Goldsmiths - University of London

Notes Towards a Minor Art Practice

O'Sullivan, Simon D.. 2005. Notes Towards a Minor Art Practice. Drain, 2(2), ISSN 2469-3022 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this short essay I want to approach the issue theme of syncretism in a somewhat oblique manner—through a consideration of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s notion of the minor—specifically in relation to contemporary art.[1] Indeed, although the minor cannot be equated directly with syncretism, it might be understood as a parallel concept inasmuch as it names a form of cultural production from within a dominant culture; a kind of ‘becoming a stranger’ in ones own tongue. The minor, as we shall see, also names the production of a specifically collective enunciation; the calling forth of a people-yet-to-come who in some senses are already here, albeit masked by typical representational models (precisely the major). Specifically then the essay works through the characteristics of a ‘minor literature’ as laid out in Deleuze and Guattari’s book on Kafka (1986) and provides some thoughts on how these might be usefully brought into contact with art theory. In general, what follows comprises of notes towards a minor practice, although I do make some reference to actual art collectives, especially in the footnotes. I also make a brief detour into Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire (2000), a book which involves an ‘application’ of many aspects of the Deleuzoguattarian project to contemporary geopolitics—and which addresses a key modality of the minor: the complex relationship between dissent and affirmation.

Item Type: Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2015 18:47

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 14:26

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/15377
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