Cognitive Science of Cultural Artifacts, Art, and Aesthetics

The EU H2020 funded ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations of Individuals and Societies) Project is the Follow-up project of the Einstein funded Research Group "Consciousness, Emotions, Values." It will expand on the research foci "Aesthetic Psychology," and "Embodied, Embellished Perception". The focus will be on the transformative power of culture and art. Yet also more generally on the "Cognitive Science of Cultural Artifacts, Art, and Aesthetics". The Berlin part of ARTIS will be led by Joerg Fingerhut, with 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