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Public Spaces - The Architecture and Landscape Architecture of Vito Acconci: Critical Motion between Art & Design

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Public Spaces - The Architecture and Landscape Architecture of Vito Acconci: Critical Motion between Art & Design

Forster, Andrew (2013) Public Spaces - The Architecture and Landscape Architecture of Vito Acconci: Critical Motion between Art & Design. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the distinction between high-art and applied-art in the frame of the avant-garde’s relation to modernity. It takes the practice of Vito Acconci (a performance artist who became an architect) as an example of the viability of art and design to engage with important questions in a culture determined by ‘functionality.’ It proposes questions about the nature of ‘criticality’ in the interstices between high-art and applied-art as they have been institutionalized as distinct disciplines in schools of art and design, where the ‘and’ has become a term of separation rather than complicity. This separation is interrogated in the light of avant-garde art practices and their relationship to ‘technicity’. I look at the unfolding of a ‘Bauhaus project’ that constructs a divide between applied and high art by merging goals of utility and aesthetics while superseding the radical conjecture of the ‘irrational’ avant-garde. This ‘Bauhaus project’ is then juxtaposed to critical theory in art criticism (via Hal Foster and Benjamin Buchloh) which fixes a place for art in society and fixes the limits of what criticality can mean. I suggest that, taken together, the Bauhaus project and critical theory have served to create and reinforce a binary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ which is self-fulfilling, self-limiting and self-regulating. In discussing how Acconci’s practice encounters and ‘unfixes’ this binary, I draw from Craig Dworkin (who asserts that Accconci’s practice continues poetry by other means), Grace McQuilten (who asserts a contrarian ‘mis-design’ as a way of opening up commercial culture to critical practice) and Krzysztof Ziarek (who, through an exploration of Adorno and Heidegger, asserts a relevance for avant-garde practices as gestures of post-aesthetic nonpower). In brief, this thesis asks if, in consideration of these positions, we can begin to define a criticality between art and design that supersedes the binary as described.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Forster, Andrew
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:20 September 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):salter, chris
Keywords:Vito Acconci, art and design, research-creation, performance, architecture, landscape architecture, bauhaus, design, contemporary art, criticality, Buchloh, Foster, McQuilten, Ziarek, art practice, design practice, Acconci Studio, technology, technicity, performance art, avant-garde
ID Code:977837
Deposited By: ANDREW FORSTER
Deposited On:26 Nov 2013 15:26
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:45
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