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Seeing Degree ZeroBarthes/Burgin and Political Aesthetics$
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Ryan Bishop and Sunil Manghani

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431415

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431415.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Response/Abilities of Seeing

Response/Abilities of Seeing

(p.1) Response/Abilities of Seeing
Seeing Degree Zero
Ryan Bishop, Sunil Manghani
Edinburgh University Press

By considering John Cage's re-phrasing of 'responsibility' as 'response-ability', and thus foregrounding political engagement as requiring aesthetic capabilities and sensibilities, alongside Victor Burgin's extended explorations of the specificities of both making and viewing an artwork, the introduction undertakes two key functions. Firstly, it sets out the context for the book, which concerns Burgin's sustained reading of Barthes, begun in the 1960s, and how we understand images/imaging/Image. Secondly, in dialogue with this context, the chapter establishes the key operative themes and terms operative in the book as a whole. In attempting to set out its theoretical underpinning, the chapter ranges over issues of the political aesthetic, spatial/temporal ethics, the generative capacities of visualisation technologies, and contemporary spectatorship, particularly in relation to contemporary art.

Keywords:   Roland Barthes, Victor Burgin, zero degree, political aesthetics, response-ability, image/Image

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