1. Noumenism is a 21st century movement of artists and academics whose name derived from Immanuel Kant’s concept of noumena, or unrepresentable reality. Like Kant, Noumenists acknowledge the “Thing-in-itself” that exists outside of the world of phenomenological experience.

    2. Noumenists understand the phenomenal and noumenal realms as products of a “reason beyond reason.” This ultimate logic is synonymous with universal notions of the sacred, the divine, the transcendent, and the sublime.

    3. Noumenists acknowledge that the Thing-in-itself is not representable to human logic, yet they contend that it is possible to encounter noumena in the phenomenal realm. In this, they stand against pure reason in favor of “unreasonable” forms of knowledge such as bodily knowings and affect.

    4. Noumenists create work that encourages encounters with the Thing-in-itself. Their art has meaning only in that it points to that which is above meaning.

    5. Noumenism maintains there is an unrepresentable, ultimate reality, that this reality is sacred, and that through phenomenological experience there is access to the noumenal realm. Noumenism advances that which, until recent times, was the very center of artistic practice—a reaching out towards a higher “other,” the real behind the endless parade of signifiers and signifieds.


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