Research Group Aesthetic and Cultural Studies

Open Seminar by Aesthetic Imaginaries

We would like to welcome you to an open seminar by our research group Aesthetic Imaginaries! Our two newest members, Assoc. Prof. Astrid Haas and PhD candidate Karen Nicole Werner will present their work to colleagues and students. All interested are welcome to attend! There will be refreshments (coffee, tea, and pastry) available.

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Aesthetic Imaginaries

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Assoc. Prof. Astrid Haas 

“Undocumented Border-Crossing and Migrant Activism in Mexican American Graphic Fiction”

The research studies the entangled representations of undocumented Mexican-US border-crossing and migrant activism in the USA in selected works of recent Mexican and Mexican American graphic fiction. It draws on the concept of artivism to discuss artistic political interventions into current debates and contested practices in Duncan Tonatiuh’s graphic novel for children, Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight (2018), and Hector Rodriguez’s superhero comic series El Peso Hero (2015-). The talk examines how Tonatiuh’s and Rodriguez’s works represent two key elements in the socio-spatial social journeys of undocumented migrants to the United States: their journeys across the US-Mexican border and their fights against migrant labor exploitation in the United States. It argues that, and shows how, these narratives employ distinct elements of Mexican and US American visual cultures to educate readers about unauthorized migration, critique racist border regimes and migrant exploitation, as well as empower undocumented migrants and validate their experiences.


PhD candidate Karen Nicole Werner 

“Re-imagining the Radio Station"

The radio station is a scenographic setting that shapes terms of engagement between senders and receivers while interfacing with communication infrastructures and technologies. My artistic research project, re-radio, focuses on the radio station as an artistic form within the field of transmission art and borrows from relational aesthetics and relational antagonism. Through the creation of three Bergen- based radio stations, SkottegatenFM, Radio Multe 93.8FM and an unnamed and unruly jamming/shadow station, re-radio re-imagines and enacts ways of being, communicating and creating together. Some insights so far in re-radio include the way a radio station can invite speaking-as- thinking-as-writing on air; voice as a relational indicator and instrument for intervention and the productive possibilities of interference and obscured signals.