» Nonsite Author: Nicholas Brown
April 5th, 2016
Jeff Wall, Eviction Struggle (1988)
What We Worry About When We Worry About Commodification:
Reflections on Dave Beech, Julian Stallabrass, and Jeff Wall

In an advertisement, the only intention that matters is to sell a product. All manner of decisions can and do saturate an advertising image, but these are subordinate to the purpose (Zweck) of selling the product. In a successful work of art, all kinds of decisions are subordinate to a larger intention as well; but that intention is analytically identical with the meaning (Zweckmäßigkeit) of the work, so it makes sense to speak of the work as a whole as saturated with intention. As we saw, art-commodities may well bear the marks of industrial processes. A work of art may, on the other hand, choose to exhibit them, which is a different matter altogether. We can tell the difference between bearing marks and exhibiting marks because works of art tell us how to tell the difference, each time.

January 11th, 2016
Max Horkheimer and The Sociology of Class Relations
By , (Boston University), (Emory University), (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), (UIC) and (The University of Vermont)

In the fall of 1943 Max Horkheimer composed multiple drafts of an essay entitled “On the Sociology of Class Relations.” The essay was intended for inclusion in the collaborative project with Theodor W. Adorno which came to be called The Dialectic of Enlightenment. One indication that the essay was crucial to their project was that Horkheimer solicited several responses to the working drafts including comments from Franz Neumann and Herbert Marcuse (on the East coast) and Friedrich Pollock and Adorno (in Los Angeles with Horkheimer).

Here for the first time is Horkheimer’s original essay in full and in its original English-language format plus five contemporary responses.

October 8th, 2015
Art after Art after Art

Art as such does not pre-exist capitalism and will certainly not survive it, but rather presents an unemphatic alterity to it: art is not the before or after of capitalism, but its determinate other.

September 13th, 2013
Brecht and Weill
Kurt Weill, Caetano Veloso, White Stripes

We are concerned with the problem of securing meaning against the ideological horizon of a fully market-saturated society. Meanings circulate or fail to circulate, compel or fail to compel. Success in the former, which is easily quantifiable, does not guarantee success in the latter, which is not.

September 17th, 2012
Do We Need Adorno?
By (Emory University), (Case Western Reserve University), (UIC), (UIC), (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and (Yeshiva University)

In one of his last interviews Michel Foucault famously said “As far as I’m concerned, Marx doesn’t exist.” What he meant was that “Marx” as an author was something largely fabricated from concepts borrowed from the eighteenth century, in particular the writings of David Ricardo. From Ricardo he derived his most crucial idea: the labor theory of value. As Clune explains, neoliberalism has made that theory obsolete and with it, Marxist analysis. For Foucault there were several Marxisms in Marx.

March 13th, 2012
The Work of Art in the Age of its Real Subsumption under Capital

Whatever previous ages might have fancied, we are wise enough to know that the work of art is a commodity like any other. Chances are that we don’t have any very clear idea what we mean by that. Marx, however, does.

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