Experimental Systems. Contemporaneity, Untimeliness and Artistic Research (31/08/2019)

Michael Schwab

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Appropriating Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s work on experimental systems, the chapter establishes links to theories of contemporary art, suggesting a possible departure of artistic research from contemporary art by deploying Nietzsche’s notion of the untimely against Barthes’s claim that “the contemporary is the untimely.” More specifically, this chapter traces the temporality of epistemic things as they emerge from an experimental system and how Rheinberger can—through Derrida’s notion of historiality—claim that experimental systems are designed to make history. Aligning this discourse to theories of contemporary art (Peter Osborne, Boris Groys) this chapter highlights differences and overlaps in an attempt to situate both approaches within Nietzsche’s problematisation of “history,” suggesting that artistic research, rather than a philosophy of contemporary art, is able to deliver a Nietzschean solution to the problem of art in contemporary—that is, globalised—conditions. This entails both a criticism towards “contemporary art” and an opening towards “untimely” research practices.
keywordsartistic research, contemporaneity, experimental systems, historiality
copyrightOrpheus Institute/Leuven University Press
publisherLeuven University Press
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