Video: Monique Tschofen on The Denkbild (‘Thought-Image’) in the Age of Digital Reproduction

This article examines an experimental genre of philosophical writing known as the Denkbild (‘thought-image’) practiced by members of the Frankfurt School to show how it is resurrected in the Augmented Reality installation of the artist-scholar Caitlin Fisher. It argues that Circle (2012) renews the Frankfurt School’s project of reaching to art to find a way for critical theory to bring about ‘a transformation of consciousness that could become a transformation of reality’. However, as a material and virtual artifact that produces a unique circuit of exchange, the digital artwork is able to provide a sharper picture of that reality, positing community as the context and goal of philosophical thinking. Through a complex sculpting of its form, content, and image of its own thoughts, Fisher’s Denkbild strives to create a fluid, ‘disconnected and non-binding’ form capable of building what Adorno described as a ‘shared philosophy from the standpoint of subjective experience’.

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