Book Launch: "This Obscure Thing Called Transparency"


Event details

Date 14.04.2022
Hour 18:0019:30
Speaker Emmanuel Alloa  
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Book launch and second lecture of the series Scholars in Transition in 2022, entitled Contemporary Modernity

Scholars in Transition

Scholars in Transition is the EDAR Doctoral Program of Architecture and Sciences of the City lecture series. It aims at giving a voice to contemporary scholars who, within their on-going research activity, are experiencing a transition condition. Their contribution to new, emerging research topics, tentative interpretations and unconventional approaches, marks the intersection of their personal research agendas, the evolution of their discipline, the public debate, and the availability of sources and data. Scholars in Transition is a of a collective debate on the potential of scientific initiative and responsibility of scholars in the fields of Architecture, Urbanism, Regional and Urban Studies.

Contemporary Modernity

Contemporary Modernity is the general title of the 2022 series that will give us the opportunity to revisit notions, works, architects, and authors of XXth Century Modernism. The debates will focus on the timeless aspiration of 'being modern', as it simply means ‘being contemporary’ – matching the characteristics of the era you live in. Is today the adjective 'modern' an historical category to be referred to a past era? Or, on the contrary, do our interpretations echo our contemporary concerns about architecture and, more widely, our built environment? For the second lecture, entitled This Obscure Thing Called Transparency. Politics and Aesthetics of a Contemporary Metaphor, we are happy to host Emmanuel Alloa.

This Obscure Thing Called Transparency. 
Politics and Aesthetics of a Contemporary Metaphor

by Emmanuel Alloa, Leuven University Press, 2022

Transparency is the metaphor of our time. Whether in government or corporate governance, finance, technology, health or the media – it is ubiquitous today, and there is hardly a current debate that does not call for more transparency. But what does this word actually stand for and what are the consequences for the life of individuals? Can knowledge from the arts, and its play of visibility and invisibility, tell us something about the paradoxical logics of transparency and mediation? This Obscure Thing Called Transparency gathers contributions by international experts who critically assess the promises and perils of transparency today.

Emmanuel Alloa is professor of aesthetics and philosophy of art at the Philosophy Department of the University of Fribourg. In 2021, Columbia University Press published his book Looking Through Images. A Phenomenology of Visual Media. He is president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ästhetik.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • EDAR Doctoral Programme


  • Christophe Van Gerrewey

Event broadcasted in