A Philosophy of Cultural Scenes in Art and Popular Culture

Max Ryynänen, Jozef Kovalcik

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review


This book seeks to understand culture through the lens of scenes, analyzing them aesthetically and culturally as well as understanding them through the frameworks of gender, social networks, and artworlds.

It is common to talk about the cultural and intellectual scenes of early twentieth-century Vienna, the visual art scene of postwar New York, and the music and fashion scene of the swinging London. We often think about artists and works of art as essentially belonging to a certain scene. Scenes might offer a new approach to study what is possible, what is a tradition, and/or to discuss what are the relevant units of contemporary culture for research. The book posits that scenes explain a lot about how the artworld and the cultural field function. Vivienne Westwood, Rene Magritte, Roman Jakobson, Arthur C. Danto, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, and Didier Eribon are among the figures included in the book, which examines scenes in cities such as Moscow, Bombay, New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Helsinki, and Bratislava.

The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, cultural studies, philosophy, film, literature, and urban studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages104
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-41278-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-53610-1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
MoE publication typeC1 Book


  • scene
  • art scene
  • artworld
  • art world
  • art institution


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