Filippo Fimiani, June 9th 2022
In this Rebalance Talk, Professor Lisa-Marie Schaefer (Researcher of Mobility Psychology), Cristina Marolda (Architect, expert in mobility) and Ghadir Pourhashem (Expert in transportation planning) spoke with Filippo Fimiani , Professor of Aesthetics and Visual Culture at the University of Salerno.
Firstly, Fimiani remarks that mobility is a concept-assemblage, composed by body motility or motricity, mobility by transportation means, and digital mobility by mobile devices. Mobility points to the Latin Movere, which is one of the three tasks of “excellent rhetoric” (Cicero, De oratore), with Docere (to teach) and Delectare (to delight), and it means to change place and to set in motion, but also to affect and transform. Being in motion mobilizes emotions and actions, affects and actually effects.
Mobility is a concept-assemblage, composed by body motility or motricity, mobility by transportation means, and digital mobility by mobile devices.
Any aesthetic experience is ethic, because is not isolated and about the static beauty of works of art or artefacts aestheticizing the urban or natural landscape – such as public artworks, monuments or advertisements –, but it is primarily an embodied mobility of a living being in a complex form of life. Any moving aesthetic experience is an embedded, grounded, and situated entanglement with the built and the living, and is always kinaesthetic, somaeasthetic (Ronald Schusterman ed., Bodies in the Streets. The Somaesthetics of City Life, Brill 2019), technoaesthetic (Gilbert Simondon, On Techno-aesthetics, 1982, Parrhesia, 14, 2012) – because we are natural-technical beings negotiating with the environment –, and narrative – because, as Ulrich says in Musil’s The Man without Qualities as he passes from the monotony of the countryside to the moving sensorial chaos (the aisthesis) of the changing city, “in the basic relationship they have with themselves, nearly all men are narrators” –.
Fimiani finds that today nearly all human narratives are digital and mobile: an increasing storytelling and a plethora of icon-texts are created and shared by our mobile audiovisual devices (Max Schleser, Marsha Berry eds, Mobile Story Making in an Age of Smartphones, Springer Palgrave 2018).
Today, mobility implies encounters and co-presences mediated by portable technologies, that mobilize a particular form of cinematic sense-making between people be-longing in, and participating to, a digital public space. User-generated by bottom-up practices, an existential, performative, creative and critical digital sensus loci communis can arise from, or against, the commonplaces of the contemporary globalized mobilization. Selfies and stories shared on the social media can activate not only likable consumption (Delectare) and functional information (Docere), but different ethic-aesthetic experiences and behaviors (Movere).
Today, mobility implies encounters and co-presences mediated by portable technologies, that mobilize a particular form of cinematic and narrative sense-making between people be-longing in, and participating to, the digital public space and common storytelling.
Fimiani discusses some artistic performances (Sweza, Graffyard 2010, Simon Weckert, Google Maps Hacks 2020) as examples of a mobile counter-storytelling that result in an intensification of our everyday aesthetic experience, and some migrant narratives (Koen Leurs, Irati Agirreazkuenaga, Kevin Smets, Melis Mevsimler eds., European Journal of Cultural Studies, 23/5, 2020) as powerful digital evidences that end up in a moral extension of our togetherness sensibility and political agency for more innovative and inclusive real public policies of mobility
Filippo Fimiani is Doctor in Humanities from the University of Paris VIII-Saint-Denis (France) and in Philosophy from the University of Naples (Italy). He is Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Salerno, and Director of the Audiovisual Storytelling Lab (LABSAV). Director of the Doctoral Program in Sciences of Language, Society, Politics and Education at the University of Salerno, he is currently Director of the Doctoral School of Human Sciences + Cultures (SCU) and delegated by the Dean to the doctoral and postgraduate schools in Humanities.