With so many of the threads begun in Session II still active, I’ve delayed my post introducing Session III until just now (see below). Although Session III takes us into a new angle on our subject, I want to encourage everyone to continue with any of the older threads that call for further exploration. Also, do remember to check the comments under your previous posts; people may be responding days after the posts were made.
Aesthetic Form, Posthumanism, and the Spiritual Dimension
Tuesday, December 8 – Wednesday, December 9
With the waning of humanism and its deification of the human, some of the more hubristic assumptions of secularism have also been shaken. In this session we will explore how emerging understandings of humans’ embeddedness within a larger whole might reinvest art with a spiritual and/or cosmological dimension and what role art might play in this nascent identity of the human.
3.1 Is there a spiritual dimension to the language of form, and if so how does it differ from the kind that might be conveyed through discursive content?
3.2 Is there an ethical dimension to aesthetic form?
3.3 Is there an ethical or spiritual dimension to matter itself, even before it is shaped by the art-making human organism?
3.4 Is there an inherent relationship between form and “interbeing,” Thich Nhat Hanh’s word for the relational nature of the physical world? In what ways might form open us to a spiritual experience of this reality?
3.5 Can a new sense of aesthetic form help shift conventional assumptions about spirituality and religion that invariably invoke a paternalistic sky God? Can it pull us into greater awareness of a spirituality of immanence?
3.6 Are there other approaches to the religio-spiritual-ethical dimension that aesthetic form might actively engage?