Incremental accelerations, punctuated decelerations: Peripheral vision and the peripatetic
This project is a heuristic exploration of my relationship with the politics that govern the institutions of which I am a part. Departing from anthropologists Cris Shore and Susanna Trnka’s articulation of 'peripheral vision' as a methodological tool for disciplinary critique,1 I appropriate a poetics of peripheralisation to speculate on the constraints that late capitalism/neoliberalism impinge on education and art practice. When a current ideology of ‘progress’ prioritises values such as innovation, profitability and productivity, how may definitively unproductive gestures like anxiety, empathy, slowness and dissonance be explored in their agentive capacity?
To perceive myself as an actor upon the stage of the institution lends a self-prescribed permission to take a somewhat melodramatic, performative approach to my work. Taking cues from Jan Verwoert’s proposition for an ‘ethos of a resistant practice’,2 I try to imagine alternative ways of enacting dissidence. How might one harness the friction generated by conflicting desires and obligations as a force for transformative action? Resisting arrivals at concrete resolutions, I draw from personal narratives and the imminent subjective experience to navigate how these could be valorised as critical co-producers of learning, and disrupt ‘the homogeneous pace of high performance culture’.3
- Shore and Trnka, “Peripheral vision as anthropological critique: How perspectives from the margins can illuminate the exploits of twenty-first century global capitalism”, 29.
- Verwoert, “Exhaustion and exuberance: Ways to defy the pressure to perform”, 91.
- Verwoert, “Exhaustion and exuberance”, 95.