Concrete abstractions a Della Volpean perspective on studio practice as research
Author: Hay, Kenneth G
Source: Journal of Visual Art Practice, Volume 2, Numbers 1-2, 1 July 2002 , pp. 64-77(14)
Abstract:The Ph.D. in Studio Practice at the University of Leeds was set up on broadly Della Volpean lines. The programme is intended to embody and enable the dialectical interrelation of practical theory and theoretical practice so as to recognize the concrete materiality of studio practice as research, rather than envisaging studio work existing with an (often) under-theorized theory of theory bolted on as cognitive support or intellectual crutch. The aim was to create an experimental space for high-level studio research, where the research-as-artwork would be recognized as cognitively equivalent, if methodologically and generically distinct, from research in other doctoral areas where the textual is the norm. This is not of course to preclude that a studio practice might indeed be primarily textual, but merely to emphasize the dialectics at play. In this conception, the work of the Italian philosopher Galvano Della Volpe (18951968) has served as a very useful methodological mentor. Della Volpe's work, mostly untranslated into English, encompassed three interrelating fields: moral philosophy, philosophical logic, and materialist aesthetics. The author takes the interrelations amongst these apparently discrete areas as paradigmatic of a method of conceiving studio work as material practice, on a par with, if distinct from, other epistemological areas such as the sciences.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1 July 2002
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