Reconsiders exceptionalism between aesthetics and politics
Here, Arne De Boever proposes the notion of aesthetic exceptionalism to describe the widespread belief that art and artists are exceptional. Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism challenges that belief by focusing on the sovereign artist as genius, as well as the original artwork as the foundation of the art market. Engaging with sculpture, conceptual artwork, and painting by emerging and established artists, De Boever proposes a worldly, democratic notion of unexceptional art as an antidote to the problems of aesthetic exceptionalism.
Forerunners: Ideas First
Short books of thought-in-process scholarship, where intense analysis, questioning, and speculation take the lead
This issue brings together three lectures on aesthetics delivered by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler in Los Angeles in 2011 with articles by scholars of Stiegler’s work. Aesthetics, understood as the theoretical investigation of sensibility, has been central to Stiegler’s work since the mid-1990s. The lectures featured here explicitly link Stiegler’s interest in sensibility to aesthetic theory proper as well as to art history. In “The Proletarianization of Sensibility,” “Kant, Art, and Time,” and “The Quarrel of the Amateurs,” Stiegler expounds his philosophy of technics and its effects on human sensibility, centering on how the figure of the amateur—who loves what he or she does—must be recovered from beneath the ruins of technical history. The other contributors engage the topics covered in the lectures, including the figure of the amateur, cinema, the digital, and extinction.
Contributors. Stephen Barker, Ed Cohen, Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, Arne De Boever, Benoît Dillet, Alexander R. Galloway, Mark B. N. Hansen, Jason R. LaRivière, Gerald Moore, Daniel Ross, Bernard Stiegler