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Vid Simoniti



You can also connect with my academic work at and PhilPapers.

Journal Publications 

2021. "Art as Political Discourse" British Journal of Aesthetics,​ 61:4, 559-574

Political art, I argue in this paper, does not merely reflect political positions. It contributes uniquely to political discourse by overcoming the obstacles of objective-style reasoning.

[published open access] [download copy] Panpsycast have done a podcast on this paper, which you can find here.


2019. “The Living Image in Bio-Art and in Philosophy” Oxford Art Journal, 42:2, 177-196.


I track the relationship between bio-art and bio-ethics, from the 1990s till today, and argue that these works of art offer insights that philosophers have overlooked.


[published] [penultimate draft]

2018. “Assessing Socially Engaged Art” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 76: 1, 71-82

In socially engaged artworks, artists implement solutions to concrete challenges. As I argue in this paper, we should assess these artworks pragmatically: such art is only good if it makes a difference. (I have revised this position more recently, in my book Artists Remake the World

[published] [penultimate draft]

​2017. “Aesthetic Properties as Powers”, European Journal of Philosophy, 25:4, 1434-1453

A paper on the metaphysics of beauty. I argue for a hardcore objectivist view: aesthetic properties are powers possessed by objects, which we can directly perceive even when we are not in the throes of aesthetic delight.

[published] [penultimate draft]

​2017. “Artistic Research at the Edge of Science”, OAR: Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform 1:1.


Contemporary research-based art has a problem: it has become almost indistinguishable from academic research. To establish critical distance, art needs to reintroduce an aesthetic dimension.


2016. “Virginia Woolf, Literary Style, and Aesthetic Education”, Journal of Aesthetic Education 50:1, 62-79.

I identify a new theory of literary style in Virginia Woolf's essays. Literary style is the ability of a text to shape our mental dispositions or our "mental geography", as Woolf puts it.

[published] [penultimate draft[Chinese translation]

2008. "Schopenhauer on the Epistemological Value of Art", Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 5: 3, 19-28. 

Schopenhauer's view of the epistemic value of art is plausible, once we understand his crazy metaphysics metaphorically.



Book Chapters

2023. “Art and biotechnology: on the limits and potential of interdisciplinary arts” in James Fox and Vid Simoniti, eds. Art and Knowledge After 1900. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

In the early twenty-first century, artists turned to biotechnology to query the promise that humankind could reengineer the natural world. The key to critical distance from biotech, I argue, is in poetics.

[link to the book]

2023. “Post-Internet Art and the Alt-Right Visual Culture” in Mara-Johanna Kölmel and Sarah Hegenbart, (eds.) Dada Data. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

A reconsideration of the Post-Internet Art in light of historical avant-gardes. What does it take for art to critically reflect on the internet in the age of surveillance capitalism?

[link to the book]

2022. “Transfiguration of a Discipline: What is the Point of Interdisciplinarity in Contemporary Art?” in Birgit Eusterschulte and Christian Krüger, eds., Involvierte Autonomie: Künstlerische Praxis zwischen Engagement und Eigenlogik [Involved Autonomy: Artistic Practice between Engagement and Self-Rule]. Transcript verlag: Germany.

I offer an analysis of contemporary art as inherently interdisciplinarity, and offer a critical framework for assessing successes and failures of interdisciplinarity in art.

[published open access]


2018. “Adrian Piper and the Rhetoric of Conceptual Art” in Connie Butler and David Platzker (eds.) Adrian Piper: A Reader (New York: MoMa Press) 

How does political art affect the viewers' consciousness? I investigate this question through Adrian Piper's anti-racist Conceptual art, invoking the cultural context of modern racism in America of the 1970s and 80s.

[email me for full text] [order full book here[abstract]

Essays​​ (selected) 

2022. "What Does Art Do?". Aeon. [link]

Good art, laced with irony, ambiguity and suspense, is not obviously political. But that’s what makes it politically interesting. (Also translated into Italian as "A che serve l'arte", Internazionale, 1489, 2022).

2019. "Low Blows: Martin Krpan, Top Lista Nadrealista and Equalising Satire." Crack up Crack Down, edited by Slavs and Tatars. Catalogue publication for 2019 Ljubljana Biennial of the Graphic Arts. [link] [download]

2018. "Digital Art and the Alt Right" The Point. [link]

On aesthetics of the Internet in the time of democracy implosion 

2013. "Beyond the Mainstream and Into the Digital", White Review  [link]

2012.  ‘Hello to Berlin’ (essay on the Berlin art scene) in Sarah Hegenbart and Sven Mundner, eds., Mythos Berlin: a London Perspective, exhibition catalogue, London: White Review Publications.

Reviews​​ (selected)
2021. Review of C. Thi Nguyen's Games. Times Literary Supplement. [link]
2019. Review of Keith Haring at Tate Modern. The Museums Journal[download]

2017. “Review of Robert Bailey’s Art & Language International”, Art History  [link]

In Slovenian

I have published essays and reviews in venues such as Delo, Pogledi and Razgledi. Here is a sample of some of my work in Slovenian.

“Človek človeku pes” ['Man is wolf to man'] (an essay on Maja Smrekar’s opus), Delo, 3 June 2017, 19. [download]

‘Faust ali optimizem’ [‘Faust or Optimism’] (theatre programme essay) in Tomaž Pandur, Faust, Ljubljana: SNG Drama Publications, 2018. [download]

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