The Genius Decision
The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition, second, revised and expanded edition
THE GENIUS DECISION is not an attempt at explaining or predicting genius. Nor is its goal to construct a concept or the concept of genius. Rather, the following should be considered as a horizon of conceptual events that constitute an philosophy of desire within the ethical-aesthetical writings of seven of Western philosophy’s most influential thinkers: Spinoza, Schelling, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Peirce, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger. This postmodern reevaluation of genius suggests that while there is no essentialist quality of genius, the postmodern artist can reach the Extraordinary by way of an active-passive Genius Decision, which is engaged in an activity of failure in its desire to represent the Nonrepresentable.
Klaus Ottmann is a philosopher, writer, and curator based in New York. He has written numerous essays on art, design, and philosophy, and is the author of The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition; The Essentialâ„¢ Michelangelo; The Essentialâ„¢ Mark Rothko; Wolfgang Laib: A Retrospective; and James Lee Byars: Life, Love, and Death. He is the curator of the sixth SITE Santa Fe international biennial, which takes place between July and December 2006.