Truth and Honesty
Visiting Professor, Edward Shanken, author of Art and Electronic Media (London: Phaidon, 2009) will be teaching a graduate seminar that will explore historical/philosophical conceptions of truth and honesty with particular attention to art. We will consider a broad range of texts from the western philosophical tradition (e.g. Hegel, _Lectures on Aesthetics_,” Neitszche, “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense” Heidegger, “On the Origin of the Work of Art,” Derrida, _Truth in Painting_,) as well as non-western philosophical approaches to the topic (e.g. Nagarjuna’s _The Middle Way_, Huxley’s _Doors of Perception_.) We will also examine the notion of honesty, particularly in the context of clinical psychology (e.g., Blanton, _Radical Honesty_) but also in connection with ethics (Habermas, _Moral Consiousness and Communicative Action_.) We will consider these concepts in relation to the work of artists such as Critical Art Ensemble, David Dunn, Ken Feingold, Lynn Hershman, Gary Hill, Jenny Holzer, and Alvin Lucier. Final projects will consist of a substantial research paper or a finished artwork supplemented by a clearly articulated theoretical statement. The goal of the seminar is to apply insights from these theoretical traditions and artistic practices to your own critical practice; in other words, to find truth and honesty in your own work and process.