Research Project 1

Urban Aesthetics: Image Media and Visual Culture Perspectives

The novelty experience has been diluted in every aspect of daily life, intensified by media technologies. To provide insight into this preliminary problem, this research on the essential values that underscore aesthetics, ethics, politics, media, and transformation processes focuses upon the following question: 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 has demonstrated effective modes of influencing the configuration of images that impose the perceptions of their meanings. 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.


Further, this research project considers that cultural, social, political, and economic histories have always been transferred to art. Thus, current artistic dynamics can be analyzed by contextualizing the overall process, techniques, and means of image production to the historical moment. The production process is explained when the authenticity criterion of art transforms artistic production. Therefore, for this analysis to proceed, the essential values that underscore visual culture must be considered regarding the reality of contemporary communication. Urban aesthetics portray the sociocultural context through the capacity of human beings to create narratives that configure the collective consciousness and shape public opinion. In this sense, this research project 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 in the visual representation of urban visual dynamics.