The Reading Room is a joint cooperation between the artist-initiatives Platform for Thoughts in Motion and iii. For this session we are delighted to be joined by Iris van der Tuin. We will be reading a text written by the philosopher Susanne K. Langer, from her book Feeling and Form.
We ask that those interested in joining please reserve a spot by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Langer was one of the first women to achieve an academic career in philosophy, and the first woman to be popularly and professionally recognized as an American philosopher. One of Langer’s aims was to sketch a theory for all the arts. The human mind “is constantly carrying on a process of symbolic transformation of the experiential data that come to it” causing it to be a “veritable fountain of more or less spontaneous ideas”. She believed symbolism was central to philosophical thinking as it was at the heart of human knowing and understanding. She was also one of the first philosophers to deal with the concept of the virtual, and connected the concept to art. For her, figuring out the space of an artwork by its creator was no less than building a virtual world. This world is something external that exists materially, as a space of contemplation outside the human mind. We will be reading her 1953 text Feeling and Form, where Langer aims to reach at that extra-cognitive material force of art.
We will also provide you with a copy of the text.