Re-worlding: A Theory of Art/Law

Journal of Law Culture and the Humanities, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2020

Date Written: September 1, 2018


This piece seeks to account for an increased interest in the intersection of art and law within legal thinking, activism, and artistic practice, arguing there to exist the phenomena and movement of ‘Art/Law’. Art/Law is the coming together of theory and practice in legal and political aesthetics, understood as a practice, (im)materially performed. It is seen as a natural consequence of thinking law and resistance in terms of space and time, accounting for a turn towards the visual, practical, and the role of affect, within ways of knowing. Art/law is a symptom of the end of art and end of law, synchronically rendered. Divisions between legal and aesthetic form have been well rehearsed within legal aesthetics scholarship, from law and literature, to critical legal studies’ work with images, text and performativity, and now law’s Anthropocene. Art/Law as a practice, however, is argued as an emergent onto-epistemic-ethics of necessity, a movement of seeing, being and knowing in response to the advancement of spectacle. It is the simultaneous reunion of law, art and resistance as one, breaking down the institutional artifice of art worlds and law worlds, offering a form of ‘resistant (in)formalism’, that accounts for matter and change. It is an inclusion of the uncertain and the disordered, as an opening of justice. This resistant (in)formalism describes the role of form, audience and practice within property, legal and aesthetic establishment, offering a countering of separatism at the end of art and the end of law, through a praxeology of Art/Law in seeing, thinking and action.

Keywords: Art/Law, Aesthetics, Practice, Form, Audience, Change, Onto-epistemic-ethics, Resistant (In)Formalism

Suggested Citation

Finchett-Maddock, Lucy C, Re-worlding: A Theory of Art/Law (September 1, 2018). Journal of Law Culture and the Humanities, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Lucy C Finchett-Maddock (Contact Author)

Sussex School of Legal Studies ( email )

University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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