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Clairvoyant Practices for the Designed World (The Job of the Artist is to De-Design)


Clairvoyant Practices for the Designed World (The Job of the Artist is to De-Design)

Forster, Andrew (2020) Clairvoyant Practices for the Designed World (The Job of the Artist is to De-Design). PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis uses the term ‘designed world’ to designate an envelope that contains what is usually understood as public space. It asks how certain experimental artistic practices can make apparent, from within, our evolving everyday (our human-centered real). It also asserts that the space between the practical fields of art and of design is one area where the importance of such investigations comes into view. A range of concepts – coping, critical spatial practice, de-design, imagination, strange tools, clairvoyance, complicity, real and virtual spaces, the shaping of time, format, design fiction, counter-factual event, and analogy – are introduced to describe how art practices can unsettle or open the designed world to scrutiny. Artist Vito Acconci’s term ‘de-design’ is used as an initial step in showing the kinds of questions that artworks ask of the designed world. Theodore Schatzki’s use of the word art to designate ‘clairvoyant practices’ (that certain practices make change palpable) and Jane Rendell’s term ‘critical spatial practice’ (embedded interventions in urban space) enlarge the scope of these questions. Bernard Stiegler’s idea of the ‘amateur’ contributes to a critical examination of a contemporary ideology of ‘disruptive innovation.’ Clairvoyant practices are associated with a fundamental formulation of imagination as a condition of politics (via Arendt). This radical idea of imagination is nuanced through art historian David Summer’s spatio-temporal inquiry into form, format, and the virtual, as a critical stance in relation to artefacts.

I examine specific artworks, films, performances, choreographies and designed things as ‘clairvoyant,’ i.e.: able to reflect on the designed world on multiple registers, including a spatio-temporal one. I focuses in detail on two contemporary practices that ‘cope’ in a generative manner with the designed world from a position of complicity: Hito Steyerl (in the space of digital practice) and Theaster Gates (in the space of material practice). With Steyerl, ‘clairvoyance’ is turned towards contemporary digital representation and its manipulation. With Gates it focuses on urban social actions based in musical improvisation. The thesis concludes with a situated description of my own practice, including the studio components of this thesis – the public installation Paraguayan Sea (with Erín Moure) and the video installation The Machine Stops, set in Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex, Chandigarh.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Forster, Andrew
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:20 January 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sloan, Johanne and Morris, David and Caicco, Gregory
Keywords:art & design, public space, designed world, art practice, nature, artificial, art and politics, Schatzki, art and architecture, art and public space, performance of space, Schumpeter, Steyerl, Hito Steyerl, Gates, Theaster Gates, Stiegler, Bernard Stiegler, David Summers, Ewa Ziarek, Jane Rendell, David Pye, Plotnitsky, Panofsky, Alva Noë, George Nelson, Victor Margolin, Jill Leport, Bruno Latour, Jarron Lanier, Rem Koolhaas, Tim Ingold, Huppatz, Horwitz, Stephen Horne, David Morris, E. M. Forster, The Machine Stops, Andrew Forster, Erin Moure, Flusser, Claire Doherty, Jehanne Dautrey, Emanuele Quinz, Strange Design, Wilson Bueno, Paraguayan Sea, Duet, Hassam Abdo, Claire Bishop, Hannah Arendt, Rosalyn Deutshce, critical spatial practice, clairvoyant practice, Courtyard in the Wind, Storefront for Art and Architecture, How to kill people, Trisha Brown, Watermotor, Steve McQueen, Catch, Hell Yeah We Fuck Die, Robots today, a probem of design, 12 Ballads for a Huguenot House, how to build a house museum, the site of the social, black madonna, The Black image corporation, de-design, strange tools, A Philosophy of Design, the shape of things, immaterial culture, le Corbusier, Chandigarh, Bauhaus, art and spatial practice, Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, creative economy, disruptive innovation, AACM, Where We Are Now (Who Are We Anyway)?
ID Code:987221
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 16:42
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 16:42


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