Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Soul models : rationalization and the art of subjectivity
Author: Willett, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 6549
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
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. In the aesthetic merger of productive processes there emerges an affirmative mode of critique, the 'constructive criticism' of the intelligent artist whose purpose in the doctoral research is to interrogate the terms and conditions of knowledge and experience, and in the process open up new possibilities of expression. Constructive criticism foregrounds what art can do in the register of production, as opposed to what it means in the register of comprehension. Artwork is situated on the side of creation, whereby the work of art is conceived as an aesthetic process, an aggregate form of thought and action, which in the doctoral research develops as the 'intelligence key' of the combination-composition. The artwork as intelligence key is designed to unlock the established practices of discrete disciplines in an attempt to realize a more permeable, inquisitive condition of subjectivity, recomposed in a connective fabric of affective and perceptual understanding. In this respect, the 'art of subjectivity' is motivated by the desire to deregulate what limits the potential for expression, questioning how sense becomes restricted as a basis for remaking the thresholds of knowledge and experience. It is envisaged that the doctoral investigation will be of value for artists who wish to develop a critical role for their work in the context of academic research. Through the composition and recomposition of method the 'art of subjectivity' yields a palette of practices, any one of which could be re-appropriated by the critically minded artist. Conversely, the techniques of constructive criticism provide an operating model for the perceptive critical theorist who may wish to utilize art as the practice of least restriction, in the strategic integration of creative thought and action.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available