Associate Professor (Reader) of Philosophy, University of Warwick
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:August 2012‒July 2013
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Art after Aesthetics? A Critique of Theories of Art after Modernism«
This book I will be working on aims to: i. explain the widespread hostility to aesthetics in art practice and theory since the mid-1960s; ii. undermine such hostility by showing that it relies on an unacceptably restrictive conception of what makes art aesthetic and; iii. propose an alternative aesthetic theory adequate to the challenges of art after modernism. The first aim is empirical: it involves looking closely at the historical uses and abuses of aesthetic theory in the artworld prior to its rejection. The second aim is conceptual: it involves arguing against modernist aesthetics, and showing why various attempts to get beyond or reject it failed to break free of its underlying assumptions. The third aim is substantive: it involves outlining an aesthetic theory capable of accommodating the hard cases (e.g. ›non-perceptual‹ conceptual art) that motivated artworld rejections of aesthetics. Part I focuses on Clement Greenberg, Part II on Rosalind Krauss, Michael Fried, Stanely Cavell, Arthur Danto and Thierry de Duve, Part III on Immanuel Kant. As a whole, the book defends a much ›thicker‹ notion of art after modernism’s aesthetic dimension than is typical. (Diarmuid Costello) Diarmuid Costello follows an invitation of Martin Seel, Professor of Philosophy at Goethe University. His stay is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Scholarly profile of Diarmuid Costello
Further academic activities:
- Art after Aesthetics? A Critique of Theories of Art after Modernism (in progress).
- On Photography: A Philosophical Inquiry, London: Routledge. (forthcoming in 2017).
- »Doing Justice to the Art in Photography«, in: Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.): Four Arts of Photography, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
- »But I am killing them! Reply to Palermo and Baetens on Agency and Automatism«, in: Critical Inquiry, 41:1, 2014.
- »Leaning into the Wind: Poiesis«, in: Richard Long' in Aron Vinegar and Amanda Boetzkes (eds.), Heidegger and the Work of Art History, Surrey: Ashgate 2014.
- »Action and Automatism«, in: NONsite, Issue 11: Photography and Philosophy (Winter 2013/14).
- »The Question Concerning Photography«, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 70:1 Winter 2012, p. 101-113.
- The Media of Photography, co-edited with Dominic McIver Lopes (special issue of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 70:1 (Winter 2012)) and Oxford: Blackwell, 2012.
- Agency and Automatism: Photography as Art since the 1960s, co-edited with Margaret Iversen and Joel Snyder (special issue of Critical Inquiry, 38:4 (Summer 2012)).
- »Automat, Automatic, Automatism: Rosalind Krauss and Stanley Cavell on Photography and the "Photographically Dependent" Arts«,Critical Inquiry 38:4 Summer 2012.
- »Kant and Danto, Together at Last?« in: Mark Rollins (Hg.): Danto and his Critics, 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; pp. 153-171.
- Photography after Conceptual Art, co-edited with Margaret Iversen (special issue of Art History, 32:5 (December 2009)) and Oxford: Blackwell, 2010.
- »On the Very Idea of a "Specific" Medium: Michael Fried and Stanley Cavell on Painting and Photography as Arts«, Critical Inquiry, 34:2, Winter 2008, pp. 274-312.
- »Greenberg’s Kant, and the Fate of Aesthetics in Contemporary Art Theory«, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 65: 2, Spring 2007; pp. 217-228.
- »Kant after LeWitt: Towards an Aesthetics of Conceptual Art«, in: Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.): Philosophy and Conceptual Art, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; pp. 92-115.
Diarmuid Costello is a member of the AHRC’s (UK Arts & Humanities Research Council) Peer Review College (2010‒2013). He is a member of the British Society of Aesthetics (as Chair and Vice-President of the Society, 2008‒2012). He was Co-Director of the interdisciplinary AHRC-research project »Aesthetics after Photography« (2007‒2011).