In this book I started exploring issues and theories of self and identity. It was the result of a research project in which I interviewed five contemporary visual artists, and analysed the ways they talk about their creative processes and their sense of themselves as artists. I focused on visual artists because they have to struggle against many social norms to keep producing and developing their work. Obviously, there are many other people involved in similar struggles not to conform, and who create in other ways. I hope they would find some of the arguments here apply to them too.
This book is published by Peter Lang Press http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=50356&concordeid=11398
I also introduce Roy Bhaskar’s theory of Meta-Reality in the book, and draw on it for my analysis. See his book, ‘Meta-Reality:The philosophy of meta-reality, Vol.1, Creativity, Love and Freedom. Sage, 2002. I hope to post about his philosophy on this blog at a later date, and would love to hear from others who have read any of his work, especially his theories of Meta-Reality.
Here is an extract from the book in which I introduce this theory:
Through language we build up and pass on knowledge of the world and ourselves and give particular meanings to our lives. We socialise our children into these meanings through institutional practices such as school, hospitals, religious establishments, the arts and the media. All these are complex social worlds that create strong norms through specific kinds of knowledge and power, and through specific ways of talking and writing.
However, Bhaskar argues that there is more to ‘being’ than our knowledge of it through words, through language (Bhaskar, 1994). He argues that many postmodern theorists concentrate on improving, expanding and critiquing these bodies of knowledge, but they don’t consider how knowledge comes from within the wider frame of our being a particular species on a particular planet. The knowledge we produce and pass on is always located within our relations with each other and within the wider world we are all part of. He calls this concentration on knowledge the ‘epistemic fallacy’. That it leads to thinking that what we know about the world through language is the same as what the world actually is. Knowledge and the object of knowledge are collapsed together. As I go on to discuss, the relations between language and thinking have a powerful impact on our actions, and lead to the creation of new ‘realities’. But there are another set of relations too. (page 14).
In this blog I want to bring in some of the other relations that we are all part of.