Creative implications of deconstruction: the case of jazz music, photography, and architecture

Dissertation, University of New South Wales (2014)

Francesco Paradiso
University of Wolverhampton
The thesis investigates the connection between deconstruction and creativity with regard to three aesthetic fields, namely jazz music, photography, and architecture. The thesis consists of three chapters. Chapter 1 focuses on deconstruction and jazz music. First, the analysis draws a comparison between the linguistic sign and the musical sign in the light of Derrida's analysis of signifier and signified. This supports an investigation of the supplementary character of writing in the specific case of jazz music. Second, the analysis draws an analogy between the deconstructive reading of texts and jazz improvisation to show the relevance that creativity has for both. This is followed by an examination of the similarities between Derrida's notion of différance and the musical figure of syncopation. The analysis is completed by an argument that the jazz event of the jam session is an encounter and creative 'dialogue', with features similar to Derrida's conception of hospitality. Chapter 2 focuses on deconstruction and photography. First, the discussion explores the correlation between truth and photography. It will be argued that deconstruction challenges the logocentric organisation of photographs based on the prominence of what is immediately visible in images and fosters a more creative interpretation, which is based on the play between concealment and unconcealment within photographs. Second, it investigates the implications of Derrida's analysis of temporality for photography. This supports an investigation into how Derrida's notion of responsibility and the future to come can be applied to photography. Chapter 3 focuses on deconstruction and architecture. First, the analysis establishes the links between architecture and language by outlining the creative and transformative outcome that the correlation between function and meaning in the light of deconstruction produces. Second, the investigation examines Bernard Tschumi's idea of architecture as event in Parc de La Villette. Tschumi's work is an example of how the deconstructive approach adopted by architects fosters creativity in users. Finally, the analysis focuses on the transformative and creative character of portable architecture by investigating the correlation between the creative character of deconstructive concepts such as freeplay, parergon, and the axiom of incompleteness, and the transformative features of tents.
Keywords Deconstruction  Jazz  Photography  Architecture  Derrida  Postmodernism  Aesthetics  Continental Philosophy
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