Learning By Mistake: Art, Transgression, Laughter

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Art and science progress through the exploration of the 'category error'. Using Freud's concept of humour as the product of category substitution, and the concept of 'paradigm' proposed by the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, I suggest that the avant garde artist advances by taking the risk of making 'mistakes' that will either offend or delight the spectator. Understanding how art is learned and how art progresses enables us to understand that mistakes are not the opposite of truth but are the meansd to establish it. Other subjects and other pedagog Art and science progress through the exploration of the 'category error'. Using Freud's concept of humour as the product of category substitution, and the concept of 'paradigm' proposed by the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, I suggest that the avant garde artist advances by taking the risk of making 'mistakes' that will either offend or delight the spectator. Understanding how art is learned and how art progresses enables us to understand that mistakes are not the opposite of truth but are the meansd to establish it. Other subjects and other pedagogies have much to learn from art and artists.ies have much to learn from art and artists. By discussing artoworks from the Documenta exhibition I will demonstrate how this process works


Keywords: Mistakes, Truth, Humour, Science, Category Error, Pradigm shift, Freud, Kuhn, Avant Garde.
Stream: Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr Claire Pajaczkowska

Reader in Visual Culture, School of Art and Education, School of Art and Education, Middlesex University
London, England, UK

Claire Pajaczkowska studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College University of London. She has worked as a filmmaker and as lecturer in Art and Design at Middlesex University, London, where she is Reader in Visual Culture in the School of Arts and Education. She has published widely on visual culture and is currently writing on the Sublime in Modernity.

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