The War Seminars #3: War and Aesthetics. Live Stream

Live-Stream Links:

Thursday, Sept. 23:

Friday, Sept. 24:

Ever since Homer opened the urtext of Western literature with the famous line “Rage – Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son, Achilles,” war has been closely entwined with aesthetics. Both before, during, and after armed conflict, art and aesthetics have been a driving force in producing and inducing responses to war, oftentimes calibrating the sensuous apparatuses of populations in ways that aided the war effort, while sometimes also offering a set of counter-narratives and affects. The close bond between war and aesthetics has become ever tighter during the 20th and 21st centuries. The conquering of the perceptual field, to quote Paul Virilio, by way of cinematographic and simulated images has become an integral part of home-front propaganda and of warfare itself. And as James Der Derian has noted, we find ourselves at a point in the history of war where the means of representing war have collapsed with the means of waging war. What is the status of aesthetics in these circumstances? How do classical and contemporary literary texts configure our understanding and sensuous perception of warfare? In which ways do algorithmic technologies, cloud computing, and virtual scenarios co-opt and reconfigure aesthetics, and how may artists and cultural analysts respond to this predicament?

To discuss these complex linkages between war and aesthetics, we have invited some some of today’s most influential thinkers for this third and final war seminar, viz. Eyal Weizman, Caren Kaplan, Arkadi Zaides, Phil Klay, Kate McLoughlin, Ryan Bishop, and Anthony Downey.

The seminar is organized by the research group The Aesthetics of Late Modern War and the Center for War Studies at SDU. It will take place at the Royal Danish Library and via live-stream.