Ilgın Deniz Akseloğlu: Writing the Way: Mediation and the Artist-Philosopher


Thesis Advisor: Hypatia Vourloumis

June 2021


“Writing the Way” investigates writing as mediation between matter and meaning. This thesis examines writing as a way of linguistic and cognitive organization and as an analogy of technologies and creative manifestations. Bethinking the profound influences that the invention of alphabets has on changing life systems, the study proposes writing as the media medium used by all other media and emphasizes how the characteristics of media shape cognition and cultural consciousness. The examination of phonetic alphabets and synthetic images as media and as different forms of writing exemplifies the encoding of information in symbolic systems and how mediation is a way for the ordering of the material universe to become comprehensible. In the unfolding of the study, the modus operandi of cognition is understood through mediation, and mediation becomes synonymous for poetic creation. The thesis highlights the human power of mediation and invites humans to adapt to a more-than-human landscape that celebrates and preserves the relational nature and nonlinear exchanges between all life forms through “writing” cultures anew. Thinking of writing this way erases the lines between art, science, and philosophy. Art and philosophy become practices in which humans reorganize their mediation of information and material engagement. I use the “artist-philosopher” as a mediator—the model of a maker of new relations and meanings that unsettle and alter the conventions of human knowledge. The thesis contains analyses of works by the lived examples I consider as artist-philosophers to better elaborate this viewpoint.