Art Theory deals with the historical and societal conditions in which art has become a subject of theory. Amongst these conditions are the divisions – decisive for modernity – between the one autonomous Art and the many applied arts, between Art and Society as symbolic categories, or also between art as an idea and the concrete practices of its utilization. The reconstruction of these divisions and the corresponding contingent relationships represent the fundamental objective of the department.
Moreover, art theory can also be seen as an orientation discipline in increasingly confusing times. Globalised contemporary art is always interwoven with the complex occasions of its appearance and stands in diverse reciprocities with media, culture, and politics. Thus, art theory must uncover the different coordinates according to which art can be evaluated today and comprehended in its potentials and chances. Only between these coordinates can the special narrative forms of contemporary art, its models of subjectivity and collectivity, and its political interventions be discussed.