___Scholarly Publications

97817936341771234567899783631744048_200x_learning-from-decayart excesslangeco



Publications CV 28092020

Teaching Portfolio _ 08102020


I am a Helsinki-based scholar with one foot in aesthetics and the other in cultural studies, semiotics and idea history. I also have a professional history in performance, gallery management (ROR Gallery, Kallio Kunsthalle, Gallery KLEIN), critique, essays and art writing (Kunstkritikk, Flash Art, Art Pulse).

As a philosopher,I stand, school-wise at the crossroads of phenomenology, the Frankfurt School, pragmatism, hermeneutics  and Indian philosophy – without forgetting the ‘queminist’, post-colonialist and class-related twist which often lands naturally in my work.

Topic-wise I have worked on e.g. contemporary art, body philosophy, appropriation, urban aesthetics, aesthetic experience, pop, kitsch and critical perspectives on art. Lately I seem to have been drifting also into more general questions in philosophy (robots, dialectics).

As a PhD/Docent in aesthetics, ex Chair of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics (2014-2018) and ex member of the board of the International Association of Aesthetics (2014-2018), I have naturally published articles on ‘pure’ philosophy of art e.g. in journals like Contemporary Aesthetics (another one here), Nordic Journal of AestheticsJournal of Somaesthetics and Terra Aesthetica, but most of my work is still semi-practical, essayistic or something which you could refer to as applied aesthetics. In Finnish I have published essay books (on ice hockey and film) and in art journals (Art Pulse, Flash Art, Atlantica Internacional, Kunstkritikk) I have published philosophical interviews and theoretical essays.

I am the (founder and) editor-in-chief of Popular Inquiry: The Journal of the Aesthetics of Kitsch, Camp and Mass Culture together with Jozef Kovalcik. With Richard Shusterman and Falk Heinrich I am the editor of The Journal of Somaesthetics. I am also on the international advisory board of Terra Aestheticae (2017-), Aesthetica Universalis (2018-), ESPES, and the Finnish journal for art education Births (2018-) – and an ex board member in The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics (2002-2005) and the Finnish journal for artistic research Ruukku (2017-2019).

My current interests include: How to discuss the way people try to escape their (white middle) class identity with lowbrow-leaning consumerism? What is an art scene, really? Could robot cars in the end be more ‘human’ than man-driven cars? Could the medieval Indian rasa theory offer us a tools for understanding of today’s TV series? Do we sometimes watch films more with our bodies then minds, and if we do: how could we discuss this philosophically? With Petteri Kummala I am publishing an article on Heidegger’s concept “equipment” and its application to entertainment/architecture. With Hye-Young Kim I am writing an article where we attempt to produce more accurate/productive concepts for discussing what now goes under the headings ‘West’, ‘Europe’ and ‘Asia’. I am also working on kitsch and tropicality with Anna-Sofia Sysser and the Estonian Singing Revolution’s connection to kitsch music with Eret Talviste.




On The Philosophy of Central European Art: The History of an Institution and its Global Competitors. Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), 2020.

Appearances of the Political. Ed. with Elisabetta Di Stefano and Carsten Friberg. 2021 (est, in review). Includes my article “Political Concepts as Aesthetic Concepts,” and texts by the other editors, Katya Mandoki, Margus Vihalem, Mateusz Salwa and Majid Heidari.

“Living Beauty, Rethinking Rap: Revisiting Shusterman’s Philosophy of Hip Hop,” in Jerold Abrams, ed, Shusterman’s Somaesthetics: From Hip Hop Philosophy to Politics and Performance Art (Leiden: Brill)

“Bodies in the Street.” Review of Richard Shusterman (Ed.) Bodies in the Street. The Journal of Aesthetic Education 2020/2.

“Learning from DRE: Teaching Aesthetics and Art Theory to Artists (like an executive producer.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Comparative Literature, 2020: 2, 468-474.

“Eat Your Heart Out: Peripheric Interpretation – Or How Films Penetrate Our Body”. In Estetika centra a periférie – centruma periféria estetiky, edited by Michaela Pašteková and Martin Kanuch, 108-124. Bratislava: Slovenská asociácia pre estetiku, 2020.



“Rethinking Art Education: The Art School Theory Teacher as an Executive Producer”. In Slavka Kopackova, ed, Estetická výchova a prax vyučovania estetiky v kontextoch európskeho estetického myslenia 19. a 20. storočia – dialóg s tradíciou a súčasné koncepcie. Presov: Presov University Press, 2020. 262-272.

Aesthetics in Dialogue: Applying Philosophy of Art in a Global World. Ed. with Zoltan Somhegyi. 2nd editor. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020. The book also includes my article “Rasa Industry” (95-106), which discusses today’s TV series through ancient Indian theatre theories. Other authors include e.g. Katya Mandoki, Kathleen Higgins, Yuriko Saito and Tyrus Miller.

“Death Style, The Ultimate Expression of a Lifestyle: A Sketch for a Popular Futurology and Art Education for Funerals”, in Art Communication and Pop Culture 2019: 1-2, 6-17.

Notes on the Yellow Press (and its Impact on Art). A Sketchy Return to the Mass Culture Debate.” Aesthetica Universalis, 2020: 1, 151-174.

& Jozef Kovalcik, “Gazing at the Invisible: How Can Aesthetic Theory Help Make Sense of the State of Emergency Initiated by Covid-19?” In Popular Inquiry 2020: 2, 3-5.

“Kitsch Happens: On the Kitsch Experience of Nature.” In ESPES 2019: 2, 10-16.



Art, Excess, and Education: Historical and Discursive Contexts. (3rd) Ed. with Kevin Tavin & Mira Kallio-Tavin. (2019.) New York: Palgrave. “Introduction” (Tavin, Kallio-Tavin, Ryynänen), pp. 1-18, and by me only “Sending Chills Up My Spine: Somatic Film and the Care of the Self“, pp. 183-197.

“From Haunted Ruin to the Most Touristified of All Cities.” In Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins & Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds) (2019), Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments and Memorials, pp. 157-165. London: Routledge.

Downgrading with Style: Middle Class Anxiety and the Aesthetic Performance of Role Distance“. Poetics 2019: 1 (Feb), 43-53. Together with Jarkko Pyysiäinen (who is here author 1).

Guest Editor with Jozef Kovalcik for The Journal of Somaesthetics: Body First – Somaesthetics and Popular Culture (2019: 1). The issue includes my texts: “Introduction” (with Jozef Kovalcik), pp. 4-5, and the article “Under the Skin: Notes on the Aesthetics of Distance and Visual Culture”, pp. 85-93

“Rasafication: The Aesthetic Manipulation of our Everyday”. The Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics 2019/1 (Spring), Vol 42 , pp. 165-169.

“A Handful of Takes on the Body.”  Review. The Journal of Somaesthetics. Vol 4, 2019: 2, pp. 96-99, Special Issue: Somaesthetics and Technology. (Richard Shusterman (ed), Aesthetic Experience and Somaesthetics).



The Art Scenes.” Contemporary Aesthetics, Vol 16, 2018. (Co-written with Jozef Kovalcik.)

“Contemporary Kitsch: The Death of Pseudo Art and the Birth of Everyday Cheesiness (A Postcolonial Inquiry),” Terra Aestheticae, Vol I (Theoria), 2018: 1, 70-86.

Learning from Decay: Aesthetics of Architectural Disintegration, with Zoltan Somhegyi (co-written), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2018.

“Low Theory and Crazy White Men: An Interview with Jack Halberstam.” Popular Inquiry, Vol 2, Spring 2018, 2-9.



“Rock me Amadeus: Aesthetics and the Highbrow Appropriation of Lowbrow.” In Zoltan Somhegyi (ed), Yearbook of the International Association for Aesthetics. Sharjah: IAA, 2017. 186-196.

“Aesthetics of Distance.” Aleksi Malmberg & Annukka Vähäsöyrinki (eds). Home Re-assembled. On Art, Destruction & Belonging. Rotterdam: Jap Sam Books, 2017.

Chopin’s Heart: The Somatic Stimulation of Our Experience of Thingness in Everyday Popular Culture.” In Carsten Friberg & Raine Vasquez (eds), Heterologies of the Everyday. Copenhagen (Nordic Summer University Press, 2017, 190-205.)



“Margins of Aesthetics.” With Jozef Kovalcik. In Contemporary Aesthetics 2016 (Vol 14).



“Throwing the Body into the Fight: The Body as an Instrument in Political Art.” The Journal of Somaesthetics 2015: 1. Vol 1: Somaesthetics and Visual Art. 108-121.

New Laokoon. On Dramaturgization or Dramaturgy as the Key to Understand the Role of the Artist Today.” In New Dramaturgy – New Dramaturge II. Ed. Vladislava Fekete. The Theatre Institute, Bratislava, 2015. 56-62.

“Teaching as a Work of Art.” With Taina Rajanti and Pia Euro. In Teija Löytönen (ed). Synnyt/Births (Finnish Journal for Art Education) 2015: 2. 41-61.



Aesthetics of Popular Culture. Ed. with Jozef Kovalcik. Bratislava: Slovart Publishing. 2014.
* “A History of Aesthetics of Popular Culture” with Jozef Kovalcik. 14-49.
* “The High, the Low, and the Weak. An Interview with Gianni Vattimo”. 234-240.
* “Pragmatism and Popular Culture. An Interview with Richard Shusterman” with Jozef Kovalcik. 228-233.

From Pragmatism to Fusion Philosophy.” Review. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics: 2014: 2. 149-156.

Taidejalkapallo.” In Sokrateen syöksypusku. Eds Mikael Melan & Jussi Saarinen. Jyväskylä: Docendo, 2014. 128-139. [Art Soccer.]



Elokuva, rakastettuni! [Film, mon amour!] Turku: Savukeidas, 2013.


“Institutional Stress. When Bureaucracy Replaces Art.” Art Pulse. Spring 2012.

“Traveling alone? Ideas for a (better) future aesthetics of touring.” In Johanna Hammarberg & Martina Marti (eds): Touring in Scandinavia and the Baltics: Bridging Regional and International Perspectives. Helsinki: Baltic Circle / Tekijä. 8-11.

”Pakko nauraa. Camp korkeakulttuurina ja lasikattona”. [Forced Entertainment. Camp as high culture and glass ceiling.] Nuori Voima 2012: 4. 38-41.

Roskamaali. Jääkiekon estetiikkaa ja kulttuurifilosofiaa.  [Garbage Goal. Aesthetics and Cultural Philosophy of Ice Hockey.] Turku: Savukeidas.



“Art and Education – or the dark side of pedagogy. A dialogue.” With Christiana Galanopoulou. Synnyt/Origins. Finnish Studies on Art. 2011 September. 1-16.


“Estetiska debatter inom ishockeyvärlden.” Ed. Valdemar Lindekrantz. Sudden Death. Bilder av ishockey. 16-21. Göteborg: Scopium, 2009.

Learning from Venice. What a unique city can teach about the aesthetics. PhD dissertation. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, e-thesis series.

“Euroopan (museo)ryöstö, vanhan taiteen paikkasidonnaisuus ja digitaalinen vallankumous – Museofilosofiaa uudelle ajalle.” Kuriositeettikabi.net 2009: 1.


“The Role of the Festival Audience”. In Johanna Hammarberg (ed) Theatre Festival Dictionary. Helsinki: Baltic Circle.

”Estetiska debatter inom ishockeyvärlden.” Ny TidKontur 2008: 2. 4-5.

Pinkkiä posliinia. Kitschin nykyhetki, oppaana Jeff Koons..” Toim. Seppo Knuuttila & Ulla Piela. Kansanestetiikka. Kalevalaseuran vuosikirja 87. 43-52. Helsinki: Kalevalaseura, 2008.



“Silloin kolahti!” Parnasso 2007: 3. 26-31.

Oskillaation massakulttuuri. Gianni Vattimo et al nykyaikaa etsimässä.” Synteesi2007: 1. 59-80.

“Lopputyön teoreettisen osan ohjaamisen erityisongelmia taideyliopistoissa.” Synnyt2007: 2. 54-61.



Liikkuminen ja liikenne Venetsian estetiikassa” Toim. Arto Haapala & Ossi Naukkarinen. Mobiiliestetiikka. Kirjoituksia liikkeen ja liikkumisen kulttuurista. Kansainvälisen soveltavan estetiikan raportteja no 3. 157-174. Lahti: Kansainvälinen soveltavan estetiikan instituutti, 2006.


Nobrow.” Toim. Yrjänä Levanto & Ossi Naukkarinen & Susann Vihma. Taiteistuminen. 155-163. Helsinki: TAIK, 2006.


“Kätilö kasvattajana ja kasvatettavana. Teorian opettamisesta taiteilijoille” Synnyt. Taidekasvatuksen tiedonala 2006: 4. 34-40.

”Ajatuksia sodan ja terrorismin estetiikasta”. Kanava 2005: 6. 392-393.


Learning from VeniceContemporary Aesthetics, Special Volume 1 (2005): Aesthetics and Mobility.


Nobrow. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics. 2005 (32). 86-98.

Umberto Eco: James Joyce, Teräsmies ja vesinokkaeläin. Helsinki: Yliopistopaino, 2005. 258 s. Ed. with Tarja Knuuttila. Contributors: Eero Tarasti, Hannu Riikonen, Jan Blomstedt, Harri Veivo, Klaus Brax, Erna Oesch, Tarja Knuuttila, Max Ryynänen.

– ”Ainakin 4 Ecoa” (with Tarja Knuuttila), 7-18
– “Umberto Eco kitschin ja massakulttuurin estetiikasta”, 102-127
– “Arvoitus nimeltään Umberto Eco. Ugo Vollin haastattelu.”, 231-259



The Double Life of Jeff Koons’ Made in Heaven Glass ArtworksNordic Journal of Aesthetics. 2004 (29-30). 99-111.

“Tutkijan roolista ja julkisesta keskustelusta.” Tiedepolitiikka 2004: 4, 53-57.


“La experiencia estética del 11 e septiembre / The aesthetic experience of the september 11th”.  Atlántica Internacional, Verano 2003, pp. 133-135.

”John Deweyn estetiikka.” Synteesi 2003: 4, 10-22.

”Venetsialaisia eskatologioita”. Kulttuurintutkimus 2003: 3, 45-52.

”Filosofihaastatteluiden filosofiaa pragmatistisen nykyestetiikan 10-vuotispäivän aattona. Richard Shustermanin haastattelu.”

Synteesi 2003: 4, 23-27. http://www.artsandletters.fau.edu/humanitieschair/finnish-interview.pdf


”Terrorism and Aesthetic Experience (or take a cigar, Buddy!)” On Khaled Ramadan’s work. Ed. Marita Muukkonen. ArTErrorIsm. Poster inside the book.
Helsinki: NIFCA, 2002. http://www.nifca.org/2006/publications/2002/ramadan/2003_03_31.html

Ecoistin elämää. Mini-esseitä Umberto Econ 70-vuotissyntymäpäivien kunniaksi.Synteesi 2002: 1. 80-107. Toim. Tarja Knuuttilan kanssa. Kirjoittajat: Jaakko Hintikka, Oiva Kuisma, Jan Blomstedt, Harri Veivo, Erna Oesch, Klaus Brax, Tarja Knuuttila ja Max Ryynänen.

– ”Massakulttuuri, alemmat taiteet ja kulttuurihierarkiat.” 85-87.

”Jeff Koonsin Made in Heaven –lasitaideteosten ontologinen kaksoiselämä.” Synteesi 2002: 4, 58-66.

”Konst, kitsch och kvasi-kitsch.”  Ny Tid 2002: 49. 6-7.


“Umberto Eco, televisio ja kitsch.” Filmihullu 2001: 6, 19-20.

”Henry Parland ja elokuvataide.” Filmihullu 2001: 3, 18-23.

”Kitschens nya syndabockar” Ny Tid 2001: 11, 8-10. http://www.nytid.fi/arkiv/artikelnt-684-1667.html


”Kitschgeneraattorit – toinen sukupolvi”.  Taide 2000: 6. 18-21.

”Massakulttuuri in Memoriam.”  Kuva 2000: 2. 28-31.


”Taiteet puntarissa: Richard Shusterman, taide ja populaaritaide” Taide 1998: 3. 44-45.

Leave a Reply