The Conceptual Act of (Non)Instrumentality


  • Marko Ristić
  • Snežana Vesnić



instrument, technology, inadequate idea, the new, invention, design


This paper aims at hypothesizing that the issue of technology could never be considered separate from the creative act. We develop the hypothesis starting from Heidegger’s opposition of technology and the poietic, which we interpret through the dialectic between the performative and constative function of the hand. To overcome the Heideggerian problem of Enframing, we introduce the question of singularity inherent in every poietic activity which, however, does not result in conceiving technology as an instrument. When defining the nature of such poietic singularization we employ Spinoza’s concept of an inadequate idea – an idea that involves its cause but does not explain it. The inherent negativity of the inadequate idea generates the sphere in which the new appears as radical otherness. But in order to produce the new, that is, to perform it, technology has to be conceptualized and thus made an instrument – a singular instrument of the creative act.

Article received: May 23, 2022; Article accepted: July 15, 2022; Published online: October 31, 2022; Original scholarly paper

Author Biographies

Marko Ristić

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, Belgrade

Marko Ristić (b. 1997), MArch, is a research assistant at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, and a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. His scientific research focuses on the philosophy and aesthetics of novelty in architecture. He is a member and one of the founders of PerspectLab – The Laboratory for the Theory, Creation and Politics of Space of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory. He has worked as a teaching assistant at several architectural design studios, as well as at the Architectural philosophy course, at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. Besides scientific research, he occasionally participates in architecture competitions. Two of his competition projects were exhibited at the Salon of Architecture of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade.

Snežana Vesnić

Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade

Snežana Vesnić (b. 1974), Ph.D., is an architect and an assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. Her scientific research involves architectural philosophy and aesthetics, with a focus on the production of “architectural concepts”. She is the author of the book The Architectural Concept: Object of Reality and Subject of Illusion (Akademska knjiga, IDESE 2020). With the philosopher Petar Bojanić, she founded the journal Chorein: Journal for Architecture and Philosophy (2022). Apart from academic work, Vesnić has developed her professional practice through a large number of projects. Vesnić is a founding partner of the Belgrade-based architectural studio Neoarhitekti, the projects of which have garnered recognition by numerous awards and commendations, such as the Annual Award of the Union of Architects of Serbia for the Villa Pavlović (2018), and two nominations for the EUmies Award (for Villa Pavlović, 2019 and Textil Commercial Building in Užice, 2009). Vesnić is a member of The Aesthetic Society of Serbia.


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How to Cite

Ristić, M., & Vesnić, S. (2022). The Conceptual Act of (Non)Instrumentality. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (29), 1–11.



Main Topic: Contemporary Aesthetics of Art and Technology