Anders Essom-Stenz

Anders Essom-Stenz

PhD Student

Imagination, art and subjectivity: A phenomenological psychological investigation

Rooted in both phenomenological interviews and phenomenological theories, the project concerns the role of imagination in experiences of visual art. The aim is to develop theories on how imaginings present themselves to consciousness, how they are a component in the experience of a work of art and to what extent imaginings affect the subjective significant of the aesthetic experience. In asking questions about the structure and function of imagination, its affinities with other types of consciousness such as perception, memory and affectivity and its potential capacity for altering subjectivity, the project is an in-depth psychological investigation of an indispensable aspect of the psyche. This situates the project in general psychology at the same time as being about specific experiences. 

A description of the phenomenology of imagination is a description of how the imaginary manifests structurally and to what extent these experiential structures relate to personal experiences, cultural lifeworld and atmospheric aspects. In that way, the project contains a discussion of how form and content relate. This is not only a theoretical question, but also an empirical and methodological question about the generality of subjective experience. To what extent are our imaginings subjective and unique, and to what extent can their structures be described as invariant? These are important questions for the phenomenology of imagination, but also for the discipline of psychological phenomenology, and they are questions being approached in this project. This dialogue between phenomenological theories on subjectivity and the empirical descriptions of imagination signifies the overall structure of the project. 

ID: 188940206