The Aesthetic Dimension of Care: Arts and the Pandemic

Carmen Pellegrinelli, Laura Lucia Parolin, Marina Castagna

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Political and ethical dimensions are crucial to the sociomateriality of care. As Puig de la Bellacasa pointed out the “matter of care” confers a solid ethical attachment to the analysis of socio-technical assemblages. However, the new paradigm of care is not only pertinent to political and ethical dimensions, it also embodies an aesthetic dimension that has been insufficiently explored in the extant literature. An aesthetic of care underlines how care produces perceptions and emotions (good or bad) both to those who give, and those who receive care. Analysing an arts festival organised in Bergamo during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, this article shows the potential of an aesthetic of care to disentangle the complex intersections of the political, the ethical and the aesthetic in organised actions. In so doing, we propose to analyse caring as a practice, an open-ended flow of mutual affect that constantly stimulates bodies and senses, and moreover, that an aesthetic of care necessarily consists of sensory ethical practice that implies aesthesis and poiesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganizational Aesthetics
Volume 11
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)180-198
Publication statusPublished - 12. Jul 2022


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