Sunday, December 19, 2010


Ref: Gell, Alfred "The Distributed Person" in Art and Agency. Oxford. Clarendon 1998
Externalist Theory of agency places agency in the viewer rather than what is viewed. In an idol "we can at least depict the possibility of a mind we cannot depict"(p. 132). Gell's argument is that we attribute agency- both when we look at a living person and perform idolatry with a relic. Both require a body which contains a soul. However, this system of Containment and concentricity is entirely dependent on the audience for agency, even when the audience looks into its self.

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster