Prof. Dr. Peter Bexte
Fields of research
History of sciences and aesthetics, with a focus on the triangle of images/perception/media and concepts of space.
IKKM Research ProjectTables and Transformations. Some Ideas about the Notion of Relation
Tables do not simply offer a neutral surface. A closer look at tables in artistic, scientific, religious or military contexts shows their active character: they transform relations. Surrealist artists have been well aware of this, performing time and again strange encounters of objects on a table (»la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection« as Lautréamont had it; cf. Maldoror, Chant 6, §1). The lecture will present some examples. It will especially discuss the notion of »relation« which was a common expression in structuralism. Wolfgang Kemp has applied it to the history of art, and Michel Serres has called his philosophy »une théorie des relations«. The expression »relation« refers to different traditions - formal logic, topology, linguistics, ethnography etc. These various traditions overlap each other whenever we say »relation«. Unfolding these various dimensions of the word will be necessary in order to understand what tables do.