This project ended in 2018. The webpage is kept for archival purposes and is not updated.
Does art develop society? This project – The relational politics of aesthetics: Negotiating relations between art and society through cultural policy – studies the relations between aesthetics and politics, highlighted through public measures to ensure a social impact of the arts. Aesthetics denotes processes of ascribing artistic value and beauty to certain objects, while politics denotes processes of governing or influencing the development of a society. The relations between these processes will be studied by empirical analysis of attempts to give arts and music developmental agency: through democratization of culture, through pedagogical work, through a general music policy, and through the use of culture in foreign policy. These themes will be analyzed in integrated subprojects, that all concentrate upon the relations between aesthetical valuation, perceived political relevance and social/societal impact. We have mainly chosen case-studies from the music field, for several reasons: On the one hand, music is arguably the most prevalent and widely dispersed kind of artistic expression, e.g. being extensively available through digitized media. On the other hand, it also represents an area for cultural policy with large ambitions both on the participating and consuming side – focusing upon both learning how to play and learning how to listen.