Place and Image. The Role of Representation in the Aesthetic Experience of Places


  • Paolo Furia Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy



In my paper, I will discuss the role of the image in the determination of people’s approaches and attitudes towards places. After a short introduction (§1), in the first part of the essay I will discuss the main points of criticism against the image in relation to the issue of environmental appreciation. In doing so, I will relate Allen Carlson’s criticism towards the so-called ‘landscape cult’ in environmental aesthetics (§2) to the post-structuralist critique of the concept of landscape that has been carried out in the field of human geography (§3). In the fourth section, I will emphasize the structuring and performative character of representations, and will show how, in the present, the image remains one of the fundamental ways of regulating relations between subjects of experience and places (§4). The task of a theory of place-image, informed by knowledge acquired in the fields of visual and media studies, is to learn to read images as tools for understanding and defining the environment around us.

Author Biography

Paolo Furia, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

Paolo Furia currently works as a fixed term researcher at the Department of Humanities of the University of Torino (Italy). He co-organizes the Aesthetics Research Turin cycle of Seminars. He is a member of the European Society of Aesthetics, the Italian Society of Aesthetics, the Interuniversity Center of Morphology, the Centro Studi Filosofico-religiosi - Luigi Pareyson and the Society for Ricoeur Studies. Paolo Furia participated in international conferences and seminars in Berlin, Paris, Palermo, Rome, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Leuven, Ljubljana; he is a member of the PRIN project “Revis – Silentscapes” and was a member of project teams in Paris (Ehess and Paris Nanterre). He has published 3 monographs (Rifiuto Altrove Utopia, Mimesis 2019; Estetica e geografia, Mimesis 2020; Spaesamento. Esperienza estetico-geografica, Meltemi 2023) and several articles in English, Italian, and French.




How to Cite

Furia, P. (2024). Place and Image. The Role of Representation in the Aesthetic Experience of Places. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (33), 17–31.