The Vital Task at Hand

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The Vital Task at Hand

Philosophy through the lens of this gallery is not an academic subject but is put into practice. We, as two scholars who are both active in the arts and philosophy, wanted to also put the viewer and reader into this mix of creative practices. When discussing how best to expand the physical conference, Emancipation: Challenges at the Intersection of American and European Philosophy, we decided to curate an online art exhibition, which runs alongside the explorations into the many fascinating philosophies presented on the site in essay form. We wanted philosophies of art to perform freely, not just to be merely theoretical aspects of a textbook kind of logic. Our thesis is that art is philosophy as a living instrument of freedom and social change.

Art is an activity of searching for the new, for new experiences and new solutions. It is always challenging what is given. Therefore emancipation and freedom are inherent to art, and although the trials to bind it to a certain kind of discourse are repeated throughout art history, art continually trespasses all the borders imposed to it. We wanted to use such emancipatory potential, as visible on many levels through the work in this gallery: formal, social, and philosophical.
Curating the exhibition was easy, in that we both know artists who are profoundly engaged with art that is radical, in the sense that it is meant to actually make a difference in the world. So we have gathered our friends together in this exhibition, as not only artists presenting their work but as scientists who experiment with reality so as to promote liberation. Complete liberation of our social conditions may seem an insurmountable task to some people, but not to us.
Art is the scientific field where it is possible to obtain physical and mental freedom from dominating discourses and to challenge them directly; proposing new forms, new images, new representations, new worldviews. The project Emancipation: Challenges at the Intersection of American and European Philosophy would not be complete without this vital part of human life, which is art. Art is experienced directly and is influencing life directly.

We want to invite you to participate in this unique art/philosophy project by viewing and reading, writing comments, uploading additional contributions to the gallery, and lending philosophical references and textual citations. Thank you for being part of the exhibition.

The combination of art and philosophy is a vital task, giving everyone a real chance for liberation and change.

by Aleksandra Ɓukaszewicz Alcaraz, PhD Philosophy
and Rebecca L Farinas, PhD Philosophy


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