Rhetoric of the Image – Art/Law
250 001 | CCN: 10049
Instructor: Winnie Wong
Location: Dwinelle 7415
Date / Time: Mo 1:00pm - 3:59pm
In recent years legal scholars and art historians with personal or professional experience in the other domain have created a nascent field of interdisciplinary inquiry at the intersections of art and law. Importantly this scholarship has moved from an earlier focus on Copyright or First Amendment litigation into far wider theoretical territory, much of it of contemporary political concern. Through new approaches and new cases, they have been revisiting foundational artistic and legal questions (What is an agreement? What is property? What is a work? What is evidence for?). But in so doing they are also building theoretical resonances among newly contestable concepts, including material, form, territory, autonomy, judgement, time, trust, and rights. At the same time, art or art-like expressions have become a highly visible discourse of choice for political movements, and thus legal and illegal performativity have enmeshed both artists and activists in overlapping theoretical projects. Enjoined in practice, art and law have thus sometimes produced new pathways to imagining and analyzing indigeneity, citizenship, race, cultural property, policing, decolonization, access to knowledge, and climate justice. This seminar reads omnivorously in this new scholarship while probing some of the wider debates in the disciplines from which it emerges, and the politics which it voices. At its heart, this class studies each methodological tactic of Art/Law scholars, learning how specific modes of interdisciplinary inquiry, research, and practice can productively question, and even change, received forms of the institutional and the conventional.