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dc.contributor.authorEdgerton, Michael Tod
dc.description.abstractThe critical portion of this dissertation looks at the compartmentalization of intellectual and aesthetic activity due to the rise of the academy and museum, and their detrimentally heightened state of specialized professionalization, in particular that of the artist and critic. Art has been alienated from its producers and audiences alike, producing a specialized discourse of criticism that can only appropriate art into the theoretical frameworks of aesthetic judgments, reducing them to functions of abstract principles of the idea of art. In this context, I inquire into the possibilities of a less appropriative mode of criticism, looking especially to the recent phenomenological turn in criticism for guidance, and testing the limit case proposition that the only legitimate criticism itself is artistic: the ekphrastic literary response or “translation” of art. As a critic searching out the proper landing point between methodological poles, I then look at artists Mark Dion and Olafur Eliasson, whose works attempt to activate the senses and a sense of community over and against “disinterested” critical discourse. As a literary artist, myself, I then present my own work that, like Dion and Eliasson’s, is both aesthetic and relational, opening a space for a kind of relational function within the aesthetic space of lyric writing, creating a hybrid genre literary art work that queries the ways people make meaning of their lives; struggle with doubt, pain, and fear; and forge connections with others and with the larger culture. The work formally enacts this self-other chiasmus through a problematizing of the traditional notion of isolated poetic “voice” and authorial agency.
dc.subject20th and 21st century art
dc.subjectart and literary criticism
dc.subjectlyric essay
dc.subjecthybrid writing
dc.subjectparticipatory art
dc.subjectrelational art
dc.subjectsocial practice art
dc.titleOccasioned to wonder
dc.title.alternativequestions of art and life after the death of everything
dc.description.advisorJed Rasula
dc.description.committeeJed Rasula
dc.description.committeeAndrew Zawacki
dc.description.committeeIsabelle Loring Wallace
dc.description.committeeTim Raser

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