Philosophy, art and society: body as medium

This event has now passed.

Date: 16 June 2018
Venue: Watershed, bristol
Time: 16:00 - 18:00

A series of public events convened by Iain Hamilton Grant, Katrina Mitcheson (University of the West of England) and David Roden (Open University).

These public engagement events aim at stimulating discussion concerning the role and potential of art and art practice in critical and philosophical thought, including social criticism.

They concern not only how philosophical concepts and critical analysis can enrich our understanding of art and its significance for both individuals and the social world, but also how artworks and creative practices can themselves operate to criticise and create concepts, and to effect individual and social change.

In particular, we are interested in how both artistic activity and engaging with artworks can explore and expand the limits of thought, and address the concepts of agency and representation. We will consider how art practices can help us understand the nature and limits of agency, and question the primary of agency. We will also address the contribution art can make to understanding and working on or changing individual selves, societies and even humanity. We will on focus how the aesthetic, affective, material and sensual properties of art and the processes of making and appreciating art open up new forms of understanding and allow particular contributions to understanding material process and plasticity.

This first event explores how the material and sensual aspects of creating and engaging with artworks can help us understand the nature of the self as embodied and plastic. We will use artworks and the processes of making and appreciating art to think about the nature of the self and the human, its embodiment, but also the vulnerability of disembodiment, and its plasticity.


  • Anna Hickey-Moody
  • Katrina Mitcheson: Vulnerable Bodies and Vulnerable Selves in Bacon and Bourgeois
  • David Roden: The Biomorphic Horror of Everyday Life: Unbinding Subjects in David Cronenberg and Gary J Shiple

How to attend

In order to attend please register via this online form.

Cost: Free
Contact: Miguel Prado Casanova

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