Petrified unrest: Theory as praxis
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The 20 th Century Cultural Theorist Walter Benjamin spent a large part of his writing life addressing issues regarding theory and criticism. For Benjamin, critique means that nothing can simply be taken as a given. On a comprehensive level, any text or artifact always demands something more, exceeds itself, in a movement that structures not only literature and culture but also history itself. My thesis will discuss how I've used Benjamin's model of producing and examining culture as a lens to investigate present cultural paradigms within this apex of the digital age. Through my visual articulation of his theoretical concerns and propositions I'm endeavoring to illuminate and expand Benjamin's ideas and concepts--ideas and concepts that are normally located in a purely textual paradigm causing them to exist in a state approaching petrified unrest. This recuperation of Benjamin's language within my film and video projects is an attempt to build a bridge between his 20 th century observations and the cultural conditions of the 21 st Century. The motivation is praxis = informed doing, in which his posits are demonstrated visually.