Language games in a visual environment

  • David Kirshner

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This Ph.D. submission is in two parts : a dissertation : a series of visual works. The two parts of the submission are complimentary. Neither should be thought of as a 'commentary' on each other. The subject of the dissertation is the relationship of the visual to the discursive and its subsequent effect on the notion of the 'Plan'. The opening of the dissertation builds up a view of the different relationships these two may have, and how it is possible to discuss these relationships in different ways. As a model for these relationships I have used Diderot's Salon of 1767. In this essay Diderot begins to reassess the relationship between beholder and artist. and the nature of the relationship between the seen and the recorded. The seven sections [Diderot's 'Sites'] each serve to introduce a particular relationship between criticism and practice, and introduce consideration of such topics as the Sublime, the incestuous relationship between the work and its critique, and the relationship of landscape, model [as in the form of landscape garden], and the painting. The second section takes a look at more specific relationships, in a historical sense as in Emblems and Devices, and in a linguistic sense as discussion of Heidegger's work on 'Form' and Lyotard's Discourse/figure. These chapters are distillated in the final chapter 'PPP' in which aspects of these notions are reassessed in relation to a potential visual work. The third section begins with a precis of Steinberg's thoughts about inconsistencies found in the plan of Borromini's church of San Carlo and then moves on to consider possible explanations which may occur through the reading of Deleuze's book The fold. This develops into a discussion of the nature of the idea of 'the Plan', and its is significance in the creation of a work of Art. The final section, Vasculum, attempts to re-order these finds into a network of ideas, images, events which will serve as an encyclopaedia [a Diderotian notion in itself] from which a potential visual response can be mounted.
Date of AwardJan 2000
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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