The Transformative Power of Aesthetics and the Arts

During the funding period of the Einstein Group, Joerg Fingerhut, received funding for an EU H2020-Consortium and will continue research in "Aesthetic Psychology" and "Embodied, Embellished Perception" that been two mainstays of the Einstein group. The H2020- ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations of Individuals and Societies) therefore builds on some previous research from the Research Group "Consciousness, Emotions, Values" and expand it philosophically and experimentally to study the transformative power of culture and art. This will be done within a highly interdisciplinary, 4E (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive) philosophy and cognitive science of visual media, architecture, and art.


Film and contemporary art; architecture and urbanism, are therefore central topics of the Berlin ART*IS_Hub. We will explore how art is incorporated in our everyday life and how influences the structure and social model of a city, such as Berlin. ART*IS_Hub Berlin will be led by Joerg Fingerhut (principal investigator, HUB) and includes Jesse Prinz as an external collaborator. Updates will be available soon!

WP 1


In which ways can art be transformative?


Is there a science of transformation?


What psychological processes should be studied?

Figure 1. How can we capture the arts’ transformative potential?

A) James Turrell installation (“led to a deeper understanding of oneself and relationship to the environment”). B) Marina Abramović The Artist Is Present ("you become aware of your own life, your vulnerability”). C) Wolfgang Tillmans Anti-Brexit posters. D) Olafur Eliasson Ice Watch. E) Counter argument by unknown artist.  

WP 3

Exploration of Art Experiences in the City

WP 6

Developing an Enactive Theory of the Arts



  1. Kunsthochschule Weissensee
  2. Galerie Wedding
  3. SAVVY Contemporary
  4. Association of Neuroesthetics
  5. Interdisciplinary Forum Neurourbanism