Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) to the Technological University Dublin, 2014.


This enquiry seeks to explore what philosopher and critic Peter Osborne identifies as the philosophical character of contemporary art. The purpose of this enquiry is not to resolve the ambiguous relationship between art and philosophy that he observes in contemporary art, but to address the complex engagement between them in a focused manner by examining how philosophy comes into play in my post-conceptual practice. This enquiry emerges from and is orientated by an ongoing post-conceptual practice. The central questions of the enquiry ask: What is the relationship between art and philosophy in my post-conceptual practice? How might my artworks raise philosophical ideas and thought? What is the nature of this thought? The primary component of the research project consists of three specific event-based art works: Gatherings (Transitory Encounters) (2008), Mystical Anarchism (2009-2012) and Metaphysical Longings (2006 -). Through the development, enactment and critical reflection on these works I explore how my practice provides a domain to engage with philosophy and how the artworks that unfold out of this might implicate philosophical ideas and engender thought. These works seek to enact an other space. I use the term other space to articulate a temporary, experiential and/or symbolic space that differs from the quotidian. I develop my understanding of the philosophical character of art by exploring how philosophical ideas might be implicated in these works in an experiential manner by considering how these works invite thought. Through the research project I assert the proposition that the thinking raised by art is essentially affective. Alain Badiou’s inaesthetics provides a theoretical guide. Although inaesthetics defines a reciprocal engagement between artistic practice and philosophical enquiry, the correlation of these disciplines is described from the vantage point of the philosopher and no examples from the area of contemporary art are provided within his thesis. Rather than repeating the procedures associated with traditional modalities of aesthetics that privilege the critic/philosopher, this research project provides a paradigm within artistic practice to explore how philosophical meaning is implicated through the development and enactment of artworks.