» Nonsite Author: Walter Benn Michaels
August 12th, 2014
Response to Marina Pinsky

Another way of putting this is to say that the violence of the frame consists above all in making our lives as irrelevant as hers, and it’s in this indifference to our particularity (this allegorizing of its irrelevance) that I locate the politics of Kydd’s work.

March 14th, 2014
WBMKydd
The Force of a Frame:
Owen Kydd's Durational Photographs

It will, I want to argue, be hard to describe Owen Kydd’s practice as appealing to the plurality of the medium against Art; on the contrary, it will be better understood as doing just the opposite, as redeploying the idea of the medium precisely on behalf of the idea of Art—and against a pluralism that is not only aesthetic but political.

January 5th, 2013
Occupy University
Dude, Where’s My Job?

…if we wanted the unrich to stop being such a (vastly) underrepresented minority in our universities, we’d have to throw most of our current students out. From this standpoint, the most effective version of an occupy movement on campuses like Michigan’s would be one in which the students stopped occupying it and made way for not the 99% but the 75% who have been systematically denied admission.

July 1st, 2012
Dan Flavin, To the Young Women and Men Murdered at Kent State and to Fellow Students Who Are Yet To Be Killed (1970)
Intention at the College Art Association (2010)

All fluorescent bulbs will eventually go out; only Flavin’s intentions can make some of them also be about the fact that they will eventually go out. All of us may think of the ephemeral when we look at a fluorescent bulb flickering; only the belief that this (or something else) is what Flavin meant us to think turns our responses into interpretations.

March 13th, 2012
Phil Chang, Two Sheets of Thick Paper on Top of Two Sheets of Thin Paper, Unfixed Silver Gelatin Print, 2010
Meaning and Affect: Phil Chang’s Cache, Active

What I’ve been calling the work’s performance is nothing other than the causal account of its production, the kind of account you can give for any work of art. The difference is just that Chang has folded the process through which the work was produced into the experience of seeing it. This is a difference that matters.

October 3rd, 2011
Viktoria Binschtok, Wand 1, 2006
The Beauty of a Social Problem

Unemployment is both a problem and a solution. It’s a problem for the unemployed, who want work, a solution for employers who not only want workers but also want the cheapest ones they can get.

June 12th, 2011
Arthur-Ou
Interview with Walter Benn Michaels on Photography and Politics

So one easy way to put it would be to say that for many people, photography perfectly embodied the theory and practice of the postmodern, whereas for some people, it created the possibility or felt necessity for a critique of postmodernism. Or, to put the point in terms of intentionality: for many people, the photograph embodies the critique of the intentional that we find in theorists as different as Barthes and Derrida, Crimp and Rancière; for others it embodies something like the opposite – the opportunity to re-imagine intentionality.

June 12th, 2011
On Kenneth Warren’s <em>What Was African American Literature?</em>

An excerpt from the Los Angeles Review of Books Symposium on “What is African American Literature?”

March 25th, 2011
Welling_nextmonticello070521_1_560
Welling and Michaels at The Photographic Universe
By (UIC) and (University of California, Los Angeles)

James Welling and Walter Benn Michaels discuss photography, neoliberalism and aesthetics in a conversation from a recent conference at Parsons, entitled The Photographic Universe and we’ve got the video.

January 25th, 2011
Source: http://lemaitre.blog.lemonde.fr/2009/03/30/remunerations-une-occasion-loupee/
Neoliberal Aesthetics:
Fried, Rancière and the Form of the Photograph

The political meaning of the refusal of form (the political meaning of the critique of the work’s “coherence”) is the indifference to those social structures that, not produced by how we see, cannot be overcome by seeing differently. It’s this refusal of form…

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