Art and Reason – How Art Thinks





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Published on Dec 12, 2015

A symposium with Amanda Beech, Robin Mackay, Bassam el Baroni, and Diann Bauer. The event will be chaired by Uta Kogelsberger, and Keith Tilford will act as the panel respondent

The Fine Art Lecture Theatre Newcastle University In association with the New Centre for Research and Practice, NYC who are hosting the digital format of this symposium.the event will be live streamed and available on youtube. In addition the event will be live streamed to London where the audience can interact with the main event discussion.

FILET, A Space for Experimental Art Production, 103, Murray Grove, London


When it comes to the relation between theory and practice, we know that art works can fall into the trap of illustrating, instrumentalizing, idealizing, and often oversimplifying theoretical ideas and concepts. These relations, affiliations and citations traverse philosophical ideas and artistic practice. In doing so they cause contradictions and problems regarding how we might conceive of the relation between thought and action, appearance and reality, metaphysics and empiricism and art and philosophy. Consequently, this problem urges us to understand how artistic practice thinks as a discipline, if indeed such a thing is now a valid category, and how art determines thought in form; the site where the operations of reason interacts with the spheres of the sensory and the visible. 

‘Art and reason - How Art Thinks’ dials critical and theoretical conversations back to core questions about the status of the image and its capacity for scientific reason. Rather than the artwork as the site of some ineffable mystery we confront the question of the artwork as the place where reason manifests. How does art reason and what is a rationalist art practice?

Prof. Amanda Beech is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in After Hope, Beirut City Forum, Nov 2015, Agitationism, the Irish Biennial, L’Avenir, Montreal Biennale, 2014 and Speculative Aesthetics, Tate Britain, 2015. Beech’s writing includes essays for the anthologies Speculative Aesthetics, (Urbanomic 2014) Realism, Materialism, Art, (Sternberg Press 2015) and catalogue contributions for the Irish and the Montreal Biennales. Her artists’ books include Final Machine 2013 and Sanity Assassin 2010 (Urbanomic). Beech is Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts, California, USA.

Robin Mackay is director of Urbanomic and editor of its journal, Collapse. He has translated a number of works of French philosophy, including Alain Badiou's Number and Numbers, Francois Laruelle's The Concept of Non-Photography and Anti-Badiou and Quentin Meillasoux's The Number and the Siren.

Bassam El Baroni is an independent curator and a theory teacher at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem. He has curated and co-curated projects and exhibitions in Murcia (Manifesta 8, 2010), Madrid, Oslo, Bergen, Lofoten (Lofoten International Art Festival, 2013), Limerick (Eva International – Ireland’s Biennial, 2014), Paris, and Alexandria. He was co-founder and director of the now discontinued art space Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (2005 – 2012). At present, he is curating an exhibition for the HOME WORKS 7 Forum in Beirut opening in November 2015. His current interests are spread across art, the history of edification, real abstraction, and scientific reason. He lives in Alexandria, Egypt.

Diann Bauer is an artist. Her work deploys a language of visual force across disciplines. Currently Diann is involved in several on-going collaborative projects including Fixing the Future (an on life research forum) Laboria Cubonics/Xenofeminism, Real Flow (R&D for finance and art), and most recently AST, a project with two Miami Architects. Her work has been screened and exhibited at Tate Britain, The Showroom and The Drawing Room (London), the Deste Foundation and the Benaki Museum (Athens), Ian Potter Museum of Art (Melbourne, Aus), Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler and Die Neue Aktions Galerie (Berlin) and The New Museum,The Dorsky Museum, OMI International Art Centre, Socrates Sculpture Park and K. (period) (New York). 

Keith Tilford, is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Primarily utilizing drawing, 3D modeling and animation, his art explores themes from geology, architecture, science fiction and abstraction. He is in the process of completing a graphic novel project, and his current research examines the convergences between art as a cognitive technology, the philosophy of scientific models, and the generalized transformation of concepts in modern systems of knowledge. He is a co-organizer of Fixing the Future along with Diann Bauer, Joshua Johnson, Suhail Malik and Mohammad Salemy.


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