Distinguished speaker – Dieter Mersch


November 10th 2017 4PM

This lecture is presented in conjunction with ALVINALVINALVINALVIN event, a collaboration between Matralab, Le PARC, Reseau Hexagram Network, Milieux, and the Zurich University of the Arts.


The concept of artistic research has sparked a lot of controversy over the last two decades, and it still is a matter of some dispute. Although the term ‘research’ pertaining to art does not provoke anymore, it seems to be still unclear how this term should be understood in relation to science. If we, however, look at the epistemological impact of art, it seems strange that artistic research should be controversial at all: the affiliation between art and sensual knowledge is as old as the very concept of “aesthetics”, coined by Alexander Baumgarten in the 18th century. Georg Friedrich Hegel, Theodor W. Adorno, or Martin Heidegger, to name but a few, all assumed a strong interconnection between Art and Truth. Maurice Merleau-Ponty considered Paul Cézanne’s painting to be a kind of “research”, and thought that painters were engaged in a kind of “mute ‘thinking’”. The question of the precise relationship between art, knowledge, and truth, however, has not yet been exhaustively explored. Neither has the question of what artistic thinking really is: sometimes the artistic concept of truth remains vague – and sometimes we do not understand how notions such as truth or thinking might be at all applicable to art practices. The lecture tries to answer these questions in a new way, by investigating how and in which sense art in itself carries epistemological meaning, or can serve as a medium for a type of cognition that cannot be expressed otherwise.

Speaker’s bio

Dieter Mersch studied mathematics and philosophy in Cologne, Bochum, and Darmstadt. In 2004, he became Professor of Media Theory and Media Studies at the University of Potsdam. Since 2013 he has been Head of the Institute for Theory at the ZHdK Zurich. Dieter Mersch was guest professor in Chicago, Budapest and Lucerne, and Fellow at the IKKM Weimar and at the ZHdK Zurich. His work focuses on media philosophy, aesthetics and art theory, semiotics, hermeneutics, poststructuralism and philosophy of the image and language.


MILIEUX Institute
Concordia University
1515 Sainte-Catherine W.
11th floor – EV 11.725


Listen Dieter Mersch’s lecture in full below

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Cette publication est également disponible en : Français (French)