Travelling Concepts

Date and time
Monday, September 10, 2012

Travelling Concepts

DHC/ART Education is pleased to introduce a new Tumblr series: Travelling Concepts.

Concepts are centers of vibrations, each in itself and every one in relation to all the others; concepts resonate rather than cohere. (Deleuze and Guattari, In Bal) (2001, 23, 52)

The new Travelling Concepts series that DHC/ART educators are introducing this fall is a dynamic complement to the educational tool Movements: Learning Through the Artwork at DHC/ARTTravelling Concepts is an on-line space on our Tumblr where we will periodically highlight key concepts in relation to our exhibitions, as they are explored and discussed during our interactive visits and workshops. For instance, for the Ryoji Ikeda exhibition and the workshop Synthesthesia, created by art center Perte de signal, we plan on defining concepts such as synesthesia, psychoacoustics, beauty, the sublime, immersivity, data, the golden ratio, technology, minimalism and sound art.

To create the Travelling Concepts series and the educational tool Movements: Learning Through the Artwork at DHC/ART, we take inspiration from cultural critic and theorist Mieke Bal who understands the work of art as a ‘theoretical object’, “one that can teach us how to think, speak, and write about art” (2001, back cover text). Bal invites us to get closer to the artwork within the exhibition space, in the present time of viewing and perceiving, by stating: “the closer the engagement with the work of art, the more adequate the result of the analysis will be, both in terms of that particular artwork and as an account of the process of looking” (2001, p. xiii). At DHC/ART Education, we would add: ‘the process of perceiving’ to ‘the process of looking,’since perceiving opens up the aesthetic experience to all of the body’s senses and it’s movements (physical, affective, emotional).

Mieke Bal also invites us to use ‘travelling concepts’ as a means to step back and reflect on the artworks. She states that “concepts can become a third partner in the otherwise totally unverifiable and symbiotic interaction between critic and object” (2002, p. 23). Exploring the key concepts highlighted in Travelling Concepts and the educational tool Movements allows for a reflective distance essential to any creative exploration that also aims to be analytic with regard to the artworks and exhibition. At DHC/ART Education, these tools offer a way to immerse yourselves — mind and body — in our interactive visits, hands-on workshops, artworks and exhibitions, with the aim of developing a rich and dynamic understanding and experience of all of them.

The DHC/ART Education team

Bal. M. (2002). Concept. In Travelling concepts in the humanities: A rough guide (pp. 22-55). Toronto : University of Toronto Press.
Bal, M. (2001). Louise Bourgeois’ Spider. The Architecture of Art-Writing. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Deleuze, G. & F. Guatarri (1991). Qu’est-ce qu’un concept ? In Qu’est-ce que la philosophie ? (pp.  21-37). Paris : Les éditions de minuit.

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