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The sociocultural dynamics is simultaneously conditioned (by available material resources, other humans, logistics, inherited techniques, social structure), informed (by cultural traditions, research and innovation, including technology) and motivated (by perceived needs, insights and foresight).The sociocultural dynamics is simultaneously conditioned (by available material resources, other humans, logistics, inherited techniques, social structure), informed (by cultural traditions, research and innovation, including technology) and motivated (by perceived needs, insights and foresight).

While the arts are often understood as an ultimate expression of human genius or as a leisure/entertainment, it is worth acknowledging that, since the invention of the notion of symmetry, over 1,5 million years ago, humans have growingly devoted part of their time to produce, share and appreciate behaviour expressions that bring together creativity, reflection, non-immediate usability, performance, communication, mastering of techniques and, sometimes, criticism. By doing so, the arts embed intangible dimensions into objects, rituals and other material expressions.

The interest of societies for this type of human expressions is well documented since prehistory till contemporary times. But what is its role, or roles, in society? Being a non-academic kind of inquiry, art may offer insights on meaning, values, challenges or needs, but how do these relate to a community governance, understanding and foresight?

The VIII APHELEIA International Seminar will explore these themes taking a cross-cultural approach, through time and space. It will bring together artists and human sciences researchers, focusing, in particular, the role of the arts in structuring cultural landscapes.