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Creators:Bowditch, Isobel

I have been developing an art practice that is also a form of philosophical investigation, while exploring new forms to present such an investigation. Onlookers explores the forms of practice through which philosophy is made public, and the kind of knowledge that is enabled or disabled through such presentation.

Onlookers is a scripted dialogue between two eminent, but fictitious philosophers played by actors. The dialogue is intended to be presented at a Philosophy conference where the audience are not aware of the fiction. In its form Onlookers explores the nature of philosophical authority, the performance of philosophy, and of doubt; and in its content the liminal site of animal/human consciousness.

The research involved attending philosophical conferences to understand the nature of the form, researching feral children (specific examples) and rehearsing with the actors for three months.

Onlookers imaginatively explores a key text by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben: The Open; man and animal, where Agamben discusses a concept of life which is deemed to exist at the limit of ‘the human’. Onlookers engages philosophy and aesthetics through the tradition of performance.

Onlookers was presented at a public research symposium, Interrupting Connections, Rootstein Hopkins Space, UAL, November 2004. In January 2005, Professor Howard Caygill from the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College programed Onlookers into a conference entitled 'Contemporary Thought: the philosophy of the event’.

Type of Research:Art/Design Item
Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design
Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design
Date:19 January 2005
Copyright Holders:Isobel Bowditch
Event Location:Goldsmiths College, London
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Interrupting Connections, Rootstein Hopkins Space, University of the Arts LondonNovember 2004UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:1475
Deposited On:03 Dec 2009 23:35
Last Modified:11 Aug 2010 17:08
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