The Daydreamer

Seminar 4: The Daydreamer

Tuesday, December 12 / 15:30 – 18:30

Knut Knaus Auditorium

What particular languages and narratives does artistic practice incite or provoke? How might one speak of artistic works that are fundamentally at odds with conventions of discourse and description? Are there unique forms of knowledge generated by artistic research that require other ways of speaking? The seminar will focus on how the materials and processes of art making generate what we may call “poetic knowledge”. In contrast to discourses based on rational thought – a making sense – poetic knowledge will be considered as being aligned with the irrational and the unnamable, and which requires methods of confusion and unlearning when approaching language and articulation. Poetic knowledge, and the fevers of poetic discourses, will be explored as offering a critical interruption and imagination onto the structures of linguistic and social ordering through a radical position of Not Knowing.

For this fourth and final seminar we’ll concentrate on the figure of the Daydreamer. The act and experience of daydreaming will allow us to follow poetics into what Gaston Bachelard highlights as the “oneiric”: the phantasmic yet no less real shimmering of consciousness. Following Bachelard’s work, daydreaming will lead us into exploring the relation between poetics and love, reverie and childhood, human to nonhuman sharing, and further, into the productive “cosmos” opened up by the small nap that is daydreaming. In addition, the figure of the Daydreamer can be mobilized to query the social conditions of precarity, vulnerability and weakness, allowing us to ask: how might poetics be positioned as the basis for states of non-violent resistance? Can we understand the poetics of the imagination as a general framework for fostering what bell hooks calls a “loving community”? We’ll conclude the seminar by reflecting on a number of artists whose practices capture poetics as a labor of love and commingling, including Erdem Gündüz, Womanhouse, Alice Chauchat, Robert Filliou, Jonas Mekas, and Palle Nielsen.


Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Reverie

Judith Butler, Precarious Life

Luce Irigaray, The Way of Love

Robert Filliou, The Principles of Poetic Economy



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