Theory is a toy

I woke up in the middle of the night earlier this week and wrote this in my notebook. It’s quite unfinished due to the circumstances of writing but it’s quite a nice start to articulating what I think about theory. I’m going to develop a little on what I originally wrote as I go but there’ll most likely still be a couple of inconsistencies in here. I’ll try to hone it down more at some point. I wouldn’t mind talking about it with someone, too.

handwritten writing

Theory is like a toy. It’s quite plastic. You can reposition it into a configuration that suits. It’s often seen as a very serious thing but there is no need for this attitude. It’s only our servant in understanding art. It’s all too often treated as the master. Let’s not be bullied by it. Let’s invoke it when it suits us and let’s put it back in the cupboard when there’s a danger of tripping over it.

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My head hurts

Okay, so that’s the pgpd out of the way. I loved doing all the reading for mine but am a bit unhappy with the end result. I feel like I’ve learned lots though. And it’s got me wanting to read more theory. I’ve also begun to think that writing this blog is becoming very important in the process of actualising my thoughts and taking them from vague mumblings toward genuine orientation. So, I’ve found myself sitting with the seeds of a few thoughts/questions that I want to write down here, so I can see how they look on paper (sorry, screen) as much as anything. Some might either be obvious or plain wrong, but I want to get a bit more of a grasp of how these things fit together.

Nicholas Bourriaud argues that modernism never died, it just shifted shape and found a new dream. Read this PDF to get a fuller idea. It’s a decent chunk of his very useful, if slightly full of itself book Relational Aesthetics.

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