The Baroque: A Term of Art

  • Tim Flanagan (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The spiritual torsion and material complexity so characteristic of Baroque aesthetics is something that extends to (or perhaps, better, issues from) the intension of the term itself. This much is evident in the sense that, since the twentieth century, various projects have proposed such notions as a medical-baroque, a postcolonial-baroque, and a digital-baroque. Beyond any given object of analysis, then, in this way the Baroque adduces the concepts by which any inquiry into objects might take place. As such, the Baroque can be said to be that which signals the ongoing relation of thought to the world, of ‘the inside’ to ‘the outside’ (while at the same time problematising the priority of either side over the other). Indeed, following certain post-Kantian readings of Leibnizian philosophy, the Baroque is to be regarded not so much as something to be understood but rather as a frenzied development of the understanding itself.