The Artistic Dérivative, or Explaining the Current Conjunction of Art-Life-Labor to a Dead Hare

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Date/Time: 01/04/2010 12:00 am

Thursday, April 1 at 5pm
665 Broadway, 6th Floor Conference Room
(call ext 28248 to get to the floor)
The Artistic Dérivative, or Explaining the Current Conjunction of Art-Life-Labor to a Dead Hare
Stevphen Shukaitis, Autonomedia / University of Essex
“Everyone is an artist” proclaimed Joseph Beuys. Beuys, as an inheritor of the avant-garde desire to abolish the separation between art and daily life, argued for the realization of a multitude forms of creativity through out many areas of social life, or forms of social sculpture as he called it. What can we make of this goal in age of semiocapitalism where the dream of everyone an artist has been realized in perverse form as “everyone is a worker” all the time? That is to say where the relationality ‘sculpted’ through the circuits of an always-present network culture are rendered into opportunities for capitalist valorization, all YouWork and MyProfit? Is it possible to reclaim any of the subversive impulse of the avant-garde when the difference between the advertising firm and the détournement of the art provocateur is increasingly imperceptible? Drawing from a compositional approach to political analysis this presentation will examine the ways that social energies and processes created within various tendrils of the avant-garde have influenced the development of the capitalist production. From this it will elaborate the notion of the artistic dérivative, or a form of production where value is created through the labor of circulating creativity through the productive basin of the metropolis, configured as a factory.
Bio: Stevphen Shukaitis is an editor at Autonomedia and lecturer at the Essex Business School at the University of Essex. He is the author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Day (2009, Autonomedia) and editor (with Erika Biddle and David Graeber) of Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization (AK Press, 2007). His research focuses on the emergence of collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions of cultural and artistic labor.
Sponsored by the Community Learning Initiative of the Gallatin School, Tisch’s Department of Art and Public Policy, and Steinhardt’s Department of Art and Arts Professions of New York University.

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