I’m always saying that my pictures are smarter than me, that they teach me what to do. In an old interview in the Brooklyn Rail Robert Hullot-Kentor says it well:
“If art—when art is art—understands us better than we can intentionally understand ourselves, then a philosophy of art would need to comprehend what understands us. Thinking would need to become critically imminent to that object; subjectivity would become the capacity of its object, not simply its manipulation. That’s the center of Adorno’s aesthetics.”
Couldn’t have found a more concise statement of what I’ve been developing on this blog, and the principle of my work. The last bit, about “manipulation,” gets further elucidation:
“It’s an idea of thought that is considerably different from the sense of contemporary ‘theory,’ where everyone feels urged to compare Derrida with Nietzsche, the two of them with Levinas, and all of them now with Badiou, Zizek and Agamben. That kind of thinking is primarily manipulation. It’s the bureaucratic mind unconsciously flexing the form of social control it has internalized and wants to turn on others.”
Hits the target again—a pocket definition of global conceptualism.