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27 OCTOBER 2005

Topography Of Action: To Rise Above Or Drop Below A Field Of Experience

Clive Cazeaux pp. 44–56
What this topography of action brings to the theory–practice debate is a way of thinking which allows art theory and art practice to stand alongside each other as mutually supportive 'interventions' in the development of an artwork. On this account, both theory and practice can be understood as gestures which make a difference, make something stand out, rise above or drop below an otherwise undifferentiated field of experience. While we are probably accustomed to thinking of art practice as a form of action, it needs to be borne in mind that activity, i.e. activity in general, is being viewed here from a particular, existentialist perspective. With [Jean–Paul] Sartre, we are theorizing the action as an event, a moment, a rupture, something which makes a difference where there was previously no difference at all, and which thereby allows the subject to orient itself in terms of the objects it encounters. Approaching the art–making process in these terms requires us to think about the way in which the work develops as a series of ruptures or saliences...

TAGS

art practiceart theory • Cazeaux • field of experience • Jean-Paul Sartrerupturesaliencesubject • theory-practice • topography of action
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