The question of Power, its use and effects, has been a constant source of controversy throughout history. To address this issue, its meaning, history, literature and artistic interpretations, would require us to write many treaties.
Power is one of those words that everybody talks about, however, due to its capability for having several meanings, for its power of mutation, it is impossible to reduce it to a general, simple and common definition.
There are incredible works related to Power coming from a variety of fields, one great example is The Prince, a modern political philosophy treaty, written by an often misunderstood Florentine: Niccolò Machiavelli. The list of contributions in search of acknowledging the notion of power is endless, so are the possibilities to define it as something specific to politics and the relation between the State and society.
However, Power goes beyond politics. Power is Kafka’s literature – which is part of our universal memory. Power is Maradona’s goal against England in 1986, but not only because of its beauty, also because of the historical moment when it happened. Power is when a 25kW+ techno bass-line crosses the dance-floor to end up as a feeling in your legs that cannot help but move. Power is dance music: it shaped a whole generation’s behaviour and morals based on values such as inclusion and diversity. Power is when an artwork unveils the truth of things by suggesting different perspectives and interpretations of the real.
Power can be passive, tacit, explicit, silent, soft, loud and extreme – an endless list of adjectives can be linked to it. Power is everywhere, surrounding, shaping, conducting us. How to define it? How to classify it? How to perceive it? How to use it? How to control it? You can exercise it without recognizing it. You can abuse it until it makes you go blind, until you lose your head: like Napoleon, ending up on an island, in exile.
FELIPE DUQUE Étant donnés
JOHANNES SIEGMUND Schiffbruch mit Drohne
Lu Ortiz & Hiram Enriquez Weaving The Multilayered Web Of (Digital) Power
Alexander W. Schindler The Hegemony Of The Vision Machine
Maximilian Mauracher The Power Of Absence
MARLIN VON CHRISTENPeter Sloterdijk thinking of Theodor W. Adorno's birthday
All novelty is but oblivion. - Francis Bacon
We would like to start this brief editorial emphasizing one of Adorno's most persistent ideas: that an artwork is the place of the non-identical, impossible to be dominated and subsumed. This is precisely what gives art its irreducible value, in a world in which everything tends to be instrumentalized and homogenized.
However, the question that arises is: Can art remain a place for resistance, for criticism and opposition without ending up being neutralized and aestheticized? Artist, critics, curators, academics, philosophers, theoreticians, spectators – the artworld in general, is in need of answers to the political problems created by the ones who look for ways to curtail our social and individual rights, the ones who seek to polarize and divide our society even further with their racist, homophobic and misogynist discourses, the ones who also deny the risk of environmental problems.
After some decades of use and abuse of political correctness, this is the world we are facing right now, again. Realpolitik did not come into being just now, it has been established a while ago and seems to be staying for good. Political Art, Activist Art and Art in general might need to evade the parameters and the temptation of the society of spectacle and of entertainment, in order to avoid being neutralized and aestheticized. If this scenario is inevitable, there has to be another way to read and confront the relation existing between art and politics in order to give answers, to criticize, resist and promote change.
Now, more than ever, the priority is to defend what is left of the democratic values. The current return of realpolitik is part of its endless comeback. However, this time it is not a coincidence that this return is based on the rise of right wing populists, with their post-truth discourses and alternative facts.
LUISA ORTIZ-PEREZ Towards A New Paradigm in Times of Social Amnesia
LUCIANA ACHUGAR Interview
MELANIE MAAR Perineal Visitor
FELIPE DUQUE Autonomy and Negation in Adorno
Maximilian Mauracher Material Matters
ANDREA LUMPLECKER Request for a Bar at documenta 14
ALLE DICU Dance Capsule 03Dance Capsule 02
KILIAN JÖRG Be part of the problem, not the solution
CARLOS OLIVEROS Reguetón Theory
NATALIA DOMINGUEZ RANGEL 10'01"
INA SATTLEGGER Politics As Rupture
NICOLE ZIEGLER from the ongoing series bookmark(s), 2016
DAYANA HRISTOVA & COLLIN BLACK The Road to Ixtlan
Art unveils the un-reason(s) of life.
In its diverse languages, art presents us with the incomprehensible and the unspeakable. Art’s reasons are communicated to us in works as long as we are able to recognize them, and aesthetics is to be considered as the way of reasoning inherent to the act of experiencing art and the sensible.
Kant argued that if an aesthetic judgment were to be considered by the concept “art”, it would become a logically determined judgment, thus no longer essentially aesthetic. Hegel insisted on the inadequacy of the term “aesthetic” for a discourse on art. Adorno stated that “art perceived strictly aesthetically is art aesthetically misperceived”. Along these lines and this history of aesthetic thought, we wouldn’t have had to wait for the postmodern school and for Donald Judd, who famously argued that an artwork “needs only to be interesting”, in order to realize that the relation between aesthetics and art isn’t harmonic.
So why should we associate aesthetics and art considering the state of our contemporary cultural and political situation? Is it possible to reconsider the notion of the aesthetic without falling into anachronisms? This collection of essays and pieces tries to give an approach to a category that – even though it surrounds us on every corner – has been maltreated by use and abuse. We believe that this category can play a transcendental role when it comes to clarify the reasons and the un-reasons of our time.
FELIPE DUQUE Contemporary Aesthetic Experience
DARIO SRBIC Aesthetics: And Smooth and Striated Space, 572-82
MONICA TITTON Zur Ästhetik des Normalen in der Mode
MAXIMILIAN MAURACHER Clear Aesthetics: The Myth Of Minimalism
ALMA CARDOSO Creative and Perceptive-Cognitive Behavior and Theatricality
ROBERT ELIAS Arguing About Art
LEONIE SEIBOLD Stimme und Verfremdung am Theater
ANNA T. STEFFNER DE MARCO Über die politische Dimension der Ästhetik des offenen Kunstwerks
JAN-HENDRIK MÜLLER Stratigraphische Bilder. Neue Ästhetiken der Montage?
KATHA SCHAAR Un_bewegt
JOHANNES SIEGMUND Apocalypse now - zur Untergangsästhetik
NICOLE ZIEGLER On Aesthetics
CHRISTOPHER SCHWEIGER Universal Hard Drive
PAULA BRÜCKE & OLIVER ALUNOVIC Das Gebäude in der Mitte der Stadt
AHINORA ANTOVA Die traditionelle Zen-Ästhetik als Ästhetik der europäischen Postmoderne
There is an unsatisfied reason in the experience of art and it’s exactly this dissatisfaction that motivates us to study and to rethink contemporary art practices. We are facing the winter of our discontent, however, the future is more promising than we think.
Forty years ago Adorno wrote: “It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident anymore, not its inner life, not its relation to the world, not even its right to exist … In many ways, expansion appears as contradiction”.
Philosophies and theories come, as always, post festum. They stay behind artistic expression when it comes to understanding and giving answers according to the Zeitgeist of every historical moment. They need time to reflect and to give explanations to any kind of cultural manifestation of our society, including the aesthetic one.
The essence of art is to communicate, to give reasons, to promote a dialogue and to be intelligible by finding its receptor. Nevertheless, the atomization and plurality of practices and discourses on art have altered the dialogue between the artwork and the spectator, making this act of communication and understanding more complex than it has ever been.
That is why, we believe, it is the task of every artist, academic, philosopher or theoretician, “to find a form that accommodates the mess”, as Samuel Beckett perfectly stated.
Felipe DuqueEntkunstung: Art After The End Of Art
Anna T. Steffner de MarcoEntkunstung als Formel kritischer Kunst
Johannes SiegmundEntkunstung durch den Plattformkapitalismus?ALMA CARDOSOTowards A New Art Criticism From Latin America
Fia MatssonArt as Inherently AutobiographicalNicole Zieglersouvenir (words)