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The Singular Echo of the Artwork: Painting, Writing & OOO

Lawton, Michael (2019) The Singular Echo of the Artwork: Painting, Writing & OOO. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:79401)


This research incorporates both practical and theoretical methods. The theoretical component of the research was a philosophical investigation into Graham's Harman's OOO philosophy, applying it to spectatorship and art criticism to frame the problem of the irreducibility of the literary and the visual, before extending it provide an alternative template for better art writing. Within the philosophical thesis I identify within the ever-changing and evolving philosophy of Harman his 'third object thesis', that which directly pertains to spectatorship, and in which the artwork and viewer are indissociable, are joined in a third object. I prove that it is this "third object" that must be written about, rather than the artwork. This provides a new approach to the 'well-worn' problem of the irreducibility between the literary and the visual. This novel approach provides original insights into the problem and a template for working beyond it that utilises fiction. In the course of this work I show that despite assumptions to the contrary, Harman's take on spectatorship is neither post-human, nor does it conform to other well recognised Modernist models. This is the first thorough practical application of OOO to artistic practice, 'road-testing' as it were, its suitability as a tool for artists and art writers. The philosophical thesis both provided support to and was supported by the practical research I have also undertaken. The practical component incorporated my creative practice as is, that is painting, writing and curating. These practical outcomes were both consequences of the research process and drivers of it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Klee, Steve A.
Uncontrolled keywords: Painting, Writing, Ekphrasis, Art-Criticism, Art-Writing, Harman, Fiction, School of Music and Fine Art
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 15:20 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2022 05:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Lawton, Michael.

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