Friday, April 22, 2011

Anthems for Walking

So, after much aggravation and time away from this blog this is what I have to share with you all. It is my thesis and ideological argument for my Contemporary and Modern Art seminar, which the professor has titled The Elsewheres of Modernity. Even though it is completed and submitted for grading (which I am still anxious about) it still doesn't feel like I'm quite finished with it. That said I am quite happy with this introductory bit and I'd like to keep developing the possibilities.

The social experience of the urban can be read as a playlist of anthems pieced together through the interconnectivity of expressions of lived reality. The metaphor of anthems as representative of human subjectivity allows us to compile private walking as the site of the personal. Each anthem however is individual and polysemous in its engagement with both the personal and the public. Walking becomes the act of making concrete the conflation of both personal and public expression and its imposition and solicitation of a public sphere. This paper will discuss the history of a continuing tradition of a praxis of walking through the reading of temporalities of the quotidian (everyday) ritual of walking. The ideological approach to subjectivity as constitutive of social consciousness, both the personal and public, will be applied to an understanding of a contemporary response to society towards conjecture and consensus.
For us to consider walking as an ideology that allows us to occupy the spaces of personal and public consciousness it is necessary for us to regard it as responsive to an ideological approach to Althusserian subjectivity. What I want to clarify in this paper is the understanding of Althusserian subjectivity as constituting the consciousness of individual perspectives not lost to the social totality of the quotidian. As Althusser states in Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, “you and I are always already subjects - of ideological recognition- and we function in the practical rituals of the most elementary everyday life.”

Each of these anthems of subjectivity constitutes the recognition of the personal consciousness. It is in this respect that we are fundamentally unique subjects within the social experience of urban society. By creating subjectivities of social experience we are engaging the personal as an outward expression of anthems of walking in the public sphere.

For the reference to Louis Althusser I referred to a shorter thesis of, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" in The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd ed. ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff (London: Routledge, 2002)

I will be revising this further for my applications to a Masters of Art History, Theory and Criticism/Curatorial Studies. Let's hope in Chicago because seriously who couldn't find inspiration under Anish Kapoor's magnificent Cloud Gate.

Upcoming... Attempts at Understanding Feminist Art, Queering Temporalities (?)

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