The purpose of the conference is to analyze aspects of gesture and the fragment. Both aspects call for reflections on aesthetic experience, as well as on particular features attached to art works.
The aesthetics of the fragment was first formulated in e arly romanticism, and it was reformulated during the 20th century, among others by Maurice Blanchot, and actualized to day by philosophers such as Jean-Luc Nancy. Nancy implements a language which foregrounds separation, distance, and the infinite excess of finite sense over any instance of phenomenal disclosure or presentation, making the separation unfold within language itself. Thus, the fragment unfolds as a gesture within the artwork, and as a form of cognition of what is opening, unfinished. When Fr ançois Lyotard connects the artwork with gesture, he underlines that the work creates itself through the gesture, through process. At the same time gesticulation allows for the deixis, without which art would be mute and stop being art.
To think in fragm ent implies for the artist a prioritizing of the sketch or the fragment and not the perfect finish. Instead of continuity the artist looks upon each work as incomplete: immanent in the art work as fragment is investigation and processuality. It has become impossible to create a masterpiece understood as the complete and perfectly finished work, and it is as permanently unfinished, that the art work, according to Theodor W. Adorno maintains its utopian potentialities.
The conference asks for papers on bot h contemporary issues as well as on classical, historical issues connected to questions related to gesture, fragment and the aesthetics. It should include philosophy, art theory, visual art, architecture, music, and literature.
Keynote speakers: Jean- Luc Nancy, Rainer Nägele, Anthony Vidler and Arnfinn Bø-Rygg