Joanna Straczowski’s PhD research focuses on the problematic nature of the concept of aestheticization and more specifically on Jean Baudrillard’s theory of transaesthetics as a criticism of traditional notions of the artworld, aesthetic value and cultural institutions. She focuses on his theories to re-evaluate the concept of aestheticization for the ‘Digital Age’ and to examine how the new developments brought about by new technologies and digital media change our understanding of aesthetics and our overall aesthetic experiences. Key questions to her project are: Do cultural institutions gain more impact with regard to social and political developments, given the wider dissemination and democratization of the arts by means of new technologies? Does an aestheticization of society potentially have beneficial effects (such as enhancing creativity, creative thinking and political awareness)?
In collaboration with FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology), and in context of the the FACTLab initiative, she is working on projects concerning the possibility of protest in the age of digital media, CAVA’s ‘Libidinal Circuits’ conference and ‘The Illusion Parade’, as part of the European Converence of Visual Perception (ECVP). Joanna takes part in the University of Liverpool’s doctoral training project LiNK and she is a member of the Dutch Association of Aesthetics (DAA) and the British Society of Aesthetics (BSA). In context of the BSA sponsored ‘Philosophy in the Gallery’ series, she has delivered a talk at Tate Liverpool, accompanying the Transmitting Andy Warhol exhibition, in 2014.