Aesthetic Identity

Key Note
18 May 2018
16:30 - 17:30
Galerie Nord | Kunstverein Tiergarten Turmstraße 75, 10551 Berlin

Aesthetic Identity

Key Note

Art is not just something we like; it is also integral to who we are.  Many of us have aesthetic identities.  Identity has been intensively studied by both philosophers and social scientists.  For philosophers identity is personal: what makes me me.  For social scientists identity is social: what groups do I belong to.  In our work, we have been exploring the relationship between identity and values.  Many of us identify with our deeply held moral and political values.  Values are both personal and social.  There correspond to our personal convictions and our group affiliations.  Among the most important values in human life are our aesthetic preferences.  These too, we argue, are part of our identity.  To be passionate about art or music is a kind if identity.  Some of us are art people.   Some of us belong to music subcultures.  In a series of experiments, we have been exploring how aesthetic taste relates to identity.  We have also shown that aesthetic taste and political values are not entirely independent.  Art and aesthetics play a role is communicating political orientations.  Here we introduce our work on the aesthetic self and relate it to more political dimensions of identity. 

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