4. version af Marxismetræet er nu uploaded (Danish)!

Marxismetræet 1. august 2014

I denne 4. version af Marxismetræet er der tilføjet en del nye navne, herunder Asger Jorn, Adrian Johnston, Terry Eagletons og Fredric Jameson samt et par stykker mere. Derudover er der skrevet lidt tekst til Oskar Negt og Erich Fromm, som også er nye navne på træet.

En tak skal lyde til Cand. Merc. Fil. Anders Magelund for at gøre opmærksom på den skønlitterære forfatter Hans Scherfigs relation til marxistisk tankegods samt nogle vigtige navne fra den psykoanalytiske skole i Ljubljana, centreret omkring Slavoj Zizek, som ligeledes er tilføjet.

Den illustrative ”stamme” fra Marx og Engels og ”op” til traditionen er blevet en del mere detaljeret rent grafisk.

Træets udvikling indtil nu samt den tilhørende metatekst kan ses her:


God fornøjelse!


A humorous on-topic comic

Another entry in the category of “Great stuff other people have done”.

Sometimes a comic can be useful for expressing a certain point. This comic from the people behind phdcomics.com adds a bit of humor to the investigation of:

Art vs. Research

…or maybe, as I suggest on this blog, it is rather art and research.. (a point which the comic does not seem to disagree with).


Quote Cacophony – a new Artcademia project

 Quote cacophony Close-01

Please click on the picture (and again on the picture that emerges) to see it in detail, and continue to read to get the explanation of what it is. 


This Artcademia project explores Artcademia through the medium of an ever-developing composition of quotes, colours and shapes..!

This ongoing investigation takes place on three levels:

  • The meta-textual level
  • The aesthetic development of the ‘form’
  • A collection, selection and constellation of quotes that – in addition to/as part of the aesthetic level – provides linguistic pieces of meaning. This meaning is derived from both their previous contexts – and the context of which they are currently cacophonously part.

The (rather absurd) critical question implicitly asked rhetorically is: can the meaning of one component (be it shape, colour or quote) be understood apart from the context of which it is part? And/or more investigative: how does the context/’form’ influence the meaning of the content?

What I in other words intent to show, on an abstract level, is the somewhat banal point that context/the whole affects the meaning of the parts. It is more controversial (though being a logical necessity, given the first point is agreed with) that this is also the case when academic texts are presented in the familiar ‘forms’ such as essays, dissertations and scientific articles (I have also discussed this in the article Indledende snitteøvelser… (Danish)).

As words both enable and limit possible meaning, so does the ‘forms’ we choose as the geography for the words coming into life. Holding on to a specific ‘form’, regardless of the intended content or the logic of the learning process itself, might limit both content and process in an undesirable way.

Alongside this investigations element of critique, there is a more explorative intention. I basically asked myself the following question:

When investigating the discursive meaning of the combination of a few selected quotes, that originates from texts that have influenced my construction of Artcademia so far, what ‘form’ would I come up with, if I freed myself from institutionalised ‘forms’, and instead sought inspiration in the reservoir of artistic techniques and expressions?

Quote Cacophony, is what I came up with…



Dancing and(/as) Philosophy

Monday April 28, I had the pleasure to participate at a symposium about the senses at a Danish dance festival called SWOP festival.

Here I gave a speech called “Aisthesis and Dancing – and exploration of dancing as philosophy” , building on the thinking of Aristotle, Heidegger and Adorno.

I argued that dancing can be a way of interpreting the world on a pre-linguistic level adding perspective to the knowledge facilitated and shaped by words, i.e. spoken and written language.

Understood in this way, dancing is much more than just having fun and getting good exercise (even though this is definitely also the case).

The bodily movements simultaneously contains, carries and expresses knowledge of the structures of meaning (often also articulated and understood in words) that we are always already embedded in – and it offers an opportunity to challenge this inherent knowledge, with an artistic exploration of additional meaning.

Dancing can hence be said to carry a philosophical potential, since exploring additional perspectives – that would otherwise be unrevealed, when only concerned with the kind of knowledge accessible through words – is a philosophical practice, at least in the way Adorno understands philosophy as critique.

These perspectives inspired the following discussions at the symposium, and I hope the speech can inspire you to. You can see the complete speech and bibliography by clicking on the picture:

 Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 9.52.51 AM

I have (of course) tried to integrate an artistic visual component in the presentation ‘form’/design aiming at:

  • Presenting the content in a more intuitive way (than with a traditional powerpoint show)
  • Making the presentation more appealing and sensuously engaging

– and thereby also adding aesthetic perspectives to the linguistic content, trying to counterbalance/challenge an understanding solely facilitated by words.

By also making the presentation something else than just a presentation of words (it could be interpreted as a graphic picture/a map/shapes and colors, etc. in its own right), I intended to build in meaning beyond words – and hence also a conscious attention to the limits of words.



Second version of The Contemporary Society Circle is now uploaded (16th december 2013)

Contemporary Society Cirkle 16. dec.2013-01

On this latest version of The Contemporary Society circle a few extra concepts has been added, and the first two textual descriptions of the society concepts are flaring away from the boundary of the circle.

The idea is to illustrate – and build in to the research-‘form’ – that no concept (outside the circle) can be identical with the object it identifies (inside the circle/the totality of society as a whole).

Please enjoy!

3. version af Marxismetræet

Marxismetræet 5. dec. 2013-01

3. version af version af marxismetræet er nu uploaded. Prøv at trykke på billedet. Der er en del nye navne tilføjet, som i en eller anden grad, på en eller anden måde, har været væsentligt påvirket af Marx og/eller marxistisk teori i forhold til deres egen teoriudvikling. Særligt har jeg tilføjet navne i den franske tradition.

Der er desuden tilføjet tekst til bl.a. Georg Simmel, Hans- Jørgen Schantz, arbejderisme og post-arbejderisme samt Joseph-Pierre Proudhon. Træet er i stadig udvikling og mere er naturligvis på vej.

Træets hidtidige udvikling og metateksten kan ses her:

Tree of Marxism

Great stuff other people have done – a new category on this blog

With this post, I am going to introduce a new thing on this blog.

Sometimes I come across some great stuff other people have done, which overlaps themes I explore and discuss as part of the Artcademia project. In these cases, I get excited and feel like they – like all good thoughts and ideas – should be shared to reach a wider audience.

I will therefore occasionally post a link to some great stuff other people have done, and maybe add a few commentary thoughts on how I think the work at hand touches upon themes I am interested in with the Artcademia project.

One such great work is a comic made by Kostas Kiriakakis (Kiriakakis 2013). It can be seen on his homepage here:

Mused – A day at the park

It is a sweet little story about the importance of asking questions and never settle with the answers you’ve got. This comic is interesting in an Artcademia perspective, since it facilitates learning in an engaging way by combining philosophical considerations and art in a moving dialogue.

In searching for why this is a good idea, one can start by asking(!): how would the very same arguments appear without the drawings?

And, would these philosophical considerations have made as efficient an impression, if they were not spun into an easy relatable narrative?

Plato is of course the classic example of discussing philosophical questions through dialogue (See fx Platon 1954, 2001 (danish versions)). He, more than anybody, knew the power of dragging the listener into thinking on his own, in this way; if a question is posed to a character in a text, it simultaneously presents itself as a question to the reader. Plato therefore (and for a couple of other reasons) shaped almost his entire authorship in the form of dialogues, often situated in a simple narrative. In these sophisticated dialogues, his character Socrates (to some degree based on Plato’s own teacher) is asking critical questions to his fellow men of ancient Greece, who, for their part represent different philosophical positions and arguments. This dialogue-‘form’ surely has its advantages, and Plato is a highly recommendable read. It teaches not only the philosophical arguments and positions, but also trains ones ability to think as well as understand the nuances and contradictions within philosophical problems.

As it is evident in Plato, the idea of ‘the importance of the question’, as Kiriakakis promotes with his comic, is absolutely essential to philosophy and critical thinking. The approach of curios questioning is also closely related to learning, since processes of learning often requires (self)questioning of what you already (think you) know. In associating learning with critique, I am inspired by the thinking of Adorno (Adorno 1973, 1977, 2005) and Honneth (Honneth 2011) who promote the idea of critique as a practice producing new perspectives. I should briefly mention, that art also has been attributed a similar potential (Larsen 2009:134). I thus understand ‘critique’ as a certain kind of sensitivity towards the world, always aware of there being ‘something  additional’ to the matter than presented in a single way – or in several. I have begun the development of these thoughts in the article ‘About Artcademia’ (mostly Danish) and in my Masters thesis (English), and I will continuously do so in the core of the Artcademia project.

In order not to be blinded by the knowledge, which one is presented to, or one already persists, one must give prior to the question; or, to an attitude – or ethos – of critique.

A normative statement would hence suggest that nothing should remain unquestioned. And to gently spin that point around for the connoisseurs, ‘nothing’ is of course also to be understood as an important issue to address with philosophical questioning, as a it has been done from Parmenides to Sartre and beyond.

So, both ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ is worth questioning from a human perspective. Not the least because we are also potentially capable of not doing so, which puts us at risk of uncritical overtaking/acceptance of dangerous (political, ideological, religious and even ‘scientific’) perspectives and ideas presented to us (not to say that all political, ideological, religious and scientific perspectives are dangerous). History provides plenty of such examples.

A lot can be written about why questions are important. Another way to approach it is through a comic. Please enjoy the remarkable elegancy with which Kiriakakis is illustrating the value of asking questions:

Mused – A day at the park

Bibliography for the article

Adorno, Theodor W. 1977. «The actuality of philosophy». Telos.

Adorno, Theodor W. 2005. Minima Moralia – Reflections from the damaged life.

Adorno, Theodor W. Adorno. 1973. Negative Dialectics. The digital reprint 2006. London and New York: Routledge.

Honneth, Axel. 2011. «Om Möjligheten av en Upplåtande Kritik». Fronesis – Kritik (36-37).

Kiriakakis, Kostas. 2013. «A DAY AT THE PARK | Kostas Kiriakakis». Kiriakakis.net. Hentet November 14, 2013 (http://kiriakakis.net/comics/mused/a-day-at-the-park).

Platon. 1954. Platons skrifter – Theaitetos. redigeret af Carsten Høeg og Hans Raeder. København: C. A. Reitzels Forlag. Axel Sandal.

Platon. 2001. Staten. 9.oplag udg. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag.