Suhail Malik

  • In contemporary art, meaning is constructed by the viewer
  • The artwork has to be indeterminate in order to leave space for interpretation
  • Common logic of indeterminacy forms a genre with no identity
  • This logic is hegemonic in the art world
  • Contemporary art has become the plaything of the idle rich
  • Why, despite leftist claims about content, does art work very well within the global elite regime?
  • No contradiction: global elite understand themselves as moral agents and contemporary art certifies that for them
  • As a genre without identity and an insistence on singularity, contemporary art is necessarily a-systemic
  • Plurality, openness, supported by “critical virtue”, prohibit systemic responsibility of the artwork, otherwise the indeterminacy would close down
  • It may be wanting to be socially responsible, but because of a-systemic nature, cannot do that. It has no structural traction.
  • So, if we want to be #accelerationist, we must abandon contemporary art. #accelerationism must make a demand on art.
  • However, we’re committed to art: the claims are inline.
  • Hard to make demands on art, because it should be spontaneous.
  • Upshot: we need another art than contemporary art.
  • What can art do for post-capitalism?
  • We don’t need to abandon everything. We can take advantage of:
  • Transdisciplinarity. Flexibility, adaptability, mutability. Unique among academic disciplines. Transformations.
  • Proximate to power and money.
  • Mediatic intervention, reflexivity (McLuhan). Not critique, but interventions and construction. Art is particularly good at: intervening in media.
  • Art can be a resource for left accelerationism, as long as it isn’t taken as contemporary art.

  • Cognitive mapping: produce a sense of orientation in the world (obviously a reduction)

  • Pitfall: reality is complex, and maybe not navigable. Societies are large-scale, complex, integrated. We cannot make sense of them in a schematic way.

  • Disorientation is the condition for societies we have.

  • Problem with cognitive mapping: sounds like data visualization (only a reduction.)

  • Here’s somewhere that art can intervene.

Morgan Sutherland