GradCAM/ Dublin Institute of Technology
Trans-Serial and the Deadly Medium
Twin Peaks’ master villain BOB, a medium who possesses his victims and makes them commit crimes on his behalf, is the starting point for an investigation on the role of the medium in artistic practice, seen as a deadly performative agent in the relation between the material and the conceptual. Brought into question in recent discussions of the post-conceptual (Peter Osborne) or post-medium (Rosalind Krauss) condition of contemporary art, the medium is however the one that shapes the process of display, of becoming material in a space, and it is precisely in this process that art manifests its disjunctions to philosophy, to which it is more and more often put into a dialogue through exhibition texts, artist statements and artistic research education programs. As such, the relation between art and philosophy is seen not as a friendly convergence but rather as a disjunctive field of gruesome crimes. The lecture-performance proposes the idea of deadly mediation for this disjunction by inverting Thomas de Quincey’s overlap between art and murder: instead of murder considered as one of the fine arts, art considered as one of the fine murders. This idea is further expanded through Karen Barad’s concept of diffraction, and reconsiders what diffractive realism could entail as a model for artistic practice: a way for art to regain its potential as a truth procedure without losing access to matter as an underlying vector of the whole process.
“Trans-Serial and the Deadly Medium” was published in Serial Killing: A Philosophical Anthology, edited by Edia Connole and Gary J Shipley, Schism Press, 2015.