Research Line 2

Aesthetics, Politics, Media, and the Transformation Processes of the Global Metropolitan Rhythm

It appears that the experience of novelty has been diluted in every aspect of daily life, which has been intensified by the technical reproducibility of art throughout the media (Benjamin 1939). To provide insight into this preliminary problem, this research on the essential values that underscore aesthetics, politics, media, and transformation processes focuses upon the following questions: What designates and conditions the exploitation of tragedy as a common basis for everyday visual experiences? What are the “true” symbolic values that prove facts through the use of images within the impact of global culture? For this analysis to proceed, it is necessary to ground this research in an aesthetic of visibility, such as in the relationship between international photojournalism and images of modern and contemporary art, that pertains to the awareness of freedom, equality, democracy, and respect for human rights. The history of art and literature have demonstrated effective modes of influencing the configuration of images that impose the perceptions of their meanings and methods of structural or semiological analyses (Barthes 1970). Consequently, art as a symbolic commodity exists only for those who hold the means to decipher and appropriate it (Bourdieu 1991). An image remains subject to a variety of interpretations. We must realize it as an aesthetic experience before understanding the whole meaning of the image.

Therefore, in these studies, we consider definitions to be restricted to a specific realm of cognition or common sense because judgments based on subjective values are significant to the image’s polysemy, especially given the immense diversity of interpretations that are possible. As such, cultural, social, political, and economic histories have always been transferred to art. Thus, current artistic dynamics can be analyzed by contextualizing the prevailing process, techniques, and means of image production to the historical moment in the Hegelian sense. The production process is explained when the authenticity criterion of art transforms the artistic production. Such an approach relates to contemporary art regarding cultural value as political and social progress, which seeks the “democratization of art” as an ideal. These visual studies aim to demonstrate the aspects of the images that involve the dichotomies between illusion and reality, real news and fake news, and fact and opinion. Hence, this study of the symbolic elements of the image focuses on the following question: Can the media use images to prove facts regarding the values of democracy? For this analysis to proceed, the essential values that underscore visual culture as facts must be considered with reference to the reality of contemporary communication (Habermas, 2001).

While using these theoretical fundamentals, this research focuses on technical advances in visual arts, moving images, and other aesthetic and political experiences related to the rhythm of society. The visual dynamic can offer narratives as an “image of reconciliation” and democratic ideals, which positively enable aesthetic experiences through the moving image or cinematography (Schoolman 2020). In this regard, Schoolman’s work focuses on urban rhythms by exploring the moving image and political-cultural aspects positively in opposition to Adorno’s aesthetic conceptions (1970). In this vein, this research seeks to explore topics related to images and social reality. These images portray the sociocultural context through the capacity of human beings to create narratives that configure the collective consciousness and shape public opinion (Wagner 2017). Finally, this research line directly implies locating sensitive values with humanistic expectations still present within the traditional-innovative, real-digital, and true-false interfaces that establish the dichotomies and polysemy that exist in the visual representation of metropolitan visual dynamics.