Aesthetics as a weapon of mass domestication

On June 20th I will be participating in ‘Anesthetized: aesthetics as a weapon of mass domestication,’ a week-long seminar organized in SUR—the school of arts of Madrid’s Círculo de Bellas Artes—by Lucía Jalón and David Sánchez Usanos. More information about the course can be found here (in Spanish), and in the (very interesting) provisional program.

For a while now I have been focused on a book-length project and I try to minimize potential distractions, but this type of extra-disciplinary forays—most of the speakers in the seminar come from the fields of philosophy, art and literature, including playwrights and novelists—are a great opportunity to experiment with more speculative approaches and new research paths. In this occasion I intend to use various interpretive keys (Althusser, Rancière, Goonewardena, Trinh T. Minh-ha) and historical episodes of the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde (Neue Sachlichkeit, anti-architecture…) to explore how urban representations are used to regulate diverse regimes of production/social reproduction. I am also planning to use a discussion of counter-representations centered on alternative forms of reproduction to develop the notion of ‘urban sabotage’ and its potential connection to contemporary aesthetic practices.


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