Daniel Rourke email: d.rourke@gold.ac.


MPhil/PhD Research Proposal Goldsmiths Department of Art

August 2010 Student ID: 33169445

“To read what was never written” 1 : Writing Beside the Digital Paradigm
My work revolves around the criticality of writing technologies, positioning 'writing' itself at the centre of my artistic practice. Following Walter J. Ong's description of dialectic (oral) and grapholectic (written) cultures (2007) my practice-based thesis will create a critical language necessary to map the paradigmatic moves between oral, written/print and digital systems of exchange. It will consider and execute the discursive forms it enquires in documents, book-objects and digital media formats, and in the studio, lecture, seminar and gallery. It will develop a theoretical framework for the conception, production and curation of discursive works: one that supplements methodologies rooted in meta-textual systems. I will argue that digital media and the internet originate a culture of non-privileged interdependencies. That is, a culture in which the authority of certain kinds of knowledge, and thus of privileged kinds of exchange, are undermined by the constantly shifting, and re-emerging, lateral relationships between entities in the world. Working with Foucault’s notion of ‘Similitude’ (2008) and Agamben’s concept of ‘The Paradigm’ (2009) my writing is an attempt to write beside the digital. From the works of Walter Benjamin, through Foucault and Derrida, my thesis will examine the principle of mimesis, which binds and dominates the resemblances between art/writing and its subject. Using Michel Serres’ work on ‘The Parasite’ (2007), Bruno Latour’s notion of ‘Hybrids’ (2002) and Donna Haraway’s ‘Cyborg Politics’ (1991), my writing insists on a critical framework, not of resemblance and representation, but of noise and translation. A turn for writing that, echoing Friedrich Kittler, “puts code into the practice of realities” (2008); that explores lost spaces defined by Svetlana Boym as “the side alleys and lateral potentialities of the project of critical modernity” (2010). Contemporary artists and theorists are working to define ‘dispersive’ (Price 2002), ‘discursive’ (Gillick 2009), ‘altermodern’ (Bourriaud & Tate Britain Gallery 2009) modes of practice and artefact. Lev Manovich’s definitions of transcoding and the interface (2002) position digital media as a defining modality for contemporary art. These works represent a network of paradigms that have yet to be embodied in the principles and methods of art (as) theory. In order to break the privileged status of ‘The Thing Itself’ (Agamben 1999) my writing will develop a lateral logic, indicating theoretical relationships that are non-hierarchical in both its structure and its content. My thesis will disseminate ‘traditional’ textual mediums and effect a blurring between text/object, writer/reader, student/teacher boundaries.


(Benjamin 1999)

Daniel Rourke, Research Proposal 1 of 2

Daniel Rourke email: d.rourke@gold.ac.uk

MPhil/PhD Research Proposal Goldsmiths Department of Art

August 2010 Student ID: 33169445

Agamben, G., 1999. Potentialities : collected essays in philosophy, Stanford Calif.: Stanford University Press. Agamben, G., 2009. The signature of all things : on method, New York ;Cambridge Mass.: Zone Books ;Distributed by the MIT Press. Benjamin, W., 1999. Theses on the Philosophy of History. In Illuminations. London: Pimlico, pp. 255-266. Bourriaud, N. & Tate Britain (Gallery), 2009. Altermodern : Tate Triennial, London ;New York: Tate Pub. ;;Distributed in the United States and Canada by Harry N. Abrams. Boym, S., Off-Modern Manifesto. Available at: http://www.svetlanaboym.com/offmodern.html [Accessed August 16, 2010]. Foucault, M., 2008. This is not a pipe 25th ed., Berkeley Calif.: University of California Press. Gillick, L., 2009. Liam Gillick, Maybe it would be better if we worked in groups of three? Part 1 of 2: The Discursive / Journal / e-flux. e-flux. Available at: http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/35 [Accessed June 24, 2010]. Haraway, D., 1991. Simians, cyborgs and women : The reinvention of nature., London: Free Association Books Ltd. Kittler, F., 2008. Code (Or, How to Write Something Differently). In M. Fuller, ed. Software studies : a lexicon. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 40-47. Latour, B., 2002. We have never been modern 7th ed., Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press. Manovich, L., 2002. The language of new media 1st ed., Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press. Ong, W., 2007. Orality and literacy : the technologizing of the world Reprinted., London: Routledge. Price, S., 2002. Dispersion, Available at: http://www.distributedhistory.com/Dispersion08.pdf [Accessed June 24, 2010]. Serres, M., 2007. The parasite 1st ed., Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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