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Nihilism, Art, and Technology
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis investigates the role of technology in the formation of the artistic avant-garde, along with various forms of philosophical reflection on this development, with a particular emphasis on Heidegger.

Setting out from an analysis of three paradigmatic cases in the interplay between art and technology—the invention of photography, the shift from Futurism to Constructivism, and the interpretation of technology in debates on architectural theory in the 1920s and ’30s—it proceeds to a discussion of three philosophical responses to this development, those found in Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, and Ernst Jünger, all of which share a certain avant-garde sensibility and a notion of art as a response to nihilism.

In Heidegger’s postwar writings we see a retreat from the positions of the mid 1930s, and in his reflections on technology a different answer emerges to the question of whether “great art” is still possible: great art is an art that exists precisely by making the founding of a world into something problematic.

The fourth part confronts Heidegger’s analysis of technology with the work of an individual artist, the architect Mies van der Rohe, and asks how the “silence”—the withdrawal of language, sense, aesthetic perception, etc.—that is often understood as a precondition for the critical potential of his work should in fact be understood. By examining interpretations that draw on Heidegger via comparisons with other types of critical theory, a different understanding emerges of the relation among nihilism, art, and technology. They form a field of constant modulation, which implies that the concepts that have been the foundation of critical theory, nature, subjectivity, experience, even “being” in Heidegger’s sense, must be subjected to a historical analysis that acknowledges them as ongoing processes of construction, and that also accounts for the capacity of technologies and artistic practices to intervene in the formation of philosophical concepts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University , 2010. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
nihilism, art, technology, avant-garde, architecture, critical theory, Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Jünger, Mies van der Rohe
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38737ISBN: 978-91-7447-073-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-38737DiVA: diva2:314053
Public defence
2010-05-22, hörsal 7 , hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
The chapters 5, 6 and 7 in the monograph Essays, Lectures for a part of the Ph.D.thesis.Available from: 2010-04-28 Created: 2010-04-27 Last updated: 2010-04-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Essays, lectures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Essays, lectures
2007 (English)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Axl Books, 2007. 404 p. Edition: 1. uppl.
Keyword
aesthetic value, cultural values, history
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38735 (URN)978-91-975901-1-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-04-27 Created: 2010-04-27 Last updated: 2013-06-25Bibliographically approved
2. The silences of Mies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The silences of Mies
2008 (English)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Axl Books, 2008. 98 p.
Series
.AKAD, 02
Keyword
Individual architects, Theory of architecture, Building construction, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
National Category
Architecture
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38736 (URN)978-91-977247-5-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-04-27 Created: 2010-04-27 Last updated: 2013-06-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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