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Faulty instruments, the sea & the stars: a digital fine art practice

Magee, Paul George Nathan; (2018) Faulty instruments, the sea & the stars: a digital fine art practice. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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A digital fine art practice is at the nexus of some powerful dichotomies: the subjective versus the objective, the passions versus reason, and art versus science among them. This research uncouples such polarities and con-fuses them. It con-fuses the theoretical with the practical, the rational with the irrational. It con-fuses art, science and technology. And it does so to advance a distinct approach to making sense. Paul Feyerabend portrays knowledge as an ever-expanding paratactic ocean of mutually incompatible alternatives. He argues that scientific knowledge does not advance in an entirely rational manner. His analysis of its methodologies leads him to advocate deviation and error, ambiguity, approximation and open interaction. He demonstrates that these methods and practices are essential in the construction of the ad-hoc hypotheses and future languages that are themselves essential to the further development of knowledge. Moreover he asserts that these methods and practices are critical to human beings remaining free and happy agents. Within the context of a digital fine art practice, this research con-fuses such an anarchic epistemology with an antiquity. That antiquity is of ancient Greece as understood by Feyerabend and Nietzsche, and as wilfully misunderstood by myself. This text constructs a vaguely suspect chronicle of the trajectory and impact of aggressive rationality over the last two and a half millennia, and investigates the instruments and practices of what has become the dominant tradition within that chronicle. Those instruments and practices are then loosely misunderstood and misapplied to both an established art practice and an emerging writing practice. This text is witness and accomplice to the construction of a personal constellation and logos. It is my own personal Phenomena and Enoptron, my own lodestar and lodestone. It documents a dialogue between quite disparate voices. Between bots, agents and daemons. It is above all however, an account of the dialogue between the physical thoughts and mental objects that constitute my practice and this research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Faulty instruments, the sea & the stars: a digital fine art practice
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058993
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