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Institute for the Arts

Since the rise of modernism in the 19th century the economy of the art world has shifted from a system of personal and religious patronage, to state patronage, and finally to the current gallery and museum based system we see today. For artists currently emerging from academic and art educational institutions, success in an “art world” always already rests on assumptions made within a framework of capitalistic practices. What happens when we question those very assumptions and practices? Is there a way to “make work” and “produce” art within social, political, and economic communities that seek to critique those assumptions? What kind of alternative frameworks might be possible? In asking these questions we also seek to examine the role that philosophy plays within artistic practice, and the interplay between them: to not marginalize critical inquiry in the production of artistic practice, and to not produce objects/sounds/experiences that merely demonstrate an idea rather than produce one. We move beyond mere “art speak” and “theory” and consider both philosophy and art as applied practices. These queries will help guide us faculty, researchers, and artists as we continually redefine what making meaning and engaging with representation can look like through the Institute for the Arts.

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