A Never-Ending Thirst: Artistic Reforms to Neoliberal-Teflon Imperviousness

Dissertation element of the PhD in Philosophy of Fine Arts in Artistic Practice at HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg

Titled A Never-Ending Thirst: Artistic Reforms to Neoliberal-Teflon Imperviousness, my thesis is an investigation about the attacks to the understanding of the subject as a nexus of relationalities in tandem with the concern with image-making practices informed and shaped by ethics of listening. Departing from the construct “Skin-Teflon,” which was introduced by Maria Franco Ferraz to describe the intentional demotion of the quality and complexity of acts of interfacing in contemporary culture, my inquiry observed how artistic research might align with questions to counter, and offer alternatives to, Neoliberal-Teflon impediments to affectability—to alterity, encounter, and knowledge—and its denial of the subject as a nexus of relationality and caring for the shared condition. To this end, my PhD involved examining patterns and practices of artists and filmmakers dealing with the problem of distance of art, and my own strategic deployment of artistic approaches that operate as “listening reflections.” In that deployment, my focus is the dialogue between contexts of intervention, artistic ways of doing and knowing, and the passersby encountering art. My research is animated by my belief that a truly democratic and open society cultivate and seeks to improve the lessons of openness, sensitivity, and imagination, without which there is no learning, transformation, or change.

Thesis design by Luís Sousa Teixeira

Thesis available for download here