Essay on Dilettantism

THE MISCHIEVOUS MISSION: an essay on dilettantism. Across philosophy and art

Coming Soon: the book is planned to be released at the end of the year.

We already know that the term dilettantism became pejorative in time. But there are not so many answers about how it happened this negative transformation. This book is an attempt to bring light into this issue while re conceptualizing the term of dilettantism today under the form of a mission.

The attempt of this essay is to break with the notion of dilettantism as a superficial practice and to present a characterization of a serious committed reliable hard worker self disciplined dilettante.
Inherent to the term dilettantism is the condition of outsider and the tendency to occupy a critical position questioning the professional standards of a discipline.
The dilettante is a term that challenges the notion of artist and scrutinizes what are the criteria that validate the status of art.


The term mischief , invites to think power not from the perspective of domination but rather as a capacity or ability to stimulate movement and change generating confusion, messing up, letting the chaos to enter, changing the order of things… It is rather a game of stimulation than a game of domination. Mischief´s intentions is not to be dangerous within a domain of influence and to control through, causing things not to move much. Instead, mischief invites to travel through a dangerous domain; it invites the projection of transversal trajectories across a domain of power. The power of mischief is the power to traverse power. Mischief avoids the temptation of wanting to appear dangerous, it operates more like a secret agent, it does not seek to dominate but rather to traverse a domain putting things upside down, allowing chaos to enter. The intentions of a mischievous agent are not to dominate others by imposing a domain of control, but rather to stimulate the others into movement. The power of a mischievous agent is to turn any domain into a dance floor and to turn any domination into an invitation to dance. But an invitation to dance can harmfully affect you. The mischievous agent is malicious per se and implies a playful understanding of violence, an endurable version of violence and evil intentions.

The child at play is the maximum expression of mischievous power: the capacity to change the order of things. Children are powerful because they can turn any domain into a dance floor, a playground for mischievous dances. Mischievous dances are dances without an invitation (uninvited dances and choreographies of infiltration), dances that don´t impose a domain but rather they traverse the domain: they move across, pass through and throw problems inside the domain involving the others in difficulties and causing embarrasment. The task of a mischievous choreography is no longer to organize domains of influence but rather to choreograph an infiltration, to get access into a domain projecting transversal trajectories, throwing problems across the domain of power in order to stimulate movement and change the order of things. In this light, power is not for domination but is instead for movement generation. The power of an invitation to dance is to set into motion, and is also power to invite one to dance. It is necessary to understand that being mischievously dangerous is not about imposing violence or establishing a domain of influence where power takes care to keep things immobile. On the contary, mischievous power invites things to move, projects movement across the domain, generates chaos and confussion, and invites change to happen. The intentions of dangerous power is to dominate, to ask for submission, while mischievous power does not ask for submission but rather invites to dance, invites to play: the domain turns into a dance floor.

Mischievous dances are malicious dances, harmful dances, problematic dances, dances that cause trouble, dances that causes annoyance in another, dances that end badly, dances that cause misfortune for somebody. The first meaning of mischief was something that ends badly, something whose trajectory deviates from the straight line, something that becomes queer, a movement that does not follow the standard normative trajectories, something that unexpectedly turns out of the trajectory without achieving the predictable goal, a projectile that at the end changes trajectory, or an adventure: something unexpected happens. Mischief keeps the capacity to surprise oneself and surprise the others.


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