Tim Ridlen is a studio artist who works with video and photography. He is also pursuing a PhD in Visual Art at the University of California San Diego and writes about art in the university. He recently spent a year in the West Bank teaching media art at Al Quds Bard Honors College.
My research looks at practices of art amongst other practices within academia and examines the relationship between art and experiential knowledge. In my dissertation, I examine the history of art as research. By looking at practices in the U.S. from 1957-1977 that took on academia and research as both a theme and a context, I argue that key artworks from the countercultural period challenged the construction of knowledge in one of society's most consequential institutions: the university and higher education. With a focus on Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and related movements, I analyze how “aesthetic experience” became an alternative to the paradigm of discovery and invention established by research universities. Furthermore, I trace the way aesthetic experience was transformed through these practices as they began to resemble intellectual and educational pursuits. Chapters organized around 4 different institutional projects (the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, the Project in Multiple Dimensions at Rutgers, the Art in Process exhibitions at Finch College, and the California Institute of the Arts) ground this study within the institutions of higher education, while a number of key works from Mel Bochner, John Baldessari, Judy Chicago, Allan Kaprow, Gyorgy Kepes, Martha Rosler and others are taken up as examples.