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Spectating as Epistemic Practice (2022-)

Torsten Jost, Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters"
Postdoctoral Research Project

Torsten Jost's research project investigates the material, intermedial and intercultural foundations and dynamics seen in formation processes of historical and current discourses on spectating as an epistemic practice. On the one hand, it argues that in European history since the sixteenth century spectating has been mobilized and reflected upon—as a key epistemic practice—in various art forms and cultural fields, such as theater, painting, literature, religion, etc. These "wanderings" through different materialities, media and art forms have not only rendered such discourses perceptible, they also contributed to their transformation and led to the formation of far and deep reaching "temporal (epistemic) communities." On the other hand, this research project analyzes to what extent globalization movements have—through the circulation and displacement of objects, writings and people—recurrently destabilized established configurations of the performative interplay between materiality and mediality in various art forms and, thus, motivated critiques and transformations of epistemologies (re)generated by practices of and discourses on spectating.