The Emergent Artistic Object in the Postconceptual Condition

Jack Segbars

Doctoral thesis

November 18, 2021

Janneke Wesseling
Frans Willem Korsten
Joost de Bloois

Available at:
Leiden University Repository



In 'The Emergent Artistic Object in the Postconceptual Condition', Jack Segbars researches how the field of contemporary artistic production is organized within the condition of cognitive capitalism. He states that clear demarcations between aesthetics, labor, and politics can no longer be made. As a result, the ‘artistic object’ emerges from interactions between artists, curators, institutions, and theoretical reflection.

The way in which artistic production is organized and relates to its political context, therefore, becomes the focus of attention. According to Segbars, this changed outlook on the infrastructural landscape of artistic production should lead to a reconsideration of the status of the artist and of authorship in artistic practice.

This argumentation resonates in his artistic work in which he brings the traditional artist-position together with curating, theoretical research, and critique. Jack Segbars reconsiders the act of artistic creation (conventionally privileged to the artist) by renouncing the mere artist role and by an appropriation of the role of critic and theorist. Ultimately, he aims to explicate the status and politics of contemporary artistic production, and he proposes a way forward by offering an expanded perspective on artistic authorship.



Photos of the exhibition ‘The Author-Function in Artistic Production Now (cross-examination II)’ installed in Leiden Art Hub, 19 November – 28 November 2021. The exhibition presented a selection of work by Jack Segbars produced within the framework of his PhD research project.

Photography by Gert Jan van Rooij