Article on Yellow Vests

My latest article, entitled “Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War against the Yellow Vests,” was just published here in CounterPunch.

FRANCE-POLITICS-SOCIAL-DEMOExcerpt: “Violence is a spectacular weapon deployed by the ruling class to discredit movements from below and justify their repression. It is spectacular in the sense of being a great and powerful political tool for governing the masses, and keeping them in their place. In order to do this, however, the weapon of violence is spectacular in a second sense: it creates a carefully orchestrated mise en scène that seeks to render ruling class violence invisible, while simultaneously transforming acts of resistance into prodigious spectacles of criminal violence.”

Seminar on Aesthetics in Philadelphia

I will be giving the seminar below on March 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Incite Seminars in downtown Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Critical Theory Workshop.

AESTHETICS: TOWARD A RADICAL HISTORY

 This seminar will explore some of the most vexing questions in the history of aesthetics: What is art? How does it relate to the ‘real’ world of politics and society? How has it developed and changed over time? It will examine some of the responses given to these questions by major thinkers like Georg Lukács, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and Jacques Rancière. This will lead to a broader interrogation into the very presuppositions that structure these types of questions, as well as their answers, thereby opening space for a tectonic shift in our understanding of aesthetics, its social roles, and its history.

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In its broadest sense, this shift will lead from an understanding of aesthetics as having a more or less fixed nature to one in which it is radically historicized by being recognized as a dynamic social product of certain cultures. Examining the networks of production, circulation and reception operative in what is called art in the modern ‘Western’ world, with an eye to its variations across time, space and social strata, this course inspects how the European world has developed—and then attempted to universalize—a very unique concept and practice of aesthetics, which is bound up in various ways with colonial expansion and the capitalist exhibition of symbolic goods.

Reading: Gabriel Rockhill, Radical History & the Politics of Art
Recommended Film:  Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Statues also Die

Date: Saturday, March 23, 10am-2pm
Registration: Click here

Intervention dans le colloque sur les théories critiques franco-allemandes

Je suis ravi de pouvoir participer — par visioconférence, malheureusement — à ce colloque sur les théories critiques franco-allemandes, qui aura lieu le 18 février à l’Université Paris Nanterre. Un grand merci à Pauline Julien et à Aurélia Peyrical pour avoir établi ce beau programme. Si vous êtes à Paris, n’hésitez pas à venir !

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ASAP Presentation on “Revolutionizing Aesthetics”

On October 18, 2018, I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to present, with Jennifer Ponce de León, our collaborative book project on “Revolutionizing Aesthetics” at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP).

Discussion with Jennifer Ponce de León on Aesthetics and Revolution

Here is the discussion that I had with Jennifer Ponce de León at the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris on June 25, 2018, entitled “The Art of Moving through the Looking Glass: Aesthetics and Revolution”:

Discussion with Seloua Luste Boulbina and Jennifer Ponce de León on the Limits of Decolonial Theory

Here is the discussion that I had with Jennifer Ponce de León and Seloua Luste Boulbina at the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris on June 18, 2018, entitled “Is the ‘Decolonial Turn’ a Colonial Return?“: