Aesthetics of Slowness

PhD summer school - the aesthetics of slowness - Aalborg Universitet (

3 - 5 ECTS, depending on students presenting and getting comments on a chapter from their thesis.

The course is organized to address interdisciplinary problems across humanities, science and art.

Applying for the summer school:

Application deadline: 15th of July 2022 by mail to Hanne Porsborg Clausen:;

Acceptance before July 30th.

Accommodation payment before August 1st.

To apply, please provide a motivated application including half a page of what you expect to gain from the summer school. Further, provide the title of your PhD, an abstract of your PhD (max 1 p.) and a short CV (max 1 p.).

Further indicate, if you want to present and get feedback on one chapter in your thesis.

Participation in the summer school is free, however you have to pay for accommodation and food (see below). 

The summer school can have 18 participants.


Venue: At Claus Ørntoft og Marit Benthe Norheims studios, situated at their farm Stenshede in Mygdal, Houenvej 52, 9800 Hjørring 

Accommodation: We have reserved camping huts at Hirtshals Camping, which is beautifully situated by the sea at walking distance from the town center. One hut accommodates 3 persons.

(Students have to pay prior to arrival before August 1st, 2022. The cost for 4 nights will be 1250 kr. per person; if all of you accept this accommodation).

Alternatively, there is a possibility of B&B and other accommodation, which you can organize yourself, but please be aware, it’s a very busy period.

Food and eating: Lunches, coffee and dinners will take place in Mygdal. The costs are shared and students pay directly to the organizers. A local chef will provide food related to the overall concept of Slowness- at reasonable cost.

Arrival if you choose Hirtshals Camping: We suggest that you take the train to Hirtshals. From the station to the Campsite there’s a 15-minute walk. Please inform the organizers about your arrival schedule

Transportation: From Hirtshals Camping to Stenshede Studios, Mygdal (18km): The organizers will provide transportation. Please inform the organizers if you bring a car. Alternatively, you can also rent an electric bike in Hirtshals.


Marit Benthe Norheim & Claus Ørntoft: Relational arts ( )

Richard Shusterman ( & Aesthetic Experience and the Question of Time 

Else Marie Bukdahl ( Milan Kundera’s, Paul Virilio, and J.-F- Lyotard’s concept of “The aesthetics of Slowness” - focusing on Visual Art. 

Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld ( When the Women come – The Camping women as a space for learning. Experience, ownership, time and materiality.

All lectures will reflect on research methods to be used.

Teaching methods:

The summer school will be organized as a mini collaborative inquiry project with lectures and PhD students collaborating on the research questions. The summer school will use the mobile sculptural installation, Camping Women as a shared humanities lab for exploring these questions. The course will build on an experiential learning approach providing a lab for the participants to explore, experiment, reflect and conceptualize and re-design their own area of research. A mix of methods will be used: introspective documentation of experiences contrasted with scientific measurements, curated conceptual discussions, and lectures on the core concepts.

Further, the students will get an opportunity to work on their own PhD projects and reflect on the findings from the summer school. The summer school will produce a shared publication: “On the aesthetics of slow- ness.” We are at the moment exploring the possibilities contributing to a special issue on the Journal of Soma-aesthetics to be published at the end of 2023).

The course will use the digital learning platform Moodle as a shared infrastructure for the course. All the materials will be uploaded in Moodle





 12th of August


13th of August


14th of August


15th of August


16th of August

9 - 11


Morning lecture:


Morning lecture:

Morning lecture(s)

Morning lecture (s)

11 - 18






16 – 18: Arrival at Hirtshals Campsite

Working in the lab: Camping Women and the research design

Inquiring the aesthetic experience of slowness as ´fahren´ with the Camping Women. Data collections

Reflecting the aesthetics experience in the PhD fellows thesis work

Final plenary:

Conceptualizing time, space and materiality.

Shared publication


16:00 - departure


Dining together at Stenshedein Mygdal & informal gathering exploring slowness

Dining together & mutual reflection

Dining together & conceptualizing the experience

Dining together

Groups present their work using methods from critical design




Course description, incl. learning objectives and prerequisites:

Contemporary culture, through the powerful impact of new technologies and economic incentives, has increasingly emphasized the value of speed. We want not only our machines but also our human performances to function more quickly and efficiently. We expect faster results and rhythms in our daily life, and we grow impatient with things that take more time. Fast food is now ubiquitous, and its unsatisfactory aesthetic qualities have stimulated a response of resistance, such as the slow food movement.

Our ability to savor art in a slow and deep manner is increasingly threatened in a lifeworld that always privileges speed. At the same time design of human computer interaction and digital services request a much deeper insight into the aesthetics of experience. The aesthetic experience has traditionally found its value in a fullness and wholeness that calls for extended attention that requires taking one’s time.

In this doctoral school, we will examine the concept of aesthetic experience through the aesthetics of slow- ness in both theory and practice. We will combine reading and lectures in aesthetic philosophy and learning with a temporally extended, full-bodied aesthetic experience of interacting with works of art by traveling with and in them as they move slowly through an aesthetically attractive countryside in North Jutland. The course will be interdisciplinary, combining perspectives of artists, art critics, philosophy, learning, human- computer interaction and other theories.

German philosophers of art distinguish between two forms of experience. On the one hand, there is Erfahrung that requires taking time and that is characterized by development and movement towards wholeness and completion of meaning and form. The word contains the verb form of “fahren” which means travel and thus implies taking time. In contrast, there is Erlebnis, that is a more sudden and sensational experience, something that is simply lived through. The summer school will focus on aesthetic experience in the sense of Erfahrung and will take the idea of travel literally by involving travel with and in selected artworks.

The summer school will explore aesthetic experience and the aesthetics of slowness through a number of questions:

  • The aesthetics experiences of slowness: Time, space and materiality?
  • How artworks afford the experiences of slowness? And how are the participants enacting the experiences of slowness?
    • What is the individual/group resistance / pleasure/dynamics to get into the mood of slow experience?
    • How do the participants integrate the experience of slowness to their hyper-networked and busy everyday life?
  • How to reflect the aesthetics experience of slowness in the PhDs thesis-work?


Significance and learning objectives:

To provide a framework and to experience the aesthetics of slowness.

To theorize on the experiences of an artwork: time, space and materiality.

Learning objectives:


To demonstrate theoretical and historical knowledge of the concept of aesthetics experience and the aesthetics of slowness.


Being skillful in exploring the aesthetics of slowness

Being skillful in publishing about the aesthetics of slowness

Being skillful in relating the aesthetics of slowness to own research agenda.


Being competent in researching the phenomenology of the aesthetics of slowness, and understanding the complexity of the application of the phenomenon to different use practices (art, learning, human-computer interaction and philosophy).

Key literature – selected chapter (preliminary)

Benjamin, W., Demetz, P., & Jephcott, E. F. N. (2018). Reflections: Essays, aphorisms, autobio- graphical writings. Boston: Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bukdahl, E.M (2019) Can site-specific art create new thinking, engagement, and even action? Lecture at Art and the City / My Liberty in Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk 11. October 2019.

Dewey, J. (1995). Art as experience ([Nachdr.]; 1. Perigee print 1980). New York, NY: Berkley. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2016). Opening up the Humanities. Camping Women as a Humanities exploratori- um. Akademisk kvarter / Academic Quarter13, 165 - 177.

Shusterman, R. (2000). Performing live: Aesthetic alternatives for the ends of art. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

Shusterman, R. (2012). Thinking through the body: Essays in somaesthetics. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Virilio, P. (1991). The lost dimension. New York, N.Y.: Semiotext(e).

Virilio, P., & Beitchman, P. (2009). The aesthetics of disappearance. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext.