Unconditional response: a story inspired by an actual thesis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Derek Scott Toomes (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Chris Cassidy

Abstract: I’m currently thinking about the institutional factors that my work and my experiences may resist. Academia uses the thesis as an archival method of collecting data from its graduate students. The thesis is used by the graduate committee to enforce the clear conceptual grounding of art in the realm of ideas and words. The thesis serves also to ratify the intellectual validity of art that is made by MFA candidates. A thesis/manifesto used as the basis for an art project cannot possibly do all of these things because it now operates on the merits of being an experience as well as an act of of sustained contemplation: in time, through time, and finally, as residual or memorialized time. In this way, my thesis becomes more of a ‘thing’ and less a piece of writing. In his essay, Thing Theory, Bill Brown explains that we look ‘through’ objects, because they serve a purpose in codifying the world in ways commensurate with our expectations.. We look through a window in order to encounter a view. If the window clouds, or becomes dirty enough to be opaque, it is no longer an object that we can look through, and it no longer functions to create a view. Rather, it is a ‘thing’, and a ‘thing’ cannot also be a window.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Art, Mediation, Objects, Thingness
Performance art
Interactive art
Endurance art

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