At Cinepoetics we assume that the poetics of cinematic images can be conceptualized as descriptions of a commonly shared perception of the world. In this perspective, poetics that are historically, socially, synchronically and diachronically divergent can be conceived of as creating a plurality of particular world versions. These always aim at a shared world perception as a whole and compete with one another for their validity.
Based on this claim, the question of how to define the relationship between poetics and politics is central to this summer term’s research at Cinepoetics: How do audiovisual concepts of a commonly shared world, which is a “made” world even in its basic sensuous structures, relate to processes of cultural and political community building?
Our basic hypothesis is that this relation can neither be described by means of separation nor by ascribing a specific identity. Rather, poetics and politics are two different modes of “making” a commonly shared world—modes that are closely linked without being in a causal/mimetic or instrumental/functional relationship. Could they be understood as configurations of two ways of relating to a feeling for the commonly shared world? This would mean that there is not simply ONE relationship of poetics and politics, but only specific and concretely situated configurations that are themselves objects of a “making.“ The processes of cultural and political community building, with all their inclusions and exclusions, are grounded in language and perception structures that have emerged from a contingent historical making, which makes them objects of permanent transformation.
We therefore assume that the intersections and interferences of film poetics demonstrate the ongoing refiguration of the limits of a sense of commonality. How do forms of poetic making—images, literary language, fiction, documentary, etc.—set up the conflict areas of community by simultaneously bringing to mind possible options of political action, whether as affirmations of hegemonic forms of communitization or as polemic interventions?
A central trace (which is also going to be a focus of the second Cinepoetics Symposium) is aesthetic judgment as a link between questions of poetics and political terms. We think that, based on Hannah Arendt’s reading of Kant, aesthetic judgments can be understood as necessary conditions for judgments about historical and political events and phenomena. For the aesthetic judgment, the judgment of taste, answers the question of whether a concept of the world is valid in measuring the extent to which this concept relates the individual sense of self to a commonly shared sense of the world. Is this how we can define the judgment of taste as agent of political thinking?
Together with an interdisciplinary group of fellows we want to investigate these claims and questions in relation to the conceptual debate on poiesis and praxis in Aristotle, to historical constellations of poetics and politics, and to more recent political theories. Furthermore, we want to connect them with our previous research focus on genre and affect.