Thursday, August 03, 2017

On critique

I've been ruminating on my use of critique, and hence this reminder from Foucault.

The purpose is not to close something down, but to provide a catalyst.

Critique is too often done as a means of showmanship; too often done for closing things down. What if instead it was undertaken to light fires... a catalyst invoking thoughts and possibilities?

Dream of criticism that does not judge but brings ideas to life.
It would light fires,
watch the grass grow,
listen to the wind
and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it...
A criticism of scintillating leaps of the imagination….
It would bear the lightening of possible storms.
(paraphrased, Foucault, 1994)

Foucault, M. 1994. The masked philosopher. In: Rabinow, P. (ed.) Ethics: Subjectivity and truth. (Essential works of Foucault, 1954-1984, Vol.1). London, England: The New Press.