Towards a Pedagogy of the Utopian Image
Abstract: This practice-based PhD project investigates the conditions for a pedagogy of the utopian image in contemporary art and film. It starts from the premise that there is a need for new political and social visions and scenarios. The project asks what role art and artist film, both as a medium and as a social activity, can play in experimenting with and sketching such visions and scenarios – a process described as a pedagogy of the “utopian image”. Rather than starting from established concepts in contemporary art theory and practice, this project seeks out fertile notions and methodologies from theoretical traditions in Marxist history that are lesser known in the field of art and artistic research, in order to reassess assumptions and dichotomies around thinking and feeling, mind and body, the social and the individual. By doing so, it seeks to find new ways of understanding and relating the political and psychological in artist film, pedagogy and drama. The project draws on a wide range of sources, from psychologist Lev Vygotsky, Soviet philosopher Evald Ilyenkov and theatre director Konstantin Stanislavski to revolutionary psychiatrist Frantz Fanon and science fiction writer Octavia Butler.The PhD submission consists of the three films, Talking Hands/Говорящие руки, 2016, The Nth Degree, 2018, and Acorn, 2021, along with the exhibition Bildningar at Mint in Stockholm, which ran from 2 to 25 September 2021. Links to these films and documentation of the exhibition are included in the PDF submission, which also includes a written component with theoretical considerations and reflections on method.
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