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Making Sense

For an Effective Aesthetics- Includes an original essay by Jean-Luc Nancy

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Edited By Lorna Collins and Elizabeth Rush

This volume of texts and images has evolved from papers given at the inaugural Making Sense colloquium, which was held at the University of Cambridge in September 2009. The chapters collected here reflect the multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary sense made at this event, which became something of an artistic installation in itself. The essay ‘Making Sense’ by Jean-Luc Nancy provided the grand finale for the colloquium and is also the culmination of the volume. The collection also includes articles that expound and critique Nancean theory, as well as those that provide challenging manifestos or question the divide between artist and artisan. The volume contrasts works that use texts to make sense of the world with performance pieces that question the sense of theory and seek to make sense through craft, plastic art or painting. By juxtaposing works of pure theory with pieces that incorporate poetry, prose and performance, the book presents the reader with a distillation of the creative act.

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Lorna CollinsIntroduction 1

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LORNA COLLINS Introduction This volume of texts has evolved from papers written and performed at the first Making Sense colloquium, which was held at the University of Cambridge in September 2009. This event bought together artists and scholars from all around the world, who gathered to build an interface between artistic crea- tion, theoretical debate and academic scholarship. The underlying purpose of this event was to provoke and install the aesthetic encounter and an art practice as media to help us understand and make sense of the world. We wanted to formulate new ways to frame and develop discourse, and found a new way of making sense. The chapters collected here ref lect the multi-dimensional and interdis- ciplinary creativity and sense made at this event, which became something of an artistic installation in itself. With a stimulating and sensuous economy of mutual exchange and intimate debate, the colloquium deconstructed the traditional hierarchy between the audience and the speakers, reassembling participants who proceeded from the belief that we can all be artists. This book follows from one of the underlying aims of the colloquium, which was to produce a new and creative form of academic scholarship. By juxtaposing works of pure theory and philosophical texts with pieces that incorporate poetry, prose and performance, Making Sense tries to present the reader with a lozenge of the creative act per se. This scholarship is new because of its direct acquisition: each piece in this book presents itself as a work of literature or...

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