The SANART Association was founded by a group of friends from the art world: art historians, architects, critics, curators who simply wanted to live in an environment with more aesthethic and artistic experiences. They thought the solution was to create the possibilities. The initiative was given by Benoid Junod, a Swiss diplomat who had the habit of enlivening where he lived with art. The idea evolved to include the organization of a symposium around which art events could have more impact. This grew into the concept of unifying art, discourse and text in a single international event. This had been the basis of SANART's international symposia since 1992 bringing together "Identity, Marginality, Space," "Art and Taboos," "Art and Environment," "Art and Science" and "Art and Aesthethichs." I believe that the discipline that unites all artistic interest is aesthethics and it is therefore appropriate that SANART, which started as the association for the promotion of visual art in Turkey, grew into an association of Aesthethics and Visual Culture. It is also fitting that the first symposium following this change of identity should be on Aesthethics.

Aesthethics as a philosophical and critical discipline is quite new and its adherents very few in Turkey.* There is a need for a conscious concern for aesthethics, and the problems that are related to it are overwhelmingly pressing and urgent. Notwithstanding the fact that Anatolian soil has been the home of many rich civilisations with their aesthethic sophistication, the rapid changes brought by the industrialisation and urbanisation have created a convolution in aesthethic sensibilities. The symposia that SANART has organised since 1992 on various subjects related to cultural interests that were relevant at that time, could all be considered as discourses and subjects related to aesthethics. However, because of the urgent need of implementation, as well as discourse and discussion, SANART's method of combining art events and philosophical or critical inquiry seem to be very appropriate within this cultural context.

We hope that organising a series of conferences that deal mainly with aesthethics will also bring another dimension to our interests, namely it will create a platform where people interested in aesthethics in Turkey can come together and meet their colleagues from all over the world.

* With all due respect to Professor İsmail Tunalı who has done pioneering work on aesthethics in Turkey.

Jale N. Erzen

Excerpt from Aesthethics and Art In the 20th Century, Ankara: Sanart, 2002.

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