“Quasi things” now the english edition

QUASI THINGS

For english readers it is now available, edited for SUNYPress, the english edition of Quasi things by Tonino Griffero, full Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, translated by Sarah De Sanctis. The author spent several years studying the problem of Atmospheres, quasi things that do not exist fully in the traditional sense as substances or events, even if they powerfully act on us and on our states of mind.

An index of the volume is available here, and we would like to report some of the most meaningful comments to this important work.

“The task of modern phenomenology is to dissolve, with the help of corrections and additions, the contrasts solidified in the bath of involuntary vital experience, thus opening up new horizons of questioning and understanding. Tonino Griffero accomplishes this task by carefully ploughing the field of quasi-things, which I inaugurated. The latter exist between things in the proper sense and sense data, both elements whose cognitive primacy has been discussed by analytic philosophy (Russell, Austin) without acknowledging the central role of quasi-things. The appearance [coming to light] of quasi-things bears the promise of bright future prospects. This is why the book is worthy of great attention”. (Hermann Schmitz, Professor of Philosophy emeritus, University of Kiel, Germany).

“This volume is a significant contribution to the expanding literature on atmospheres, which Griffero defines as the felt qualities of things, situations, places, or environmental phenomena sustaining a particular ambience, character, or mood. More broadly, this philosopher’s concern is “quasi-things,” understood as any entity or event radiating a particular ineffable presence, which Griffero illustrates via discussion of such phenomena as wind and light. Most importantly, the book lays the groundwork for an innovative way of interdisciplinary study identified as “pathic aesthetics”— the study of quasi-things and the lived manner in which they evoke “a deep and intimate felt-bodily resonance through their expressive qualities”. (David Seamon, Professor of Architecture, Kansas State University, and Editor of Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology).

“Griffero has written a phenomenological exploration of the pre-reflective dimensions of experience in the form of a pathetic aesthetics. Working through experience rather than objects, he pursues an extensive inquiry into what may be called an aesthetics of immateriality. Central in his inquiry into the core of aesthetic experience is not art and beauty but the pathetic, affective involvement of the felt body. This book considers atmospheres to be quasi-things that function in the body as affordances that evoke behavioral responses.  Especially illuminating are his extended inquiries into atmospheres such as pain, shame, the gaze, and light.  This book, rich in originality and insight, illuminates an important new direction in the study of pre-reflective experience”. (Arnold Berleant, founding editor of Contemporary Aesthetics).

Atmosphere and Affect in Weimar

image003On May 4th at Bauhaus-University Weimar Atmosphere and Affect will be at the center of a public panel discussion with Brian Massumi & Jan Slaby, showing the problematic relationship between these two concepts, despite obvious affinities and resonances. As a matter of fact their evolution has been almost indipendent, following the path of the traditions who brought them to light. The two speakers will discuss resonances and interferences between the German terminological field of Stimmung, Atmosphäre, Befindlichkeit  or Gefühl (feeling) as deployed in phenomenology and notions like affective attunement or affective tonality coming from the Deleuzian and process-philosophical line of thought in Affect Theory. Over the course of their conversation Massumi and Slaby will explore how their respective philosophical approaches might contradict or resemble, mutually stimulate and enrich each other and what new potentials for thinking about affect and atmosphere might emerge from such an encounter.

Further information are available here.

 

The gesture that creates the place. Art and atmospheric expression

b2-32d, GestureThis year Maison de la création at the Université Grenoble Alpes is launching its first biannual Arts in the Alps Doctoral Spring School from June 12th-16th 2017. The Spring School aims at bringing together a community of leading researchers, artists and PhD candidates from the fields of architecture, dance, geography, fine arts, performance, sound art and linguistics to explore, collaborate and experiment new practices of interdisciplinary and practice based site specific research entitled: Gestures of here & there: la fabrique sensible des lieux.
Find more info about the project and deadline here.