On May 17, 2011 wrote: “We Are An Author”
To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher’s hilariously delusional Freudian slip in which she revealed her monarchical self-image, “We are an author!”
Having sat on my PhD thesis for nearly 6 years (sometimes literally), after an email enquiry from a publisher, I figured I may as well put it into print. I am consequently delighted to announce that you can now purchase my thesis from Amazon at the bargain price of £71. Put it on your Christmas lists now.
For those of you who haven’t read it yet (if you are one of these few: what have you been doing all these years?!), it is basically about the relationship between the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and what is referred to as “site-specific” art. However, there is also quite a bit of stuff on the philosophy of technology, which is a subject that has been my increasing preoccupation since completion.
From the blurb:
The notion of site-specific art is one that has been used extensively within art theory and practice since the late 1960s. However, in the process of its various utilisations and interpretations the concept would seem to have been emptied almost entirely of meaning such that, in the words of Miwon Kwon, it becomes merely a token of criticality or progressivity. Many works throughout history have had a specific relation to a site. What, if anything, distinguishes modern and contemporary works that draw on the concept or to which it is ascribed? By revisiting the philosophical basis of the problem through an analysis of the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Dr Christopher Townson addresses the problem of the meaning of site-specificity as a concept, then elaborating this through case studies on James Turrell and Robert Smithson. As a consequence, significant conclusions can be drawn not only with regard to site-specific art past and present but also for art history as a discipline.
Who knows? Now that I have published one, maybe I shall get into the habit. It is terribly narcissistic, but there is something rather pleasing about seeing your hard work in print. I am very much looking forward to receiving my complementary copy. I am really hoping is it has a good “new book” smell.