Resisting Forms: Prolegomena to an Aesthetics of Resistance

  • Robert E. Innis
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


John Dewey’s aesthetic theory frames the critical–aesthetic role of graffiti and street art as “resisting forms.” In their dispersion and scattering on multiple surfaces, they cannot be centrally controlled. They resist the recourse to force by established powers to maintain order. The aesthetic dimension, Dewey shows, is not restricted to works of art, concentration on which impedes our recognizing art’s role in other sectors of our experience. Such a way of thinking transcends the distinction between “high” and “low” art forms and their intrinsic connection to the stratification of social and political groups. The interruptive nature of art forms to challenge perceptual and conceptual habits is exemplified in graffiti’s and street art’s power to do this with great skill and expressive richness.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Innis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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