Ancient Greeks used one word, techne, to designate both technical and artistic practices. It is only in modern times that art gained autonomy, becoming the object of one philosophical discipline: aesthetics. However, the emergence of mass media, and then of digital media, has brought art close to technology, challenging its autonomy. In this situation, some basic philosophical questions about art regain centrality: Why art? What is art for? What is the role of art in a technological society like ours? The traditional answer stresses the uniqueness of art, pointing to the essential difference between artworks and technical artifacts. The increasing interchange between art and technology, however, encourages us to question this statement, pursuing an alternative strategy. The hypothesis is that artworks belong to a technical kind which has been overlooked so far: the kind of experiential artifacts whose function consists in triggering experiences. Art is severed from technology only if one focuses on artifacts such as drills or lathes whose function consists in producing concrete effects. Yet, once experiential artifacts have been recognized, one can fruitfully connect art to technology, rethinking forms of art as techniques for generating different types of experiences. The PEA project launches the philosophy of experiential artifacts as a new area of inquiry in which the relationship between art and technology can be properly theorized, thereby offering a new conceptual toolbox for historical and empirical research. This will be done through a fourfold methodology in which aesthetics and the philosophy of mind analyze the experiences that experiential artifacts are meant to trigger, while metaphysics and the philosophy of technology investigate the structure in virtue of which they perform this function. PEA will thus reconceptualize artworks as technical artifacts that we value for the way in which they enable us to enrich, share and coordinate our experiences.
The main aim of the ANTIGONE project is to investigate how the disappearance of practices for managing shared environmental resources played a role in the abandonment and political marginalisation of European mountain areas from the 18th c onwards. The legacy of these processes can be seen in population levels in these areas, and in the worsening of their natural and cultural heritage. Current policies – aiming to promote their ‘heritagisation’ – do not seem likely to be more effective, in the long-term, as development interventions than the drive for rationalisation in the 19th c. and modernisation in the 20th c. A new historical perspective is needed which addresses the process of abandonment and marginalisation in its entire complexity. ANTIGONE will analyse the critical period from the 18th to the 21st c. and provide new insights into the links between individuals, communities, central States and landscape, grounded in a new understanding of the relationship between practices, resources and objects. By means of archaeological, historical, environmental, ethnological analyses, and through the comparison of case studies from European mountain areas, ANTIGONE aims to verify if alleged ‘improvement’ practices involved not just changes in management technique, but also contributed to decline in the sharing of work, time and space, with knock-on effects on the social dimension of the whole historic system. Through its multidisciplinary approach ANTIGONE aims at provide: new knowledge on the historical mechanisms underlying the abandonment of mountain and, more broadly, rural areas, as a key to understanding marginalisation; new knowledge on landscapes, practices and their features; a new methodological toolbox for interdisciplinary investigations driven by archaeology; a new role for archaeology, beyond the acknowledged one as a heritage science; new contributions to community based policies for local sustainable development and landscape management.
For human beings, spatial experiences are conditioned by architecture. How we perceive our built surroundings affects our psychophysical wellbeing, feelings, and behavior. This argument is not a new one. However, we have yet to objectively consolidate evidence in this regard. Recently, architecture has started to interact with cognitive neuroscience. Driven by technological progress and informed by other disciplines (such as environmental psychology), their synergy can foster the evolution of the study of how people perceive the totality of sensory properties that constitute a room. The manipulation of ambient conditions (e.g., lighting, colors, and materiality) is presumed to impact our emotions. The emotional potential radiated by the built environment composes that which we commonly call “atmosphere”. The hypothesis is that architectural atmospheres define a state of resonance and identification (emotive and cognitive) between an individual and their built surroundings. This embodiment-based perspective allows us to design quantitative, reproducible methods to analyze atmospheres. The project aims to investigate the effects of architectural atmospheres on our emotional responses that underlie behavioral intentions and feelings, testing an interdisciplinary, evidence-based approach. Physiological recordings and measurements of neural activation integrate psychological self-reports that describe the consciously perceived experience. The value of this proposal lies in the opportunity to assess—through neuroscientific criteria and methodology—the existence of a neurobiological basis of atmospheric perception that would explain the link between specific visual atmospheric stimuli and altered emotional states. The planned experiments will address the current lack of empirical data and test new experimental paradigms, such as the use of virtual reality and electroencephalography technology, in order to formalize an architectural theory concerning atmospheric perception.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions pay particular attention to physical accessibility and inclusion and foresee financial support for the additional costs entailed by recruited or seconded researchers/staff members with disabilities. This grant will cover the additional costs that the staff member with disabilities faces due to the increased mobility costs.
Widespread replacement of algal forests with less-complex turf algae threaten the diversity and functioning of coastal rocky ecosystems and have prompted conservation and management efforts worldwide. Yet these initiatives target the species forming the marine forest rather than preservation of the ecosystem services these communities provide. The project ECOCYST will conduct a comparative valuation of Mediterranean rocky shore fringe communities associated with different dominant macroalgal forms that potentially represent alternative stable states: from forests of the canopy-forming genus Cystoseira to turf-forming species, considered a degraded state. The co-occurrence of these alternative fringe habitats in similar physical conditions presents a unique opportunity to evaluate the loss of function associated with algal forest decline. I will assess value by measures of diversity and ecosystem function that are linked to services of nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and habitat provision. Measurements of abiotic conditions (e.g. temperature, hydrodynamics) within each fringe type will determine to what extent the canopy facilitates other species by ameliorating environmental extremes. Compound-specific stable isotope signatures in each fringe type and their associated consumers will reveal differences among algal states in food web support. Pulse-chase labelling experiments will estimate rates of carbon fixation, nitrogen assimilation, carbon storage potential and contribution to coastal nitrogen cycling. In order to maximize the impact of this work toward coastal management that focuses on conservation of ecosystem services, I will hold regional meetings and a final open workshop with networks of monitoring agencies and stakeholders (disseminated via MedPAN). Together with a systematic literature review, the synthesis of these outcomes will provide a best-practice guide toward development of management frameworks that enhance coastal ecosystem value.