Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Art, Art History and Systems-Theory
francis halsall
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
university of glasgow
Thesis Supervisor
david hopkins
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
richard hooker, matthew rampley
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
history of art
Languages Familiar to Author
english (currently learning german)
URL where full thesis can be found
systems theory, luhmann, art, history, modern, postmodern, historiography, chaos theory, complexity, cybernetics
Abstract: 200-500 words
Art, Art History and Systems-Theory, PhD Thesis, This is a thesis about the application of the systems-theoretical approach within the discipline of Art History.<br />In this thesis I set myself the task of working within the parameters of a particular problematic: that of the uneasy relationship between a discursive system and the objects which that system observes. More specifically I concerned myself with the particular problem of the difficult relationship between Art after Modernism and a discourse (namely English language art history) which, as it is commonly practiced, remains largely structurally unaltered since its foundations in modern times. It is thus, I argued, insufficient in dealing with the ambiguities and complexities of post-modern artistic practice. In other words I worked from the assumption that art after Modernism challenges us to find new critical paradigms by which to account for it. It has been my attempt to investigate the Systems Theoretical approach as such a paradigm. In investigating this the thesis is split into two parts. In section 1 I outline the conceptual issues at stake in such a project. This includes an outline of key systems-theoretical vocabularies and methods, its relationship to technology and its truth claims. In the second half of the thesis I apply the systems-theoretical approach more specifically to observe in turn: the art-work, the art gallery and art history itself.