How to Think Constructivism? Ruskin, Spuybroek and Deleuze on Gothic Architecture


  • Piotrek Swiatkowski



In the Gothic architecture Lars Spuybroek discovers a vitalist ontology that allows him to rethink the nature of constructivism. The vitalist beauty emerges out of a particular field of material forces and is not an actualisation of a pre-given model. His analysis leads to a critique of the work of Deleuze and Guattari, who are portrayed as philosophers of the sublime. Their resistance to the signifying semiotics leads them too far. They unjustly claim that the Gothic structures emerge due to an affirmation of chaos and not in a careful process of construction. In my paper, I will nevertheless demonstrate that Spuybroek’s critique misses a fundamental point of their analysis. Only phantasms or spiritual becomings - concepts lacking in the analysis of Spuybroek - can allow for a proper appreciation of the Gothic and of the process of construction.

Author Biography

Piotrek Swiatkowski

Piotrek Swiatkowski is associated researcher at the Centre for Contemporary European Philosophy of the Radboud University Nijmegen and lecturer of philosophy and Corporate Social Responsibility at various universities in the Netherlands. His book on the Dynamic genesis of Sense will be published at the end of 2014 by Leuven University Press.