Intentionalism and the Arts


Posted 5th May 2017

The Intentists have begun a new project of mini 'bitesize' videos all about Intentism. They feature on Youtube under 'Intentist Bites.'  Each video is around two minutes and look both at Intentist theory and practice.

Take a look at Intentist Bites 1:

Posted 15th December 2016

In Documenting Performance (published by Bloomsbury) Newall, H, Skinner, A and Taylor, A describe Intentist theory as being fundamental to understanding photographic documentation of performance:

In repositioning the photographer as being as important as the artist or work being documented, the debate should perhaps draw on the school of Intentism as defined by Pelosi:

(Intentists) believe that their artwork is able to convey their artistic intention to their intended audience...As a movement it both recognizes and celebrates the relationship between an artist's creation and its creator.

The book will be out in 2017.

Posted 15th November 2013
Intentist artist Paul Sewter is pleased to announce a new series of text-paintings entitled 'Sonnets'.

Low resolution copies of the work are shown at

Limited Edition print's of the original works are available to buy - see the website for details.


Posted 15th November 2013
Intentist painter Govinda Sah has a new exhibition entitled 'Lightness of Being' at the October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street London from 30th October (6-8:30 pm Private View) to 30th November. Definitely recommended!
 From the press release:
October Gallery London presents Lightness of Being, a solo exhibition by Govinda Sah 'Azad’, comprising both small and larger-scale paintings on canvas. Following his recent solo show, The Universe Within (2013), at Tibet House in New York, this Autumn’s exhibition marks Sah’s second showing at October Gallery. Born in Nepal, he studied Fine Arts at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, before completing his MFA at Wimbledon College of Arts in 2008. Sah now lives and works in London.

What marks Govinda Sah's art as exceptional is not simply his dedicated pursuit of the painter's craft, nor the quality of the technical skill he masters to create these canvases, but rather the effortless manner in which he balances traditional eastern metaphysical insights about the nature of reality with visual realisations that are in accord with the latest formulations of contemporary western science.

In Lightness of Being, Sah draws together his inquisitive speculations about the nature of reality and the interactions of beings in space and time with astounding images that play with ideas of lighting and lightness.

RSVP for Private View: [email protected]

The exhibition will continue until the 30th November 2013.
Posted 28th May 2013
Artist Paul Sewter has been interviewed in the Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) about his artwork and his allegiance to Intentism.  Read the article here: Sewter Interview
Posted 10th May 2013
Film maker and member of this site Sam Christie has produced a live essay film entitled: A Scribble of Intensities: Intending Affect. Check it out under  With Intent Films.
Posted 9th  May 2013
Intentism has interviewed Professor Peter Lamarque, Professor of Philosophy at the University of York. Lamarque works in the analytic tradition. He has published in many areas including the philosophy of literature and the philosophy of art. Read the interview concerning the arts and intention here.
Posted 18th  April 2013

An article appeared in New Scientist Magazine (17th November 2012 ed.)en titled ‘Getting all emotional: Computers are learning how abstract art moves us, and could use that to enhance their own masterpieces‘.

Here is a quote from it:

ECSTASY. Joy. Sadness. Despair. The sweeping lines and blocks of colour in abstract art prompt us to respond emotionally in ways that we do not really understand. Now computers are getting in on the act, and the results could add a new dimension to the weird world of artificial creativity.

The article describes a study whereby computers are able to predict what emotions are triggered by various colours and forms that may challenge the pluralist interpretative beliefs held by postmodern philosophy.

In response to this article artist Trevor Barton ( and Dr Christian Honey DPhil (Oxon) Institute of Biomedical Engineering have written the piece 'Work of Art in the Age of A.I. and Neuroscience'.

You can read this article in the Academic documents section under 'Reading'
Posted 18th January 2013
Vittorio Pelosi's presentation of Intentism at the Arts Society at the University of Canterbury is now in our video section under the 'media' hyperlink above.
Posted 12th January 2013
Patricio Calatayud has been writing on intention and the arts for several years. His bachelor's degree in music composition and intention entitled 'La Intencion en la Composicion Musical' (Intention in Musical Composition) is under Documents, under the Reading hyperlink above. It's well worth reading. 
Posted 12th December 2012
The film making arm of Intentism- With Intent Films is in the process of editing a film that illustrates the creative trail of film making. More details to follow.
Posted 12th December 2012
The Intentist accounts in Facebook, Wordpress and Linkedin will all this week receive daily posts looking at the Intentist painting The School of Postmodernism. Each day a different figure in the painting will be looked at in detail.
Posted 22nd October 2012
Vittorio Pelosi was invited a few weeks ago to speak at the Art Society of The University of Kent about Intentism. There was a good turnout of mostly undergraduates and postgraduate students in a number of fields including Art Theory. Vittorio Pelosi gave a 90 minute poerpoint and then answered questions from the floor.
Posted 29th May 2012
The highly successful Intentist exhibiton in Soho last year was filmed and the footage turned into a short film/documentary. It has been very successful on various video sharing communities and is being premiered at The Genesis Cinema, London tonight.
Posted 25th May 2012
As you I'm sure have noticed, we have changed the design of the website. We hope this makes it clearer and easier on the eye. We welcome any feedback. ([email protected])
Posted 25th May 2012
Click on the hyperlink 'Links' above.  We have put together a more comprehensive list of artist websites and art theory sites. The latter includes The British Society of Aesthetics, Website of the American Society of Aesthetics, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Posted 25th May 2012
Click on the new hyperlink 'seminal texts' above. is putting together an online collection of groundbreaking works that are now out of copyright. So far you can read the full texts of Plato's  Republic, Ion and Symposium; The full texts of Aristotle's Poetics and Nicomachean Ethics; David Hume's Of the Standard of Taste; Kant's The Critique of Judgement and Hegel's Philosophy of Fine Art (Introduction.)
Posted 2nd February 2012
Intentism Publishing House will begin to publish a quarterly journal entitled 'The International Journal of Intentism.' The journal will be a combination of scholarly articles on art and intention and book reviews. A year's subscription will be £20.
Posted 9th January 2012
The short film documenting the recent Intentist exhibition off Brick Lane, London has now been uploaded on Youtube. The film includes interviews with all but one of the artists.
Here is the link:
Posted 8th December 2011
The video of The Battle of Ideas debate on Intentism at The  Royal College of Art has now been uploaded.  You can watch it on the offical Battle of Ideas website:
or it can be viewed on Youtube:
Posted 2nd December 2011
The recent Intentism Exhibition has recently been taken down at The apricot gallery at The Rag Factory.
The exhibition was very successful and welcomed an excellent number of people.
Click on exhibitions above for photos.
Posted 4th November 2011
The next Intentist exhibition will take place at The Rag Factory (The Rag Factory Ltd 16-18 Heneage Street London E1 5LJ) from Monday November 28th at 6pm to November 29th at 10pm. Please come along.
More details on Facebook:!/event.php?eid=236332509753320
Posted 4th November 2011
The debate 'Rebirth of the Author?' was a great success. The room was filled and there were many thoughtful and engaging questions from the floor. Many people signed up afterwards to keep updated with Intentist activities.

An accompanying essay entitled:  Why Intentism? Because Intentions matter went on The Independent blog:
After a couple of days there had been more comments posted for this blog than any other on the site.
Please take a look if you haven't already.
Posted 5th August 2011
The annual Battle of Ideas conference takes place on the 29th and 30th October at the Royal College of Arts. It is known as a two day event of thought-provoking, public debate organised by the Institute of Ideas: 
On Sunday 30th October from 12:30-1:30pm in the Henry Moore Gallery there will be a lunchtime panel debate entitled 'Rebirth of the Author?' which will discuss the question of authorship, intention and their places in interpretation. The speakers are: Vittorio Pelosi (founding Intentist), Dolan Cummings (convenor, Battle for Politics; associate fellow, Institute of Ideas; editor, Culture Wars; editor, Debating Humanism), John Sutherland (Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of English Literature, University College London; author, The Lives of the Novelists), and Dr George Szirtes (reader in creative writing, UEA; poet; editor; translator; author, The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (nominated for T.S. Eliot Prize 2008).
Posted 1st August 2011
Film writer and director Ben Woodiwiss has a series of short films that look at the relationship between the woman on the screen and the audience. Kvinnefrisen (the frieze of a woman) is an essay/poem presented in Norwegian with English subtitles:
Du ser Og Du Tenker (You look and You Think) is the introductory discussion. The film and the woman are stripped bare. All elements of narrative film-making are removed and the audience is asked to reflect upon the objectification of the woman on the screen and the thought processes that occur. What is of particular interest for Intentists is that the films lack any traditional narrative. Consequently the films call into question the role of the audience's creative eye and a fusion of horizons.
Kyss slåss røyk (Kiss Fight Smoke) is the second film and looks at the imposition of narrative onto the discussion. Narrative hides the elements of the discussion brought about in the first film. Kyss slåss røyk also looks at how the emotions expressed by the woman are the catalyst for the audience to understand how they should feel.
Mitt Navn er Ida (My name is Ida) is the third film and looks at how the discussion develops once character is introduced. Ida is not every woman, she is one specific woman. All film-making techniques are in place now: narrative causality and continuity. The audience is encouraged to reflect on what they have learned throughout the discussion and how the ideas have developed.

Posted 7th June 2011
Over a period of several months, Samantha Christie, MA student in Literary Translation: Translation Theory, has been in discussion with Vittorio Pelosi about the role of intention in translation. Her essay 'Towards an Intentist Method of Translation' can now be read as a PDF on the link Academic Documents under the Reading hyperlink.
Posted 21st May 2011
Intentism has interviewed Professor Hans Maes of the University of Kent. The interview was very informative. Keep one eye on the website for the transcript.

Posted 6th April 2011
Vittorio Pelosi has been in conversation with translator Samantha Christie regarding how intentionality might influence theories of translation. The conversation can be read by clicking on 'Reading' above and then 'Interviews.'
Posted 28th January 2011
Intentism artist Maria Beddoes exhibits personal memories in her work in an exhibition at House, 70 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8QZ from the 24th January to 4th February 2011, Monday- Friday 8:30-4:30, Saturday 9-5.
Posted 28th January 2011.
Govinda's exhibition Transcriptions will be showing from 27th January to 26th February 2011 at October Gallery
WC1N 3AL, London

Govinda’s artistic vision is a deeply spiritual one. Born in Nepal, he began working with the cloud as a symbol for peace and was the first Nepali to declare the 21st century as ‘the Century of Art and Peace.’

His artistic career began as a signboard painter in India before he followed his dream to become a student of Fine Art. Graduating from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal and Wimbledon College of Arts, London, his determination to succeed as an artist led to renowned fellow artist Govinda Dongol, to dub him, ‘Lion Heart’.

Govinda’s new paintings are based on fantastical cloud formations and tumultuous skies, which he depicts through large expansive canvases. His free-flowing works invite the viewer to consider space, the passage of time and light and dark.

Govinda’s intention is to demonstrate the invisible by means of the visible.

Govinda has also been interviewed by the BBC World service concerning this exhibition.
Posted 28th January 2011
We had our annual Intentism meal last Tuesday at Prezzo Italian Restaurant, just off Oxford Street.  It was a very enjoyable evening with many artists, a PHD student writing on Ricoeur, and the Head of 3rd year painting at Central Saint Martins and Byam Shaw, London. We had lovely food and excellent conversation as we chatted about where we are as a movement and began discussing plans for the new year.
Posted 19th January 2011
Members of Intentism have been in regular contact with Professor Noam Chomsky over the last six months.
Recently, Chomsky kindly took the time to be interviewed  by us. The subject matter is language, communication and the death of the author. 
Clink on 'media' above and then on 'interviews' on the drop down menu to read the interview.
Posted 28th November 2010
Members of the Intentist movement demonstrated outside the Tate Modern, London on Tuesday the 23rd November.
We were able to distribute many leaflets and drew quite a crowd.  After approximately an hour Tate managers ordered us to move on and so we set up directly opposite at the end of the Millennium Bridge. An interview with one of the Tate's directors fell through, however, various members of the press turned out to see us.


Posted 15th November 2010
Remodel launched their new album' sculpture' in Hoxton, London on the 11th November. Remodel have exhibited Intentist work in previous exhibitions. Intentist Vittorio Pelosi painted the album's cover and there was an Intentist exhibition at the launch. Click on the link for 'Exhibitions' for further pictures.

Posted 15th October 2010
Members of the Intentist movement demonstrated outside Tate Britain  on the 12th October. Stressing the importance of the creator (artist) in any creation, the Intentists complete with banners, flyers and artwork made their position loud and clear during this year's Turner Prize. The day was a great success as much interest was galvanized, books and leaflets were distributed and various photos and videos were recorded of the days events.

Posted 25th September 2010
Click on 'Videos' under 'Media' above to see a newly uploaded video. Vittorio interviews Mark Irving, art critic, writer and lecturer at Central Saint Martins about intentionality.

Posted 18th September 2010
Click on 'Videos' under 'Media' above to see a newly uploaded video. Vittorio interviews Dr Julian Stallabrass, art historian, writer, lecturer, curator and Reader of The Courtauld  Institute, London.

Vittorio asks him a number of questions from a variety of sources relating to intentionality.
Posted 13th September 2010
Several Intentists were invited to the English music festival Brownstock. We were asked to create a piece of community art for the festival goers.
We hope to upload a section on this artwork, but the basic premise is as follows:
The work was entitled 'The Confessional.' It was a one-person tent where festival goers were invited to freely go in and write a confession on the inside of the tent. The confession had to be true and something that had never been told before. On leaving the tent we would take a photograph of the author. We pledged not to attempt to match the photos and the confessions, although when the work is exhibited they will be exhibited side by side.
The tent was lit by electric candles with cushions to kneel on. These things gave the environment a more spiritual ambiance.
The tent has resonances with Emin's tent and is certainly as biographical as hers was autobiographical.
The hope is that when the work is exhibited and visitors read the confessions, they will find it perfectly natural to match an author's photo with some of the more interesting confessions. In this act, they endorse the viewpoint that authorship is instinctively important in any reading of a text.

Posted 9th August 2010
Intentist members have begun to write regular reviews. Each review will be from an Intentist perspective. Check out Sydney Heighington's excellent piece on  The John Madejski Fine Art Rooms Exhibition for Deceased Artists.
Posted 1st July 2010
Professor of Philosophy William Irwin Interview 
Various Intentists and those interested in the subject of Intentionality submitted their questions to Professor William Irwin. Professor Irwin is professor of Philosophy and Director of the Honors Program at King's College, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Intentionalist Interpretation: A Philosophical Explanation and Defense (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, December 1999) nominated for the American Philosophical Association Young Scholar's Book Prize and editor of The Death and Resurrection of the Author? (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002).
Please look on Interviews under Media above to read the full interview. Click on the hyperlink Interview with Professor William Irwin 2
Posted 15th May 2010
Intentism Presentation
On the 12th of May Vittorio Pelosi was invited to make a powerpoint presentation on Intentism for first, second and third year art students at The University of East London. Vittorio gave a brief overview of the various positions regarding Intentionality and then spoke about how celebrating the artist's intention can work in the arts.
Posted 20th February 2010
Intentism Meal
On the 16th of February several of us who either regard ourselves as Intentists or are very much interested in the movement met at a restaurant in central London to discuss Intentionality and make plans for the movement's future. It was a very enjoyable and profitable evening as we start to focus on our first major Intentist exhibition.
A Chronology of the movement was given to all (see below.)

Intentism Chronology


Intentism to this day, comprises 59 artists, architects, musicians and philosophers. We are from England, India, Ireland, South America, North America and Asia.


Early 2008First artists get together concerned about Intention. Are known as Intentists.

April 2009 Founding of Intentism Publishing House.

Publication of manifesto' Intentism:Resurrection of the author' Can be purchased on Amazon, WH Smiths, British Library etc

Spring 2009 Intentism on list of speakers for CSM Cochrane theatre.

May 2009 Interview with Professor Colin Lyas. (On Youtube.)

Spring 2009 Interview with The University of Arts magazine. (Sent to over 100,000 alumni)

July 2009. University of the Arts, Alumni weekend Panel discussion on Intentism. Speakers include Vittorio Pelosi, Prof. Paisley Livingston (author of art and Intention) and Stephen Carter (Head of 3rd Year CSM)

Autumn 2009. Interviews with some of the most prominent philosophers concerned with Intentionality in the world today: Paisley Livingston, Jerrold Levinson, William Irwin, and Robert Stecker.

October 2009 Fine Art America website discover movement. In one day over 20 different blog entrants. One critic uploads a cartoon satirizing Intentism.

October 2009. London newspaper article on movement.

24th October. First Intentist Exhibiton and Conference, St. Anne's, Soho.

4th December 2009. Full length feature article in London newspaper.

December 2009. Intentism communication with Professor John Searle (of Chinese Room fame)

December 2009. Intentism communication with Professor Noam Chomsky.

January 2010. Brian Sewell provides contacts of various media art critics to help promote.

January 2010. Intentism is accepted on Wikipedia.

February 2010. Launch of sister website

Late February 2010. Intentism to be interviewed by 1st Angel website. The art website will ask for questions from Fine Art America website. The website has had Charles Saatchi contribute and has participated in BBC art programming.


Posted the 4th December 2009

Intentism Interview
The Croydon Advertiser newspaper published a feature length article on Intentism. The article features and extensive interview with Vittorio Pelosi and is illustrated by images from Vittorio's studio.
The complete article can be read in a digital format by clicking on the link below:
Posted the 26th October 2009
Intentism Exhibition and Conference 2009
Big Breakfast by Luciano Pelosi. First exhibited at the Intentism Conference and exhibition 2009
Saturday the 24th October saw the very first Intentist Conference and exhibition in Soho, London.
It was well attended and eight Intentist artists exhibited some very interesting works.
Luciano Pelosi welcomed everyone and briefly explained why the role of intention in meaning has never been more discussed. He cited September 11th 2001 as a watershed moment that challenged people to ask questions related to intention.
Vittorio Pelosi then spoke about 'Intention in Action'. Looking at several of the works various intentionalist visual practices were explained including 'Palimpsestism.'
The evening was a great success and a particularly goog platform to begin organizing the main 2010 exhibition.
Posted the 9th July 2009
Intentism Exhibition and Conference 2009.
The first Intentism Exhibition and Conference will take place on the 24th October 2009 at 7pm.
Various Intentist works of art will be present and there will be opportunity to socialize with like minded artists and discuss the Intentism Exhibition in 2010.
More details to be announced soon, but in the meantime please email us at the 'contact us' hyperlink if you have any questions.
Posted June 2009
The arts and Intention: Exploring the Death of the Author panel discussion.
The University of the Arts London held its first Alumni weekend in early July.
The Intentist movement was invited to organize a Panel discussion on the place of intention in the arts.
Artist and Intentism founder Vittorio Pelosi( introduced Intentism then Stephen Carter ( Principal Lecturer Fine Art Byam Shaw School Of Art (UAL)  put forward an alternative view and finally Professor Paisley Livingstone,( author of the seminal Art and Intention advocated the importance of intention in the arts.

It was held on Saturday 4th July 2009 at Chelsea School of Art and design.
It was a very interesting and enlightening discussion and we are expecting it to be available as a podcast soon.
Below is the advertisement from the University.



New Talks Announced...

Alumni Weekend 3 - 6 July 2009

- Open Forum for advice on fashion and retail: Harold Tillman, Fashion Entrepreneur and Chair of the British Fashion Council.
- Panel Discussion: Art & Conflict Resolution
- Creativity for a moving world: by multimedia agency Moving Brands.
- Panel Discussion: Intentism: Is an artist free to convey his or her intended message?
- Workshop: Recession Busting Tips for Creative Businesses

Full event listings and details on how to book will be sent with the Alumni Magazine in May. Keep an eye out for further details in future bulletins. For more information contact Sally Ford.



The latest University of the Arts London Bi-annual magazine includes an interview with Vittorio about the conference. Click on the link below to read it:
Posted May 2009:
Intentist interview with Colin Lyas.
Colin Lyas is retired professor of philosophy at Lancaster University, England.
He is one of the foremost thinkers on the role of intention in the arts.
His work 'Aesthetics' is a brilliant introduction to the subject.
In this 6-part video series, Intentist Vittorio Pelosi interviews Dr. Lyas armed with some of the most critical and controversial questions about art and intentionality.

Click on the following link to watch or simply search on the Youtube site:
Posted April 2009:
Intentism: Resurrection of the Artist book
We are now able to publish our own books under 'Intentism Publishing House.'
Our first book is a paperback entitled 'Intentism: Resurrection of the Artist.'
It is an expanded version of the essay found under articles on this website.
It includes good illustrations and our updated Manifesto. The price is £7.76 paperback or £1.78 download.
It has it's own ISBN number so we are hoping to get it sold widely, but for now if you would like to purchase a copy, please click on the link below:
The original paperback 'Intentism: The Resurrection of the Author' can now be bought on Amazon. It costs £11.98 plus postage and can be found on this link:
Intentism is primarily an arts movement grounded in certain beliefs.
To many theorists we have been labelled The Intentists, yet various art critics have preferred to call us The Palimpsestists.  To understand why we have become associated with this term, please click on the link below:
Some of the most internationally respected philosophers in the intentionalism debate today have been interviewed by the Intentists.