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Louise Carrie Wales, IDSVA





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This dissertation is a response to Martin Heidegger’s call to action asserted at the conclusion of his oft-cited essay, “The Question Concerning Technology,” in which he offers the realm of art as the mainspring for our emancipation from the grip of technological enframing. The following chapters investigate artists Martha Rosler, Christian Boltanski, Krzysztof Wodiczko and finally, collaborators Noor Mirza and Brad Butler, whose artworks offer a counterbalance to the erosion of the human capacity for thought as a particular feature of our Being, or Dasein, as proposed by Heidegger. Their shared characteristic lies in truth’s manifestation within artworks as happenings or events rather than a quest for fixed certainty or correspondence. Through their work, the artists catalyze a reckoning, compelling the viewer to question and reflect on his intersubjective ethical responsibility for the other. The common thread connecting them is a powerful shifting of thought — in a distinctly revelatory acting upon the viewer’s awareness. I will argue that, as technological aesthetic narratives are increasingly sophisticated and nuanced, politically conscious artists such as these become better able to harness their potential voices in deeply critical ways allowing the inter-subjective ethos of care to manifest and thrive in dialogic expressions of truth. Furthermore, they begin to formulate a way of considering and using technology that not only resists enframing by interrogating the very essence of our relationship with it, but also functions as a way of engaging with the question of Being itself (which encompasses Heidegger’s fundamental project). In the end, this dissertation will demonstrate that Being comes to itself in the site of exchange as his/her awareness of responsibility grows and thought is returned to its poetical dwelling. In these times of narrowed perspectives and technological addiction qua enframing, Heidegger’s call to action and the works responding to it must be brought to the fore and celebrated


Aesthetics | Art Practice | Philosophy




Portland ME

In Response to Heidegger’s Plea: Alētheia and the Open Space for Thinking and Freedom Through Art



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