Appearance: Fragments of a Political Phenomenology
What does it mean to make a public appearance? If one believes Hannah Arendt, it involves very particular conditions; those of a specific space in which this appearance will be perceived by others. A “space of appearance,” as Arendt calls it, by no means automatically exists in every place where people gather as a crowd. Instead it is constituted wherever “people are together in the manner of speech and action.” It is only in this being together that an intersubjective “interstitial space” is created in which people exist not merely as things that are indifferent to one another but explicitly make their appearance in front of and for one another. The talk will critically develop the aesthetic, ethical and political dimensions of Arendt’s concept of a “space of appearance” in the context of contemporary debates on democracy and media.
Juliane Rebentisch is a Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the University of Arts and Design in Offenbach, whose primary research areas are aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy.