Manchester 2015

Aesthetic Pleasures across Disciplines

24 – 26 September 2015

This workshop looked at how the relationship between pleasure and aesthetics is constructed in art theory, qualitative research and neuroscience, and how it is constructed in artistic practice as a mode of aesthetic enquiry. It also discussed collaborative processes and institutional constraints. It included empirical psychology in response.

Vienna 2016

Neurocognitive Approaches to Aesthetics in Art: Expertise – Complexity

7 – 9 April 2016

This workshop explored how aesthetic expertise, visual complexity and aesthetic appreciation are framed by cognitive psychology and neuroscience of art. It discussed ways of looking at paintings and what we can learn about art from studying the brain, including art history and practice and visual culture in the response

Glasgow 2016

Aesthetic Values across Cultures and Disciplines

22 – 24 September 2016

This workshop compared modes of interpretation and response to art in Chinese and Western traditions and explore some issues involved in aesthetic value from Western and Chinese perspectives. It also discussed how aesthetic values are framed in empirical psychology and include cultural history and sociology in response.

Copenhagen 2017

Investigating Aesthetic Complexity

6 – 8 April 2017

This workshop studied how art works connect movement and sensory perception in producing aesthetic experience and how this is bound up with the exploration of new forms of exhibition and display, including digital. It also explored perceptual learning – what kinds of perception are ‘afforded’ by aesthetic objects, as exemplified by aesthetic engagement in listening to music. Responses included archaeology and philosophy perspectives.

Oxford 2017

Multi-Sensory Aesthetics and Cross-Cultural Perspectives

11-13 September 2017

This workshop compared and contrasted approaches to intersensory connections from anthropology and empirical psychology and included art history in response. Our aim in this workshop was to expand our experience and reflections on the role in aesthetic experience of senses that have traditionally been accorded a lower status in the West, notably taste, smell and touch. Papers made intersensory connections from anthropology, empirical psychology and art historical perspectives. 

Manchester 2018

Practising Aesthetics

12-14 April 2018

Our final workshop was designed to question how the often tacit and experiential knowledge of the practitioner could further the academic discussion of aesthetics across disciplines; what practice could achieve that other forms of research could not, and how this might be articulated within differing disciplines. Sessions included performance, film and music and were opened up to a wider public audience.