Attempting to find a solution to the problem of how to make art that is both critical yet participatory, sobject explores subject/object relations within the development of the medical gaze in the history of medico-clinical perception and Modern Art. Sobject works both analytically, tracing these apparently parallel developments, and synthetically as it forms a methodological approach from the interpolating spaces of each. It locates and analyzes histories of objective instrumentation between subjects and objects, then works to open and redistribute these into new possibilities. It does this by developing an artistic practice that engages with contemporary forms of institutionalized instrumentation, image, artifice and objectivity. The development of this historical and artistic methodology is considered in relation to the production of three installations: epluribusunum, Vivarium and sobject. Through an analysis of the critico-participatory problems occurring in epluribusunum and Vivarium, sobject is able to arrive at a solution. Working to uncouple subjectivity from a constituency with determinative and idealistic ends of Modern mediation, sobject works from the premise that all form is extra-empirical and all objects extra-objective. Attempting to (un)capitalize the disunity and diffuse nature of subjective experience, sobject proposes that in order for artistic production and its subsequent reception to occur critically, without participating with the same institutional and instrumental structures with which it critically engages, reception must take place in the multiplicity of aesthetic participation. This practice can best emerge from, and within, the context of institutional and instrumental analysis, critique and collaboration. Conditioned by a culture of surveillance and visibility, sobject's conclusions are really premises in which visibility, artifice and image are often imbued with non-reciprocated interests. These aestheticized forms traffic under objectivity on their way to public fact. Sobject asserts that it is subjective participation and critical collaboration between art and science that can `re-cord' ports and `re-port' visual `re-cords.'

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Installations (Art)--Themes, motives; Subjectivity in art; Critical theory

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Art (CIAS)


Woodlock, Carol

Advisor/Committee Member

Lightfoot, Thomas

Advisor/Committee Member

Engstöm, Timothy


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013. Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at N6494.I56 L56 2013


RIT – Main Campus

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