(Conference) Aesthetics & Critique VII – Beyond Reality? Virtuality and Experience (Fribourg, 14-16.12.2023)

Organisation: Nicolas Brulhart, Alessandro De Cesaris, Federico Fantelli, Lilian Kroth

The philosophical debate concerning virtuality has so far privileged metaphysical issues, asking whether or not virtual spaces and objects should be considered as real or illusory. With this conference, we suggest bracketing such metaphysical questions for a while and focus instead on the relationship between virtuality and experience. In this framework, we would like to favour a phenomenological approach that understands virtuality as a mode of experience that is often mediated by technology.

The range of questions that this conference aims to address includes, but is not limited to, the following: What does it mean to experience ‘virtuality’? What is the phenomenological structure of the virtual? How does experiencing a virtual world reshape our ordinary lives? What is the relationship between the virtual and the imaginary? What role does immersivity play in virtual environments? What distinguishes VR devices from other media? What is the space for empathy in virtual interactions? How is personal identity preserved but also transformed within virtual worlds?

Aesthetics & Critique VI : Realism in Perspective / Perspektiven des Realismus / Réalisme en perspective

26-27.05.2023 University of Fribourg

Organisation: Emmanuel Alloa, Wolfgang Brückle, Alessandro De Cesaris, Tobias Ertl, Julia Gelshorn

Keynote Speakers: Ursula biemann (Zurich), Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Harvard), Camille Chamois (Bruxelles), Camille de Toledo (Berlin), Sebastian Egenhofer (Wien), Emmanuel Grimaud (Paris), Véréna Paravel (Harvard), Susan Schuppli (London).

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Aesthetics & Critique V : After Nature / Nach der Natur / (D’)Après Nature

26.11.2022 FriArt Kunsthalle

Organisation: Emmanuel Alloa, Nicolas Brulhart, Alessandro De Cesaris, Christoph Haffter

Keynote Speakers: Sabeth Buchmann (Wien), Howard Caygill (London), Toni Hildebrandt (Bern), Federico Luisetti (St. Gallen), Pietro Montani (Rome), Pauline Nadrigny (Paris). With a presentation of Nora Kapfer’s work.

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Aesthetics & Critique IV : Contemporaneity / Zeitgenossenschaft / Le contemporain

18.-19.11. University of Fribourg / FriArt Kunsthalle

Organisation: Prof. Emmanuel Alloa, Arianna Sforzini & Christoph Haffter



FRI ART, Petites-Rames 22, Fribourg


Jacob Lund (Aarhus University)

Peter Osborne (Kingston University London)

Ludger Schwarte (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf)


Uni Fribourg, Pérolles, Room G230


Juliane Rebentisch (HfG Offenbach/Princeton)

Cecilia Sjöholm (Södertörn University)

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Aesthetics & Critique III : Thinking in Pandemic Times



Part 1/5 | Introduction & First Panel: Contagion as a Metaphor


Contagion as a Metaphor / La contagion comme métaphore / Ansteckung als Metapher

DARIO GENTILI (Università Roma Tre) : From Contagion to Contagion, from Crisis to Crisis

VANESSA LEMM (Deakin U, Melbourne) : Contagion and Community of Life


ELIZABETH POVINELLI (Columbia U, NYC) : Cumulative and Coming Catastrophes. Feeling & Figuring the Difference

SLAVOJ ZIZEK (Birkbeck College London) : Non-Thinking in Pandemic Times


Part 2/5 | Key Note by W.J.T. Mitchell: Present Tense 2020

Keynote: WJT MITCHELL (Chicago) : Present Tense 2020. An Iconology of Time

Part 3/5 | Second Panel: Is there Art Behind the Screen ?

Is there Art Behind the Screen ? Virtualized Aesthetic Practices in Pandemic Times

Vincent Baudriller (Théâtre Vidy)
Marta Ponsa (Jeu de Paume, Paris)
Nicolas Brulhart (Fri Art, Fribourg)
Vinzenz Hediger (Frankfurt/M)
Bastian Zimmermann (Munich/Berlin)
Julie Beauvais (SONIC MATTER Zürich)

Part 4/5 | Key Note by J.-L. Nancy: Être soufflé

JEAN-LUC NANCY (Strasbourg) : Être soufflé

Part 5/5 | Third Panel: In Uncertain Times

In Uncertain Times. On Improvisational Practices / En des temps incertains. Sur les pratiques improvisationnelles / In ungewisser Stunde. Über Improvisationspraktiken


DANIEL FEIGE (ABK Stuttgart) : The Aesthetic Temporality of Musical Improvisation



ALESSANDRO BERTINETTO (U Torino) : Aesthetics of Improvisation as Artistic Grammar of Contingency

GEORG BERTRAM (FU Berlin) : Improvisation as Paradigm of Art?

SARA RAMSHAW (U Victoria, Canada) : Justice as Improvisation.