About the Journal

About the Journal

Edit About the Journal

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies (ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online) is an academic journal for art theory, media studies, cultural studies, general art sciences, philosophy of art and contemporary aesthetics with an interdisciplinary approach and international scope. The journal is open to various theoretical approaches, platforms, and schools of thought: avant-garde theory, semiology, poststructuralism, deconstruction, performance studies, theoretical psychoanalysis, neo- and post-marxism, cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, queer theory, biopolitics, new phenomenology, etc.

Since 2017, the Journal has been issued in English three times per year (on April 15, September 15, and October 15), both in print and in digital, open-access versions.

The Journal was started in 2011. It is indexed in ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJCEEOL, and in the List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (M24 starting with issue No. 24, April 2021; M23 starting with the issue No. 30, April 2023). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted, and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.

AM Journal is an associated journal of the International Association for Aesthetics.

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Author GuidelinesCopyright Form_Visual Examples, and Copyright Transfer Agreement

Editorial Policy

Peer Review Procedure


Current Issue

No. 33 (2024): Issue No. 33, April 2024 – Main Topic: Aesthetic Learning and Sustainability
					View No. 33 (2024): Issue No. 33, April 2024 – Main Topic: Aesthetic Learning and Sustainability

Editors' Note

Aesthetic Learning and Sustainability

Human beings develop aesthetic preferences throughout their lives. They learn to appreciate certain features of their surroundings as aesthetically valuable and they make specific aesthetic choices. It is important to point out that aesthetic preferences govern decisions not only in art-related domains, but also in our everyday lives, especially through the preservation of cultural heritage, the design of urban environments, and, finally, in the conservation of natural ecosystems.

Of particular interest is the fact that the acquisition and development of aesthetic preferences are tightly intertwined with individual and collective behaviors affecting the environment.

Aesthetic inclinations for certain materials, styles, or forms of consumption can drive demand for resources, affect land use patterns, and even contribute to pollution or habitat destruction. The perception of wind farms as visually disruptive is a classic example. Despite their clear environmental benefits, opposition to wind farms often arises due to concerns about their aesthetic impact on the landscape. One strategy to increase their acceptance may involve reshaping current societal aesthetic perceptions by educating on their potential aesthetic values. Similarly, the traditional view of green lawns as the epitome of garden beauty carries considerable environmental repercussions. Maintaining lush green lawns implies excessive water consumption, chemical fertilizers and pesticides contributing to water pollution, habitat degradation, and resource depletion. Shifting towards alternative gardening practices may require a reevaluation of our collective aesthetic preferences (Saito 2017).

With the above in mind, in recent years, the notion of sustainability has been increasingly juxtaposed with that of aesthetic appreciation (Berleant 2014; Brady 2014; Saito 2017; Lehtinen 2019; 202; Mikkonen 2021). At the same time, artistic practices related to the topic of climate change and environmental sustainability more generally have multiplied (Welsh 2020; Simoniti 2023), reflecting a growing awareness and concern for these topics.

This issue of the AM Journal of Art and Media Studies aims to engage philosophical aesthetics, art criticism, and art practices in dialogue in order to bring out crucial issues raised by the relationship between art and sustainability. The authors who contributed their essays for this issue consistently emphasize the significance of aesthetic education in enhancing our environmental sensibilities in the time of climate change.

In her opening contribution, María José Alcaráz León addresses the possible impact that being aware of global climate change may have on the aesthetic experience of current environments. Relying on the theoretical tools provided by environmental aesthetics, her article casts light on the emotional and imaginative outcomes of environmental awareness. She elaborates, in particular, on whether the temporal sense we have of irreversible processes affecting nature and the existential link of dependency we feel towards it leaves room for aesthetically rewarding experiences.

Our aesthetic relationship with places and, most of all, with natural landscapes is tackled by Paolo Furia’s paper, focusing on the role played by images in understanding and defining our environment. Drawing on environmental aesthetics, human geography and media studies, Furia points out that the inherent dialectical interplay between places and their images urges us to learn to interpret the latter as valuable tools to access our geographical realities.

The need to represent the environment and human responsibility for its deterioration is at the core of the art critic Ana Frangovska’s essay. On the background of classical dilemmas in aesthetics and moral theory, the paper analyzes two artistic projects by contemporary artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva. The installations Silentio Pathologia and Haruspex provide challenging, tangible examples of how the aesthetic conflict between formal beauty and disgust caused by certain materials, can confront us with moral questions about resource exploitation, capitalism, and animal abuse.

The task of a theoretical clarification is taken on by Noora-Helena Korpelainen, who devotes her contribution to disentangling close yet distinct notions at play in the domain of aesthetics and climate change. ‘Aesthetic sustainability’, ‘the aesthetics of sustainability’, and ‘sustainable aesthetics’ are addressed and defined to support scholarly endeavors regarding the role of aesthetic competence in sustainability deliberations. Aesthetic sustainability helps us assess our aesthetic engagement with reality in relation to environmental sustainability. The aesthetics of sustainability examines how ecology-related practices are liable to aesthetic evaluation. Finally, sustainable aesthetics is a self-reflective notion that examines how aesthetic theories and activities can comply with urgent sustainability requirements.

Thought-provoking case studies of all three concepts are offered by the artists’ portfolio of the following section.

Artist Carolina Alfradique introduces [meta]estratos, a Brazil-based research institute where artists, curators and researchers carry out collective projects intertwining theoretical readings, critical analyses, and artistic experiments. [meta]estratos’s portfolio can be fruitfully coupled with Furia’s “Place and image. The role of representation in the aesthetic experience of places”, for it seems to offer a tangible example of the productive and non-trivial entanglement between the geographical reality and the geographical imaginary.

The collective IC-98, formed by artists Visa Suonpää and Patrik Söderlund, presents two projects, the House of Khronos and the Raa’anhaava Park of Wounded Earth that deal respectively with the passage of time in un-exploited environments and the possibility to creatively and collectively renegotiate the nature of an exploited land. Both projects mobilize concepts introduced by Alcaráz León’s “Anticipating Aesthetic Transformations in the Face of Climate Change”, namely those of the temporal sense of irreversibility that characterize our aesthetic appreciation of environments threatened by climate changes and of the existential dependency that we feel when confronting damaged environments.

Artist and photographer Virginia Hanusik’s project Louisiana 2014–2022 delves into the challenges of living in a changing climate, revealing the spiritual essence of existence amidst ecological degradation and collapse. Her aesthetically valuable images of the Gulf of Mexico’s seacoast in the US state of Louisiana illustrate the passage of time through subtle modifications in the landscape, thereby functioning as representations not only of a landscape but also of the specific feelings stemming from her own awareness of ongoing climatic changes.

The issue concludes with Camilla Palazzolo’s review of Vid Simoniti’s Artists Remake the World, a Contemporary Art Manifesto (2023), which explores the role of art in addressing a myriad of challenges that today’s societies are confronted with, such as climate change and global inequality. Simoniti’s book provides a comprehensive examination of how contemporary art can influence modern democratic-capitalist societies, highlighting its potential to foster audience emancipation and cultural advancement.

Guest Issue Editors

Lisa Giombini (Roma Tre University, Italy)

Marta Benenti (University of Murcia, Spain)


On the cover: Provisonal Salta Ensemble, Druga priroda [Second Nature], 2017.

Published: 02.06.2024
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