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Beyond The Art Museum Towards A Theory And Practice Of 'Everyday Aesthetics'
12 February 2021

Beyond the Art Museum: Towards a Theory and Practice of 'Everyday Aesthetics'


12 February 2021


UCA's Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit is holding a Public Research Talk on February 12th 2021, 5:00 pm (Bishkek time, GMT+6) on "Beyond the Art Museum: Towards a Theory and Practice of 'Everyday Aesthetics'.", It will be delivered by Dr Soheil Ashrafi, Altyn Kapalova and Dr Michael Garbutt. The event will be in English streamed via Zoom and Youtube.
Friday, February 12th, 2021, 5:00 PM (KGT, GMT +6)
Dr Soheil Ashrafi Chair of Communications and Media Department, UCA.
Altyn Kapalova research fellow at the Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit, UCA.
Dr Michael Garbutt University of New South Wales, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture.
About the Event
The research deals with the question of aesthetics of the everyday, with a focus on an experimental, participatory art practice event — the Playful Eye — held in association with the Osh Museum of Fine Arts in September 2020. The research draws on insights from phenomenology and hermeneutics as well as participants’ reports to re-think aesthetic experience as a way of engaging with the world largely deemed extra-aesthetic and unworthy of attention and appreciation. Advancing our understanding of aesthetics beyond the narrow and arbitrary scope of art-centred aesthetics, the research expounds a theoretical model of the dialectic of ‘play’ and ‘the hermeneutic circle’ that explains the transformational interplay between the intuiting and the intuited, and the self and the non-self. It is argued that aesthetics of the everyday is not only the act of liberating from the politico-economic constraints of beauty and taste as the grounds of the art-centred aesthetics (and the lingering discursive legacy of high culture and global North), but also bolsters civil society by fostering a culture of empathy and dialogue.  
In addition, the presentation will outline an innovative proposal emerging from this research for a web platform to showcase the visual culture and arts of Central Asia; and announce a major international conference linked to our research that will be host in Bishkek in October 2022 — the 7th International Conference on Trans-disciplinary Imaging. Highlighting the inclusive nature of the research team, the session will be moderated by three participating UCA student research assistants, Manizha Muredbekova, Jyldyz Sarieva, and Sharofat Shafieva..
The lecture will start at 5:00 PM (KGT, GMT +6) on Friday, February 12th, 2021.
The event will be streamed online through YouTube and Zoom:
Meeting ID: 844 2545 6565 
Passcode: 308809
Soheil Ashrafi PhD is Chair of Communications and Media Department, and Acting Associate Dean at the School of Arts and Sciences, UCA, Naryn Campus. He is a researcher and essayist in history, theory and philosophy of design, media and communications. Central to his research and reflections are hermeneutics of change and phenomenology of alternative realities, 'transcending the given', through which humans exercise their ontological agency in transforming themselves and their 'life-world'. 
Altyn Kapalova is a research fellow at the Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit, (CHHU), who conducts anthropological research on gender issues and informal communications in Kyrgyz society. As a fellow of the Central Asia and Caucasus Research and Training Initiative, she interned at the Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, USA. She holds a master’s degree in NGO management. Altyn has been creating experimental art products, combining science, art, and politics. She converts the results of her anthropological research into art works that aim to make the voices of vulnerable communities louder for influencing political decisions. Her curatorial expertise covers visual arts, theater, and creative writing. 
Michael Garbutt PhD is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales’ Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, and former Associate Dean Research Training of the School of Art and Design (2015-17). Together with Nico Roenpagel PhD, he is the co-founder of The Playful Eye project which promotes experimental, play-based encounters with art in art museums. Playful Eye events have been held in collaboration with leading international institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art in Washington DC, and the Gapar Atiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts, Bishkek.
*Ideas presented in this lecture reflect the personal opinion of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Central Asia and/or its employees.