January 13, 2015, by criticalmoment

Aesthetics of Crisis: A Lecture and Seminar with Brian Holmes (23/01/15)

Continuing in The Centre for Critical Theory’s ongoing series on ‘Neoliberalism, Crisis and Criticism’, we are pleased to announce ‘Aesthetics of Crisis’, a seminar which will take place 2-5pm in the Meeting Room of the Nottingham Contemporary on the 23rd of January 2015. All are very welcome to attend, but for the purposes of participation, it is expected that you read a couple of texts by Brian. To obtain those, just email me at Colin.Wright@nottingham.ac.uk and I will send them as attachments.

Major shifts in the patterns of capital accumulation come once every forty years or so. But they cast long shadows, on aesthetics as well as technology. Since 1968 we’ve lived with the same imaginary of revolution. And since the neoliberal compromise of the 1980s, we’ve lived with the proliferating simulacra of that same revolutionary imaginary.

How will our societies confront the new set of political and ecological challenges brought on by the tremendous acceleration of the globalized economy? What will future revolutions be made of? For decades those questions were taboo. But when the financial sector suddenly froze in 2008, they began to take on an intense existential reality. The aesthetics of crisis names a vast, fractured, interlinked process of collective invention. Not only art is affected, but also people’s understandings of the value of their own lives. This seminar deals with the subjective responses of human beings to the restructuring of capital.

Brian Holmes is a writer, cultural critic and activist who has worked at the border of art and social movements for many years. With 16 Beaver Group, he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars (2005–11). He is a member of the Compass group, exploring the “Midwest Radical Cultural Corridor,” and of the Technopolitics group, with Armin Medosh and others. His recent books include Escape the Overcode (2009) and Unleashing the Collective Phantoms (2008). Many of his texts can be found at https://brianholmes.wordpress.com/

This event is the result of a collaboration bertween the The Centre for Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham  Centre for Philosophy and Political Economy based in the School of Management at the University of Leicester (http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/research/units/cppe); The Centre for Critical Theory at University of Nottingham (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cct/about/about-us.aspx) and Nottingham Contemporary’s Public Events and Research Programme which builds links between universities, the arts and pressing social concerns. This particular seminar takes place in conjunction with the public programming surrounding the exhibition Rights of Nature: Art, Ecology and the Americas. http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/art

Brian will take part in a conference at Nottingham Contemporary the following day.

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