Join us for a Sunday afternoon at the MCA to hear eminent philosopher Professor Gernot Böhme speak about the concept of atmospheres and aesthetic economies. Atmosphere, Böhme argues, is not only the subject matter of art and architecture. We equally recognize the atmosphere of a city, an event or a performance as something that makes it peculiar and individual. But what is really at stake when we talk about the atmosphere of a space, is precisely the way that life unfolds within it.
In his talk, Professor Böhme will give a sketch of the concept of Atmospheres and Aesthetic Economy, which is a theory of the recent development of capitalism in our national economies. Basic needs are easy to satisfy, Böhme argues, and as a consequence, most commodities (including architecture) are not for use but for the staging our life. That is, architecture, just like other products and services, is used to produce atmospheres. Here, Böhme finds a turn from ‘useful’ to ‘joyful’ technology. He terms this the technology of entertainment which represents an enormous part of ourgeneral economy and includes the “aestheticisation of politics” (a term coined by Walter Benjamin), the staging of events and the management of culture.
Gernot Böhme’s theories have become highly influential in architectural thinking throughout the world and were explored in his collaborations with celebrated architects, artists and theorists including Herzog & De Meuron, Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell and Bruno Latour.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Sandra Karina Löschke (UTS), Graham Jahn (City of Sydney) and other guests.
$30/$20 MCA Members and Concessions
(online booking fees apply)
Presented in partnership with UTS School of Architecture
One-way colour tunnel 2007
Stainless steel, colour-effect acrylic, and acrylic mirrors
height 2.56 m x width 1.8 m x length 10.5 m
Installation view at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2009
Collection of the Art Supporting Foundation to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Photo: Jenni Carter; courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
© 2007 Olafur Eliasson