Slavko Kacunko´s research interests cover a wide scope of the Art History, Visual Studies and Aesthetics.
I. The Process Arts belongs to the core of it while including the variety of videographic, auditive, installative, and performative arts as well as the virtual and hypertextual cultural practices (all kinds of Internet-generated ‘material’ including live- and interactive-events). In the age of the digital processing, the Process Arts in their widest sense have become a significant part of the networked societies: For the first time ever, these omnipresent analogue and digital cultural practices are fusing and building together a worldwide accessible part of our cultural heritage and to the related scientific knowledge. The processual nature of the exponentially growing material on Process Arts requires the simultaneous broadening of the theoretical and infrastructural innovation in order to provide cutting-edge research in this matter. The focus on Process Arts is therefore dedicated to an ecological goal of registration, processing and (re-)integrating the Process Arts into the research-, education- and cultural processes of rapidly growing cultural, social and economic significance.
II. Visual Studies and its Boundaries is another research focus related to the continuous developing of the new approaches to the ‘image’ while producing further blind spots of ‘visuality’ and ‘visibility’. These blind spots include among others an interdisciplinary research on Mirrors, Frames and ‘Immediacy’ of Image / Image of ‘Immediacy’. Entering by and by into the ambit of optical-catoptrical, mechanical and chemical as well as electronic appliances for the recording, transmission and storage of light and acoustic signals, the analogue medium of the mirror passed through further paradigmatic metamorphoses which visual art and culture, too, obviously have found highly significant. To trace and reflect the ancient, modern and after-modern metamorphoses of Mirrors with their shifts and continuities belongs to the major goals of the research focus.
At the same time, the implicite mediality of the Frames and Framings has confirmed that the separation of parergon and ergon leads either ad absurdum or beyond the both ‘visibility’ and ‘visuality’ to a kind of indefinite ‘temporarily’ zone, so setting not least incremental and processual questions in focus. The analog audiovisual medium of video, for example, with its inherent capacity to feed-back (and therefore manufacture self-generating visual frames) has already demonstrated the capability to meet the function of an automatic, programmable ‘frame generator’. The performativity of the frame in turn occurs even beyond the image and mirror-mediated ‘visuality’ as a ‘metaphor generator’, which places itself either behind (meta-pherein) or in front of the image.
In the same context, the strategies and negotiations between the Bildwissenschaft & Visual Culture belong to Kacunko´s current research focus as well.
Mapping the Boundaries of the Visual Studies in their historical as well as systematical, museological as well as curatorial dimensions belong to the actual research project entitled Designing the Visual Knowledge of the non-European World Heritage. Various Comparative Case Studies of the Art and Curiosities Chambers and the Contemporary Centers of Art- and Culture Experience have their purpose in interdisciplinary project comparison of the visual cultures, -knowledge and -strategies at the historical roots of the European museology with their contemporary curatorial pendants. Their shared humanistic and scientific curiosity and enthusiasm towards the cultural diversity and biodiversity shall be (1) explored on the prominent concepts and collections of the early modern times and supplemented with the respective case-studies. Over and above that, (2) the curatorial concepts of the contemporary centers of art- and culture experience with their postcolonial and compensational insights shall be reflected with respect to the in-depth case study of the ongoing project Humboldt Forum in Berlin (expected opening in 2020).
III. Art-based Research is the third research track which includes the defining and crossing the differences between research through art, research that uses art, and research about art: Defined as the systematic use of the artistic process as a primary way of understanding and examining experience by both researchers, institutions and the ‘public’, Art-based Research delivers insights into larger epistemological process of artistic – but not only artistic – knowing and inquiry, highly relevant for future higher education and professional practice. Kacunko´s research in this field has its point of departure in his interests in 'live' art and -media as well as in the collaboration with Sabine Kacunko, which lead to a particular interest in providing the material and conceptual bridges between the hypothesis-proof-methodology of the Sciences on one hand and the allegedly ‘heuristic’ approach of the Arts on the other, qua 'micro-humanistic' perspective. Its narrative circumscribes the path from 'Closed Circuit' to 'Big Bacteria' and from ‘live’ to ‘life’, leading eventually to an integrated Health- and Heritage research. For further information cf. Micro Human and further project-sites here.
IV. Aesthetical Discourse is a fourth research interest related both to Kacunko´s former and current teaching and to two actual publication projects. The first one is a Prolegomena to a History of Taste, the second (and related to the first) hey analyzes the characteristics of what Kacunko calls Infinite-/simal Aesthetics, or Aesthetic of Capitalism.
V. Art History and Archeology, especially the Histories of archeological Discourse in their relation to the modernistic Art History relies to the final permanent research interest.