Professor Adam Frank of the UBC Department of English delivers an STS colloquium talk entitled “Vis-à-vis Television: Andy Warhol’s Therapeutics, Part Two” on Thurs, October 11, 5:00-6:30 in Buchanan Tower 1197.
This talk is taken from a longer piece of writing on Andy Warhol and television. “Part One” (which I will be giving at the English Department Colloquium series on Friday, October 12) explores Warhol’s powerful identification with television itself as both technology and institution, and unfolds the place of televsion in Warhol’s film and video work of the 1960s. In “Part Two” I turn to the role of television in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) (1975). Here Warhol figures television as a therapeutic device that offers him the technical means to become himself, Andy Warhol, by regulating or tuning emotional perspective and distance. I make use of Michel Foucault’s late lectures on ancient therapeutics, showing how both Foucault and Warhol share an underexamined set of relations to mid-century cybernetics. I read “from A to B and back again,” the basic thematic of Warhol’s Philosophy, as a version of an ancient figure of conversion and control, and conclude by suggesting that Warhol may be read by way of Foucault’s consideration of the Cynics.