Institute of Arts and Society

Head: Univ.-Prof. Mag. phil. Eva Maria Stadler
The Institute of Arts and Society consists of five departments - Art and Knowledge Transfer, Social Design, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies, International Programmes in Sustainable Developments and Artistic Strategies. Each with their own specific requirements address issues related to society and, even more, the constitution of society itself. The concept of society, distinguished by the dynamic of order and difference since the Enlightenment, is subject to constant transformations, which need to be analysed, contemplated, and shaped.

At the beginning of the 1990s, when Bruno Latour declared, “We have never been modern,” he revoked a notion of society that assumed the dichotomy between nature and culture and in its strive for autonomy and difference separated the fields of action from overarching social contexts. Latour, in contrast, speaks of hybrids, social actors, non-social entities and objects as a real network, which he conceives as society. Multifaceted relationships between people and things, according to Latour, would generate new modes of socialisation through complex interconnections, a network that cannot be subjected to systematic or territorial boundaries.