Quote Cacophony

Quote cacophony Close-01


Quote Cacophony 

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. 

“Art is autonomous and it is not; without what is heterogeneous to it, its autonomy eludes it.”


– Theodor W. Adorno (Adorno 2004, 7–8)


In academia, quotes are often used in the beginning of a text to let the reader know the theme, indicate a certain angle on the subject matter, to make a point, or simply to give direction by “setting the tone” for the reader. Like I have done here. With this quote I want the reader to feel that we are moving into the tension-field between art and its opposite.

Even though there is certain music in “setting the tone”, such “music” inside academia unfolds within its institutional rules and limits. Within the borders of this institutionally established practice, there is some admitting this “music” an academic function. The function is to engage the reader, not only on the cognitive discursive level, but also (sometimes) on the aesthetic emotional level.

With this Artcademia project, I will explore Artcademia through and in between quotes, colours and shapes. What role emotions and the aesthetic ‘form’ for the investigation play, is part of the investigation. But why am I using quotes for this purpose? Allow me to elaborate a little bit on that…

Quotes are always a bit tricky.

For even though a quote might sum up a great point, and thereby stating something precise, all of the preceding and subsequent text providing all of the necessary information to understand the precision – is left out in the quote.

When taken out of their original context, they lack the context that gave them their original meaning, which can easily lead to misunderstandings of various sorts.

But, this unspoken context – or what then become open ends in the “de-contexted” quote – also leaves room for the quote to engage in and give meaning to another context. It hence carries a bit of meaning with it from its old context – while also adding to the composition of meaning in the new context.

But what knowledge-value does the quote carry with it and add to the new context, besides what it expresses in itself?

Without answering the question, I will just point out two factors decisive for the received meaning:

  • The complete knowledge at the reading moment in the reading context (including knowledge of or about the quotes original context) of the one reading the quote.
  • How the quote is activated in relation to other elements in its new context

In this Artcademia project, I will create a context composed by colours, shapes and quotes. None of these quotes will in themselves express (what) Artcademia (is). But “in between” the individual quotes a composed meaning will appear. So, in composing this Artcademia piece, I am searching for what Artcademia can be – as much as I do in any meta-text about Artcademia.

This meta-text as well as the painted investigative ‘form’, is a work in progress and will develop over time as I find new and/or better quotes, Artcademia develops, and I learn new things or get new artistic inspiration.

When I read and I find a good quote, I now have a place to keep it. In that way, Quote Cacophony is also a quote collection that can serve as a reservoir when writing future texts.

To compare the quote-context of shapes and colors with a “black text on a white background”-version, just scroll down to the bottom. Here you will also see the full biography for the quotes used.


Materials and techniques: acrylic paint on paper digitalised and manipulated in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Earlier versions

Quote Cacophony 11.05.2014


Initial Developments

Initial Developments

Quotes as text on a white background – how does this aesthetic context influence how the content is received in comparison with the context of shapes and colors?

”Science is one lens, creative arts another. Do we not see more deeply through two lenses?” – Laurel Richardson (Richardson 2001b, 887–888)


“Art is autonomous and it is not; without what is heterogeneous to it, its autonomy eludes it.”

– Theodor W. Adorno (Adorno 2004, 7–8)


“The ‘eye’ is a product of history by education”

– Pierre Bourdieu (Bourdieu 1984, 3)


“Work comes to dress itself in the clothes of the artist or of the university.”

– Yann Moulier Boutang (Boutang 2011, 88)


“The utopia of cognition would be to open up the non-conceptual with concepts, without making it the same as them.”

– Theodor W. Adorno (Adorno 2001, “Interest of Philosophy, p. 19–21)


”poetry transcends the limits of language and evoke what cannot be articulated”

– Jackie Wiggins (Wiggins 2011, 6)


Bibliography for the quotes

Adorno, Theodor W. 2001. Negative Dialectics. Oversat af Dennis Redmon. http://members.efn.org/~dredmond/ndtrans.html. http://members.efn.org/~dredmond/ndtrans.html.

———. 2003. Minima Moralia – Refleksioner fra det beskadigede liv. Oversat af Nina Lautrup-Larsen og Arno Victor Nielsen. 2.reviderede udg. Gylling: Gyldendal.

———. 2004. Aesthetic Theory. Redigeret af Gretel Adorno og Rolf Tiedemann. Oversat af Robert Hullot-Kentor. London * New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Harvard: Havard University Press.

Boutang, Yann Moulier. 2011. Cognitive Capitalism. Oversat af Ed Emery. Cambridge/Malden: Polity.

Brinkmann, Svend. 2012. «Livsførelse – om det rytmiske i vores liv og kropslighed». I Filosofi & Kunst. Aalborg Ø: Aalborg Universitetsforlag.

Kierkegaard, Søren. 1962. Samlede værker – bind 2. Enten – Eller, Første halvbind. Gyldendal.

Richardson, Laurel. 2001a. «Poetic representation of interviews». I Handbook of interview research: Context & method. Thousand Oks, California. London, United Kingdom. New Delhi, India.: Sage Publications, Inc.

———. 2001b. «Poetic representation of interviews». I Handbook of interview research: Context & method. Thousand Oks, California. London, United Kingdom. New Delhi, India.: Sage Publications, Inc.

Wiggins, Jackie. 2011. «Feeling It Is How I Understand It. Found Poetry as Analysis». International Journal of Education & the Arts Lived Aesthetic Inquiry 3 (December). http://www.ijea.org/v12lai3/v12lai3.pdf.

One thought on “Quote Cacophony

  1. Pingback: Quote Cacophony – a new Artcademia project | Artcademia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s