Artists make things not because the things they make are special but because making is
special for us. We are makers. We are as human beings manufacturers. If you go back 30,000
years to the dawn of the psychologically modern human being what seems to inaugurate that
beginning is precisely this explosion of making practices of tool making and tool using practices
and pictorial practices and linguistic practices and clothing. We are makers and I think that
artists make things to unveil that fact about ourselves. So I say that works of art are
strange tools. They’re not just more tools with this or that function or application.
They’re tools that in their strangeness are meant to exhibit the place that tools
and technology have in our lives.
Too often I think when we come to thinking about art if we’re scientists or cognative
scientists or philosophers is we think of art as if it were a phenomenon, something
that we can put under glass and explain. The view that I’ve come to is that actually
art is itself it’s own research practice. It’s itself a way of trying to understand
the world and ourselves. And that better strategies for trying to really get a handle on the questions
that interest us what is art? Why does art matter so much? What does the fact that it
matters so much tell us about ourselves? Is actually to look at art as our collaborator
rather than the object of our investigation. The art situation becomes an opportunity to
really put one’s own perceptual consciousness or other aspects of what’s consciousness
and understanding sort of interview for oneself. And that’s one of the reasons why I like
to say that art is something like a philosophical practice.
Because what I’ve just said about art really is paradigmatically philosophical.
This idea that art or philosophy are somehow in the business of
unveiling us to ourselves and in doing that it’s supplying us with resources to change.