Three Autonomies and More

Things are bit quiet on the publication front at the moment and they will remain so over the summer, until (to extend the military metaphor) the fall offensive kicks in. However, June does see the publication of the first issue of The Autonomy Project Newspaper, to which I contributed the text "Three Autonomies and More." The Autonomy Project is an initiative of the Van Abbemuseum, the equally Eindhoven-based art space and publisher Onomatopee, and a number of Dutch, German and British art schools and universities. I'm involved via the Platform Moderne Kunst, an initiative of the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis (Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History).

Aimed at young and future practitioners, the Autonomy Project seeks to investigate the contemporary relevance of the notion of autonomy. Should it be dumped like so much Modernist toxic waste, or is a different conception and practice (or practical conception) of autonomy possible and indeed necessary? My essay in the first newspaper, published by Onomatopee in preparation for the Autonomy Summer School at the Van Abbe later this month, argues for the latter position by distinguishing between several different forms of autonomy. The text was written and edited under severe time constraints, which shows in a shockingly large number of glitches - which, ironically, can be seen as reflecting the text's content, emphasizing as it does the pressure to perform marking today's economy. I will develop elements from this text in an essay for the catalogue of a show taking place at Serralves later this year.