ad vivum and its cognates
nach dem Leben and
naer het leven have been applied since the thirteenth century to depictions designated as from, to or after (the) life. This book explores the issues raised by this vocabulary and related terminology with reference to visual materials produced and used in Europe before 1800, including portraiture, botanical, zoological, medical and topographical images, images of novel and newly discovered phenomena, and likenesses created through direct contact with the object being depicted. The designation
ad vivum was not restricted to depictions made directly after the living model, and was often used to advertise the claim of an image to be a faithful likeness or a bearer of reliable information. Viewed as an assertion of accuracy or truth,
ad vivum raises a number of fundamental questions in the area of early modern epistemology – questions about the value and prestige of visual and/or physical contiguity between image and original, about the kinds of information which were thought important and dependably transmissible in material form, and about the roles of the artist in that transmission. The recent interest of historians of early modern art in how value and meaning are produced and reproduced by visual materials which do not conform to the definition of art as unique invention, and of historians of science and of art in the visualisation of knowledge, has placed the questions surrounding
ad vivum at the centre of their common concerns.
Contributors: Thomas Balfe, José Beltrán, Carla Benzan, Eleanor Chan, Robert Felfe, Mechthild Fend, Sachiko Kusukawa, Pieter Martens, Richard Mulholland, Noa Turel, Joanna Woodall, and Daan Van Heesch.
Haecceities: Essentialism, Identity, and Abstraction is both an artistic and philosophical examination of the limits of Abstraction in art and of kinds of radical identity that are determined in the identification of those limits. Building on his work
Subjects and Objects, Strayer shows how the fundamental conditions of making and apprehending works of art can be used, in concert with language, thought, and perception, as ‘material’ for producing the more Abstract and radical artworks possible. Certain limits of Abstraction and possibilities of radical identity are then identified that are critically and philosophically considered. They prove to be so extreme that the concepts
artwork, abstraction, identity, and
object in art, philosophy, and philosophy of art, have to be reconsidered.
Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World is an introduction to the methods and basic concepts of phenomenological philosophy through an analysis of the phenomenon of the built world. The conception of the built world that emerges is of space and time fashioned in accordance with a living understanding of what it is for human beings to exist in the world. Human building and making is thus no mere supplementary instrument in the pursuit of the ends of life, but a fundamental embodiment of the self-understanding of human beings. Phenomenological description is uniquely capable of bringing into view the physiognomy of this understanding, its texture and complexity, thereby providing an important basis for a critique of what constitutes its essence and its conditions of possibility.
The Image in French Philosophy challenges dominant interpretations of Bergson, Sartre, Lyotard, Baudrillard and Deleuze by arguing that their philosophy was not a critique but a
revival of metaphysics as a thinking pertaining to impersonal forces and distinguished by an aversion to subjectivity and an aversion of the philosophical gaze away from the discourse of vision, and thus away from the image. Insofar as the image was part of the discourse of subjectivity/representation, getting rid of the subject involved smuggling the concept of the image out of the discourse of subjectivity/representation into a newly revived and ethically flavored metaphysical discourse—a metaphysics of immanence, which was more interested in consciousness rather than subjectivity, in the inhuman rather than the human, in the virtual rather than the real, in Time rather than temporalization, in Memory rather than memory-images, in Imagination rather than images, in sum, in
impersonal forces, de-personalizing experiences, states of dis-embodiment characterized by the breaking down of sensory-motor schemata (Bergson’s pure memory, Sartre’s image-consciousness, Deleuze’s time-image) or, more generally, in that which remains beyond representation i.e.
beyond subjectivity (Lyotard’s sublime, Baudrillard’s fatal object). The book would be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy, aesthetics, and film theory.