Posts Tagged 'interdisciplinarity'

Conceptual Device: a little effort. A sort of initiation

Very nice post. Thanks Martijn!

Yeah, conceptual devices… I have tried to give a definition that you can find on my website, here it is: conceptual devices are the result of interdisciplinary research projects, involving design, architecture and visual culture, with the aim to engage practises and social behaviour in everyday life. A conceptual device transforms information into a visual knowledge that produce and shift symbolic values.

I am not quite satisfied with this. The key issue is to define what a device is. Wikipedia says “category: disambiguation“, very true, it belongs to many disciplines, in different ways.

Let’s try, instead, to start an initiation rather than making a definition.
I’d say I am referring to the use of the word device that Faucault makes. All thought he never gave a definition. Which is why it is an interesting term. Reading Deleuze‘s essay on Foucault, it seems that there is a similarity between the use of the word “device” and the use of the word “diagram” in Foucault discourse, but I do not want to go that far without a compass.

I think that a conceptual device is a tool that represent a differed kind of social order. An order established under different symbolic values I mean. A device itself (in the sense of Foucault) produces a different order of society, since is the product of power. A law, for example, or a very successful gadget, like, say, a mobile phone, the type machine, electricity, a computer, a map. Different kind of powers. A Device is as tool for social reproduction (Marxist definition of infrastructure, sight!).

Here maybe I could come to a conclusion. If, say an invention like a mobile phone, alone as prototype is a conceptual device – in the sense that it produces a representation of a different society, a society that uses mobile phones, or a society that has the need to produce and use them; If such device is used then it creates a social innovation (product for the elites). When the device is widely used like today it creates a revolution, a society organized differently than ever before. It produces a different order of society.

So back to us. A conceptual device, makes an assumption (what if …..) so in this sense it produces an “hypothetical revolution”, or in other words produces an image of a different social order. I guess it produces a shift of perspective, a different point-of-view.

I am not sure for how long I’ll be satisfied with this statement, however I have made an effort to be clear. Comments on it are very welcome so that we can go somewhere together.

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“Veiling the unveiled truth”: the conceptual art of Silvio Berlusconi
Published August 3, 2008 by Antonio Scarponi

We all know that the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a man of talents. First of all he is a man of spectacle, a perfect actor from the old school. He is able to dance, sing and his practical jokes are famous world wide [...] We all know these skills, but recently in two occasion he demonstrated also to have great talent as conceptual artist.
Made in Sweden
Published July 9, 2008 by Trial and error

On a recent journey we visited two well-known Asian landmarks: The Chinese Dragon Gate and the Royal Thai Pavilion, both located in remote places in Sweden.
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Published July 3, 2008, 2008 by Marja Salaspuro and Sergio Davila

Can classical conservative museum structure keep its historically layered architecture, rooms, collections and objects – and still attract the interest of the modern visitors, mainstream tourists and experience seeking travelers? A philosophical reconsideration around the purpose of museums in our era and the architect’s role as a curator.

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