Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Aesthetics 2021

Annual Conference of the Nordic Society of Aesthetics

The Aesthetics of Attention

Online, 20–21 May, 2021


We are surrounded by a proliferation of channels, streams and texts clamoring to be consumed. Images are produced, made public and circulated on an unparalleled scale. When we click, search and ‘like’, our attention is measured, curiously scrutinized and commodified, resulting in what some scholars have identified as the rise of an attention economy. The phrase that attention is something you pay, has been literalized in the neoliberal era of digitalization.

More broadly the concept of attention can be related to issues of selection, norms, struggle and bias. In the process of sorting, one cannot help but miss something, and this is a condition, not only in contemporary media culture, but also for perception and experience at an ontological level.


In which ways is it, in relation to aesthetic experience, possible to conceptualize the “attentional” agency of the subject of experience? And how might aesthetic practices and objects (artworks, and aesthetic phenomena in a broader sense) as well as contemporary media ecologies be seen as facilitators of certain modes of attention?


The aim of the conference is to investigate the relationship between aesthetics and attention in various ways: In philosophical aesthetics, in art institutions, within the field of art histories, post-/decolonialism and cultural criticism.


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Ina Blom (Oslo/Chicago)

Yves Citton (Paris 8/ArTeC)



Jacob Lund

Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen

Mette-Marie Zacher Sørensen

Marie Christine Skammelsen

Maj Ørskov

Maja Bak Herrie