A Poietic Force That Belongs to No One: Reflections on Art and Education from an Agambenian Perspective

  • Joris VliegheEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 8)


In this essay I explore the interrelationship between art and education from the perspective that in both spheres of life the capacity to bring newness into being is a central concern. With the help of Agamben’s genealogical account of Western art history I introduce an opposition between creation, an anonymous force to generate something that didn’t exist beforehand (‘poiesis’), and creativity as an individual and highly private characteristic which consists in an appropriation of this ‘poietic’ force. To make the importance of this distinction clear I turn to a particular period in Western art history, viz. Bracque and Picasso’s experiments with cubism. These can be seen as an answer to the crisis of representation which essentially consists in visualising on the canvas what it means that one can construct and create reality. This digression permits to draw some conclusions regarding contemporary tendencies in education to appropriate and suffocate this ‘poietic’ dimension.


Artistic Creation Uncertain Object Original Power Traditional Realist Creative Genius 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education, Community, and SocietyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland, UK

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