Alliance Française de Singapour & French Embassy of Singapore were glad to present The Night of Ideas last Thursday, 31 January 2019
The first part of this special night started with a conference by Prof. Sandra LAUGIER, Philosopher, University Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne and continued with a discussion between Prof. Sandra LAUGIER and Asst. Prof. LIEW Kai Khiun, Nanyang Technological University, followed by Q&A with the public.
“What Television series tell us about our time”
The phenomena of democratization of art in the digital age have not yet been sufficiently observed and analysed by philosophy due to the lack of adequate investigations, attention and theoretical tools. Walter Benjamin had reflected in 1939 on the effects induced by the emergence of new technical possibilities for the reproduction of musical and plastic works. The expansion of arts audiences, the development of “popular cultures”, the installation, through the digital revolution, of new forms, new actors and new models of artistic action and practice, are transforming the very definition of art, challenging elitist conceptions of “great art”. A profound transformation of the cultural field and its hierarchies is taking place. The change in attitude towards television series is its hallmark, as a place of re-appropriation of artistic and hermeneutical authority, of re-empowerment of the viewer through the constitution and education of his singular experience, but also of education about the present.
The theoretical challenge of references to popular cultures is fundamental: it is not a question of drawing from a reservoir of examples but of reversing the hierarchies of what matters. This makes it possible to redefine popular culture not only as mere entertainment without value but also as moral education work. The role of television series – Games of Throne, Homeland, Le bureau des légendesbut also apocalyptic shows like The Leftovers or The Walking Dead – is becoming crucial today in the political, moral, and social constitution of democracy and in facing the present, and our shared future.