Dr Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz na Światowym Kongresie Estetyki w Seulu, ICA2016
Podczas Światowego Kongresu Estetyki, który odbędzie się na Seoul National University in Seul, Korea, w dniach 24-29 lipca 2016, dr Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz zaprezentuje refleksję poświęconą obrazom miejskim w kontekście estetyki środowiskowej Arnolda Berleanta w referacie pt.: „Street-art, graffiti, vandalism – in the context of Arnold Berleant’s Aesthetics of Environment”.
In the context of contemporary discussion about graffiti and street-art, I claim that it is worth to analyze the field of aesthetics to determine where graffiti and street-art fits. To graffiti and street-art I add also vandalism, meaning here the scratching and scribbling of signs and forms oriented towards the destruction of the object, and together I refer to them as ‘urban images‘. I argue that these forms of visual intervention in the urban organism can be well characterized within the perspective of environmental aesthetics as it is currently developed by Arnold Berleant .
Although Berleant does not refer directly to the phenomena of graffiti, street-art, or vandalism, his conceptual framework is appropriate for reflection on these forms of self-expression; as the philosopher points out, every environmental space is the space of action and so demands participation, thereby becoming social space.
Environmental aesthetics departs from visual fixation in reference to urban spaces and underlines the multisensory character of experience, which engages us corporeally and which does not give only visual pleasure. Therefore it allows to refer to urban images as such and symultanously to differ between street-art, graffiti and vandalism.
Berleant’s metaphors for the city also help us to understand the character of different kinds of pictures and messages on the walls: city as a garden, as a forest, as a machine, and as a wilderness. Street-art clearly supports a metaphor of a city as a garden, based on the cooperation of cultivated nature with their cultural surrounding; whereas graffiti and the visual impact of vandalism supports a metaphor of a city as a wilderness. This potent difference allows for critique of the existing space, influencing forms of action taken up within it, underlining the somewhat tribal character of activities in an urban environment, and defines the tensions, struggles and difficulties present in its experience.