Theory Course

Master of Fine Arts, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen

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Lectures 2016-2017

 Monthly, on Monday 13:30 - 16:30

The course material includes an interdisciplinary selection of key texts, which will allow us to drift through  a network of questions and concepts belonging to art theory and history, visual studies, media studies, philosophy, anthropology and literature. We will engage in discussions of the fluctuating identity of images and artefacts, modes of visibility and performativity. The selection of concepts and texts creates a open constellation, and provides model of how to work with conceptual tools without losing the key issues of one’s own creative practice out of sight. For each session  we will read two texts, which examine a similar object in different perspectives, and thus create a productive tension or counter-point each other. The texts will be introduced by a short lecture to be followed by a group discussion. The students will develop skills to formulate questions in a productive way, and to mobilise the potential of the selection of theoretical fragments into their own research. The border between the theory and creative practice is understood as porous and allows for interpenetration of ideas and approaches.

By participating in the lecture-seminar series the students develop skills to read, research and debate. In addition to that, practical issues related to research and writing will be addressed in the writing workshop. The writing of an MA text which is a challenging task that means engaging with ideas, images, objects, and contexts and understanding and re-imagining them. The writing workshop and the individual tutorials are designed to help the students to develop skills to formulate relevant questions, which strengthen their artistic practices, and simultaneously allow them to position their work in a broader context. Next to conceptualising and contextualising key issues in their practises, the students gradually develop a voice of their own. In addition to the lecture-seminar and the writing workshops there will be individual tutorials for which the students can sign up every month. 

Key words: materiality, infrastructure, anarchy, potentiality, death, medium, artefact, historical object, trash, fragment, document, evidence, temporality, anachronism, image-montage, Mnemosyne Atlas, image-collection, mimicry, invisibility, performativity, gift economy, entropy, boredom, refusal of work, post-critical, antagonism, iconoclasm, spectacle, appropriation, drifting, archive, apparatus, display, historicity, violence, mimesis, essay, site-specificity, aesthetic object

We will read selection of texts and fragments by: Alexander Nagel, Maurizio Lazzarato, Martin Warnke, Guy Debord, Theodor Adorno, Georges-Didi Huberman, Jacques Rancière, Chaire Bishop, Chantal Mouffe, Hal Foster, Mladen Dolar, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, Roger Caillois, Julia Kristeva, Alfred Gell, Jonathan Crary, Miwon Kwon, Peter Sloterdijk, Gilles Deleuze, Hans Belting, Bruno Latour, Dario Gamboni, Alfred Gell, Christopher Bollas Joseph Leo Koerner, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Reiner Schurmann, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jorge Luis Borges, Georges Perec, Raul Ruiz, Italo Calvino.

This is a list out of which I select texts for eight sessions. The program is flexible and will respond to the interests of the group. 

Writing Workshop, monthly on Tuesday 10:00 - 11:30