MSB brainstorming

26 November 2008

Brandl: My Dissertation Begins

This is to announce the beginning post of the on-line, in process, version of my PhD dissertion, which I am writing under the direction of Prof. Philip Urspung at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. My second reader is Prof Andreas Langlotz at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

It will be permanently archived on my website here as well, but I will put each chapter up on the main Sharkforum, with a post linking to that here on Swiss Sharkforum, as I finish them. I would love your comments, criticism, tangential thoughts and more! Please be aware that by commenting here, you are giving me permission to use your words, with proper citation including your name, in some fashion in my final dissertation book and exhibition, which I am planning to do. It's your chance to become a part of and liven up an often unduly stodgy process.

I have separated it into sections which repeat the page divisions in my hard-copy manuscript version. This is both for easier reading and for easy reference between the versions.

Each chapter includes an introductory Cover painting, perhaps other painting(s), sequential comic art page or pages and studies as well as the text.

On the site, comments can be added here.



max (alex Meszmer) said...

I had to ask my dictionnary several times and have to reread it several times, too.
Interesting thoughts in a way I haven't thought of for a long time.

I always thought Derrida to be kind of ok, but that he never gets the point - and as well wondered why all my fellow students loved to be so poststructuralistic.
Merely being more like esoteric groupe...

I'd say, one could use the old Beuxs phrase for Duchamp about that:
Das Schreiben von Derrida wird ├╝berbewertet!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mark,

I'm honestly impressed. For one thing, it's impressive the way you
reached out for comments beyond your thesis adviser or dissertation
committee, if there's a parallel to that outside the United States.
Second, it's a lively, persuasive argument. You have the ability to
keep the tone and communicative reach of informal English while using
the jargon of the sources you're invoking. (I myself hate "hopefully,"
but I'm old-fashioned.)

I honestly can't speak to how much deconstruction is still hegemonic.
On the one hand, I still don't encounter it in American philosophy. On
the other hand, in the art world I wouldn't know the extent to which
the greater public interest in such sociological and political themes
as feminism, multiculturalism, and so on has largely displaced it. Of
course, context will vary between museum shows/catalogs, undergraduate
textbooks that I edit in sociology or readers in philosophy, and
graduate programs, which are more specialized. All that aside, I like
your insistence that it's both problematic/hegemonic and still
contributes something. I, too, still remember and value New Criticism,
as well as how much then changed.

This is personal interpretation, but no question Minimalism took on
different meanings once it became impossible to see abandonment of
metaphor as a lasting achievement. I would, though, see other
possibilities besides then seeing it purely as negation. One can see
it, first, simply in its time: in any art-historical period, a
limiting occurs that should be seen in context as an opening. Second,
one can see the strategies as themselves metaphors not necessarily
about the negative. For example, its pointing to space, when it means
a space defined by an object and by human beings (including the
viewer), is a representation just like single-point perspective was.
Finally, its forms could be assimilated to other, more arbitrary
metaphorical discourses over time. That may have started with, say,
Smithson's whole gobbledygook or with Flavin's naming something a
"Monument to Tatlin." It continues as others tweak its strategies with
representational aims or with the aim of showing breakdowns in
representation. That kind of thing is all over the galleries now,
where it's still geometric or abstract but with hints of everything
under the sun.


Anonymous said...

Dear Brandl,

Great to hear from you and your exciting dissertation project. I am glad you were able to change your professor. Your aim to develop a theory of how meaning gets stuffed into modern art sounds very ambitious. But I must admit it is a thing we artistic analphabets have been waiting for. I wish you the strength to continue and stay focussed and most importantly enjoy the whole journey.

Best wishes,
Urs Kalberer