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Poietic Strategies in Artistic Practice

Poietic Strategies in Artistic Practice

Sophie Carolin Wagner / Austria
RIAT – Research Institute for Arts and Technology
scw@riat.at, https://riat.ac.at//

The term poiesis, the basis for the adjective poietic, is derived from Ancient Greek and denotes an act that is directed to create something out of nothing – from poieo (ποιέω): ‘to make’; to create something where there was void. Giorgio Agamben calls it in ‘The Man with no Content’: ‘something passed from nonbeing to being, from concealment into the full light of the work. The essential character of poiesis was not its aspect as a practical and voluntary process but it being a mode of truth understood as unveiling, a-letheia (ἀ-λήθεια).’ (Agamben, 1999, p.42) Poiesis stands thereby in opposition to practice, whose end in itself is action: the notion of the will to act. Poiesis on the other hand is not about being a volitional process, but one of revealing and with that a mode of veracity; a possibility for humans to find their own certainties.

This artist talk will examine poietic strategies in art productions and in which way they are different to practical approaches and do so at the example of my art work Poietry. This method of artistic creation, in which the infusion of art through science becomes not only visual but a requirement will be presented with the intention to map out a discursive territory, where art is no longer an assistant for visualisation of scientific, in this case biological, data but becomes a partner in the search for the novel.