School Watch

Reassembling Art Pedagogy: Pragmatism, Inquiry, and Climate Change at SciencesPo Experimentation in Arts and Politics (SPEAP)

by Jennifer Teets

Bridging the social sciences, politics, and the arts, SciencesPo Experimentation in Arts and Politics (SPEAP) is positioned at the crossroads of the disciplines, as one could define the work of its founding father—French philosopher Bruno Latour. Created in 2010 on behalf of Latour and collaborator Valerie Pihet at SciencesPo Paris, this highly selective multidisciplinary program accepts a circle of about fifteen participants (mostly thirtysomething professionals from the social sciences, the arts, and the political milieu) each year out of approximately eighty applications pooled internationally, of which nearly half are French. SPEAP is a little bit of everything—a one-year master’s program, [...] read more

Video School

The Myth of the Given: Nominalism, Naturalism & Materialism, by Ray Brassier

“The myth of the given,” as proposed by the American philosopher Wilfred Sellars, is as much a problem for art as it is for philosophy. Effectively, it is a model of perception that proposes there is a world (i.e., objects) that can be spontaneously apprehended (or “given” to perception) without the perceiving consciousness (i.e., the subject) applying any recourse to reason (i.e., the subject need not apply any of its cognitive capacities to receive the “gift” of the perception of “the given”). Ray Brassier’s lecture outlines this concept and details other terms used by Sellars, such as “the manifest image” [...] read more

“This is Art”: The Anatomy of a Sentence, by Thierry de Duve

Thierry de Duve deftly dissects the deceptively simple injunction “this is art” to show how Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain of 1917 forces us to rethink Kantian aesthetics when encountering “candidates” to be considered as art. De Duve outlines three categories of art theory that are unable to deal with the challenge of Fountain: i) art in general; ii) feeling art as such; and iii) a universal basis of comparison for art, which he calls “art altogether.” He states that aesthetic theories of art empirically based on taste/feeling accommodate these specifications of art because they can invoke affect or comparison as criteria [...] read more