Categories
Art History Culture Criticism Philosophy Theory

Dissection | Analysis

In art the object is the work produced by art, as much containing elements of empirical reality as displacing, dissolving, and reconstructing them according to the work’s own law. Only through such transformation, and not through an ever falsifying photography, does art give empirical reality its due, the epiphany of its shrouded essence and the merited shudder in the face of it as in the face of a monstrosity. The primacy of the object is affirmed aesthetically only in the character of art as the unconscious writing of history, as anamnesis of the vanquished, of the repressed, and perhaps of what is possible. The primacy of the object, as the potential freedom from domination of what is, manifests itself in art as its freedom from objects. If art must grasp its content [Gehalt] in its other, this other is not to be imputed to it but falls to it solely in its own immanent nexus. Art negates the negativity in the primacy of the object, negates what is heteronmous and unreconciled in it, which art allows to emerge even through the semblance of the reconciliation of its works.

~Theodor Adorno, Sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist 

*         *          *          *

All the guiding you need to read this post…

The italic = Theodor Adorno

The bold = My interpretation (feel free to comment, debate, and question)

*         *          *          *

In art the object is the work produced by art, as much containing elements of empirical reality as displacing,

Art making produces an object. Art is physical and entails use of the senses.

dissolving, and reconstructing them according to the work’s own law. Only through such transformation, and not

The art object changes over time and on its own accord. The object transforms but not within  

through an ever falsifying photography, does art give empirical reality its due, the epiphany of its

the some kind of altered image. The transformation of the art stems from experience and observation. 

shrouded essence and the merited shudder in the face of it as in the face of a monstrosity. The primacy of the object is

The revelation of meaning arises, often times, abruptly. Immediacy and comprehension of the object

affirmed aesthetically only in the character of art as the unconscious writing of history, as anamnesis of the vanquished,

is confirmed through its formal qualities (i.e., that which is observable) and revealing of history and culture.

of the repressed, and perhaps of what is possible. The primacy of the object, as the potential freedom from domination

Essentially, when the art object ceases to be a mere object but becomes an idea and the experience of it – 

of what is, manifests itself in art as its freedom from objects. If art must grasp its content [Gehalt] in its other, this other

an abstraction and fertile ground for discourse. Art as well as the art object are interconnected. The notion

is not to be imputed to it but falls to it solely in its own immanent nexus. Art negates the negativity in the primacy of the

of the ‘other’ in the arts is subjective. Overall, art presents opposites simultaneously (i.e., light and dark,  

object, negates what is heteronmous and unreconciled in it, which art allows to emerge even through the semblance of

heterogeneous/homogenous, desires and needs, constructs and deconstructs). Basically, art is

the reconciliation of its works.

fu*cking important. 🙂

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, race and technology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the program manager for the Processing Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s