The Situationist International

The Situationist International: A Case of Spectacular Neglect Sadie Plant The recent exhibitions of Situationist art and paraphernalia in London, Paris, and Boston, have given the Situationist International (SI) an unprecedented academic and cultural profile. Even during the movement’s most active period, when many of its ideas and practices were realised in the events in […]

On autonomy and the avant-garde

But if this position rightly demolishes the opposition between art and technological mediation enshrined in late modernist theory1 it nevertheless suffers from its own kind of blindness: the identification of technological mediation with the democratization of form. By subsuming art under technology, this kind of thinking renders the connection between form and ethics harmless or […]

A new world art?

Documenta 11 was one of the most radically conceived events in the history of postcolonial art practice. It is exemplary of the influence of postcolonial discourses on critical art practice over the last twenty years in breaking profoundly with the colonial presuppositions of the nineteenth-century tradition of ethnographic or anthropological exhibitions of non-Western art as […]

The sublime from Lyotard to Schiller

The sublime from Lyotard to Schiller Two readings of Kant and their political significance Jacques rancière I will here offer a few reflections on a paradoxical object that Jean-François Lyotard puts at the centre of aesthetic theory: the aesthetic of the sublime. Two closely interconnected questions will be raised: What makes this theoretical construction possible? […]

Re-presentation of the repressed: The political revolution of the neo-avant-garde

Dossier Spheres of action Art and politicsIn the anglophone context of the last thirty years, the phrase ʻcritical theoryʼ has been used in two quite different ways. On the one hand it refers to the project of the Frankfurt School, in its various formulations, over a fifty-year period from the early 1930s (from early Horkheimer […]

The politics of equal aesthetic rights

Dossier Spheres of action Art and politicsIn the anglophone context of the last thirty years, the phrase ʻcritical theoryʼ has been used in two quite different ways. On the one hand it refers to the project of the Frankfurt School, in its various formulations, over a fifty-year period from the early 1930s (from early Horkheimer […]

Answering the question: What is to be done?

Answering the question: What is to be done? (education) David cunningham The question ʻWhat is to be done?ʼ, Adorno remarked, frequently ʻsabotages the logical progress of knowledge that alone allows for changeʼ . However, despite being always-already-inscribed within the imperatives of instrumental rationality, it is, he acknowledged, nonetheless ʻunavoidableʼ. [1] This is especially so for […]

(T)error and poetry

(T)error and poetry Franco Berardi1. The century of the future Ninety-nine years ago Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published the first Manifesto of Futurism; the same year, Henry Ford opened his first automobile factory in Detroit. It was the beginning of the century that believed in the future. The Manifesto asserted the aesthetic value of the machine – that is, the ‘external machine’, […]