Soul models: rationalization and the art of subjectivity.

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Willett, J (2007)

In the exchange between theory and practice, art is appropriated as a creative mode of enquiry, a differential form of knowledge and experience in the processes of rationalization. As a differential in knowledge, art is explored as the practice of composition making differences out of established rationales - the discrete disciplines that find stability in economic, pedagogic and scientific discourse. As a differential in experience, art may contain the potential to destabilize social, historical and political constitutions of sense, working as an interference pattern in the production and reproduction of rational subjects. The academic distillation of the artist's know how into the 'art of subjectivity', draws both the subjects and objects of knowledge into this critical space of composition, a dynamic space of contestation in which the artist acquires the capacity to become an agent of cultural change. As a cultural and critical formation, the 'art of subjectivity' reactivates the art historical tradition of institutional critique. Re-evaluated through the critical and philosophical components of the doctoral research, the material rendition of institutional critique is configured as a series of artistic engagements with the procedural and regulatory codes of practice that comprise the info-structure of instrumental reason. Through a gradual synthesis of process and product, the 'art of subjectivity' begins to merge with the arts (techniques) of rationalization, drawing upon rather than resisting the bureaucratic, informational, scientific-technical and semiotic energies of political economy.
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