undermined the essence of contemporary art. In point of fact, most of contemporary art seems to be anything but unaware of its own roots, ontology, psychology, or circumstance. Most art and its theories are supremely self-aware. Ever since the Dada manifestos there has been little art produced that is not accompanied by vast theoretical “companions-to”, providing keys to the background philosophies, aims, means of expression, sense or meaning, and contextual interpretations concerning a given work. Artists live lives that are transparent to the critics, audiences, and curators, and whatever aspect of the artist’s personality might have contributed to the work of art, it is disclosed, and it usually forms a part of the work in question. Alternatively, there is the work of “no artist”, which brings the totality and self-sufficiency of artistic creation even further to the forefront.

Art has thus grown to encompass its own context, theory, disclosure of methods and techniques, roles in society, range of possible interpretations, and critique. Indeed, art’s self-sufficiency leaves little if any space for naive questions about what inspired particular works, movements, styles, or trends: the inspiring agents, regardless of their ontological status, are not only known and revealed, they usually make part of the sophisticated machinery of the art-world, if not of the work itself. This concerns most artistic genres, including music, painting, film, theatre, dance, street art, events and performances, games and simulations, literature, cooking, reality happenings, etc., in both high and popular art.

What we are posing here is a question about the inspiration standing at the origin of the above-described contemporary concept of art as self-sufficient. The question is therefore of a philosophical nature and concerns the mechanisms of creativity that enable (or allow, or impose?) the self-sufficiency of art.

We therefore welcome both papers that will bring insights into the matter from the broad philosophical perspective, proposing theories of thinkers whose inquiries may illuminate the problem, as well as articles that propose studies of particular aspects of the mechanism of inspiration in the ultimately open and universalised – and therefore immanent and closed – system that art has largely become. Hence, we invite both the genetic approach: investigation of the “why” of art’s emancipation, as well as the structural one: investigation of the “how” of the mechanism.

While not excluding other topics, analyses of the following problems are encouraged:
The creative process with no external position of a subject; creation from within creation. The creative process where borders between the artist, his/her realm, and the work of art are indistinguishable or inexistent – whereby?
Self-sufficiency and self-deception.
Inspiration and human etiology: is radical engagement an ultimate form of aesthetic narcissism?
The Muse of creation vs. the Muse of artification.
Inspiration by medium serving as content and inspiration by content serving as medium.
Il disegno versus programmatic spontaneity of creation.
Art created with an absence of the Muse; a lack of the artist’s relation with another and with a radical another.
Non-inspired art versus religion, the transcendent, and death.

46) Architecture
. Editor: Magdalena Borowska, Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2014.

Sztuka i Filozofia/Art and Philosophy welcomes articles devoted to the philosophy of architecture for the issue on this theme.
The multiplicity of senses that the notion of architecture currently enjoys requires thorough philosophical elaboration. The objective of contemporary architects, and among them especially of Bernard Tschumi, Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Zumthor, Philippe Rahm, is not just to produce artifacts but to create spaces in which and through which a human being will attain a philosophical knowledge about oneself and about the past, develop and deepen one’s perceptiveness, and establish a democratic cohabitation that in various ways transgresses limitations imposed on architecture by the hampering corset of tradition.
Reflections on and studies of the following problems are encouraged:
– How does contemporary philosophical thought inspire architects and how does the latest architecture influence philosophers?
– Is architecture a knowledge of forms or is it a form of knowing?
– Can there be architecture beyond form, matter, utility?
– What is “architecture between object and event” and what role does it fill?
– Can architecture contribute to building a better society, and if so, how?
– Can architecture generate new design strategies, in which openness, interaction and transition play the key roles?
– What are the phenomena that represent the “return of the body” in contemporary architecture?
– Does the atmospheric qualities of architectural spaces call for critical analyses, and if so, why?
– What are the possibilities that a contemporary change of instruments architectural design opens; what dangers may it entail? Should the architect control the form?
– How are natural materials, daylight, and the elements employed in the architectural realm of late modernity? How is nature itself present in it, and how does it inspire contemporary architects?

The questions listed above refer to a rather vast array of problems that call for inquiry. We invite contributions from philosophers, aestheticians and architects, as well as other scholars and practitioners interested in the study of the scale of the transformation that architectural creation is currently undergoing.

47) Philosophy of Art and Duchamp. Editor: Piotr Schollenberger, Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2015.

In the 2017 a hundred years will have passed since the Society of Independent Artists rejected the work entitled Fountain by unknown artist Richard Mutt. Marcel Duchamp – who was hiding under this pseudonym and had been present during the deliberations of organizing committee – wrote in response to charges presented by his colleagues: “Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object”. This short quotation presents a number of problems any contemporary theory of art should confront: the problem of artifactuality of the work of art and problems concerning artistic (re)production; the problem of a work’s context and the difference between artistic and instrumental value; the challenge of conceptual art for aesthetic theory and also a question of the relationship between an aesthetic theory and aesthetic experience.
Duchamp’s oeuvre functions in a contemporary discourse on art as a paradigm of radical change, as an example of “aesthetic cut” (analogue to the scientific “epistemic cut”). It is an object of study and inquiry of such different philosophers and theoreticians of art as: Arthur C. Danto, Jean-François Lyotard, Thierry de Duve, Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, and Hans Belting. For the ordinary spectator, it is a symbol and example of the alleged “decline” of traditional aesthetic values, showing the aesthetic alienation of the average beholder of contemporary art. We would like to invite philosophers, theoreticians of art, and art historians, as well as art critics, to meditate on Duchamp’s legacy for contemporary art and art practice.

48) Museum Philosophy
. Editor: Ewa Bogusz-Bołtuć, Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2015.

49) Environmental Aesthetics. Editor: Anna Wolińska, Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2016.

50) Expression and Expressivity in the Arts (Film, Theatre, Dance, Music)
. Editor: Małgorzata Szyszkowska, Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2016.

75 years ago Susanne Langer wrote in Philosophy in the New Key:

“…for music at its highest, though clearly a symbolic form, is an unconcummated symbol. Articulation is its life, but not assertion; expressivenes, not expression”.

S. Langer, Philosophy in the New Key. A Study in Symbolism of Reason, Rite and Art, Harward University Press, Cambridge 1957 p. 240.

In The Corded Shell. Essay in Musical Expression Peter Kivy introduced expressive qualities in music in place of expression as such, claiming that music does not express emotions, but it may be successfully described in emotive terms. A few years back the categories of expression and expressivity, in context of battle between formalist and emotive theories of music as well as outside of that context seemed one of the most important aesthetic categories. Hasn’t that changed? Are these categories still valid for description of music, dance, theatre or film art? Do they tell us anything about these arts? Do these categories seem less universal or less suitable for the task of aesthetic analysis than they did before? We can ask a different question: can contemporary dance, music, theatre or film be described using these categories? And if so what makes them function in aesthetic language, what makes them suitable for validation of art?

Here is the invitation for publication of essays and papers dealing with expression and expressivity in art. We would like to suggest the following themes as topics for possible discussion and further development:
■ Susanne Langer and Peter Kivy on music, expression and expressivity
■ Expression and expressivity – the categories and their present day validity
■ Beyond expression: music, dance, theatre and film as moving art
■ The quest for truth: expression in art as the source of truth
■ Expressivity in music – beyond and above emotionality
■ Expression in theatre?
■ Dance and its specific expression
■ Expression and improvisation in music and dance
■ Film as expressive art today
■ Expression and expressivity in art of mime
■ Expressive gesture in theatre, film, music and dance
■ Expression of the YouTube world – creation vs. presentation
■ Expressivity in flash dance mob
■ The criticism of expression in music and other art

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