Theory, Culture & Mousse

Two new articles are online (though one is probably behind a paywall), resulting from very different production processes and temporalities. The first, "Liberation Through Laziness," is the result of an invition by Bureau Publik in Denmark to speak on Paul Lafargue's The Right to Be Lazy. As I had a request from Mousse magazine to contribute something I decided to turn my Copenhagen lecture into an article for them. The great advantage of art magazines can be their dedication to the moment, and the possibility for producing texts and constellation of texts that articulate that moment, hopefully in a manner that allows one to think a bit beyond it. I'm quite happy with this essay on those terms, though I hope I can return to it at some future point and develop a few aspects a bit further, and more rigorously.

Far removed from the speed of art magazines is the glacier-like pace of academic journals. In the autumn of 2011, after the Autonomy Conference at the Van Abbemuseum, Nikos Papastergiadis asked me to submit an article on autonomy and Rancière to a special issue of Theory, Culture & Society he was editing. Since I was already working on an essay for the Autonomy issue of Open, and didn't feel up to the task of producing something completely different on the same subject right after finishing the Open text, I felt I either had to bow out or develop my Open essay a bit further. I was asked to do the latter. Of course, this text/these texts were also to become (parts of) one chapter of my book History in Motion, which came out in the fall of 2013. This, it turns out, was actually before the publication of my TCS article, "Autonomy as Aesthetic Practice," which has only now been "prepublished" online, ahead of its publication in print. (I'm not sure if this link will lead you to the full article if you're not affiliated with an institution that has a TCS subscription; probably not.)

Between production cycles that take less than two months and those that take more than two years, it can be rather tricky to develop a pace of work that works for you. Of course, all magazines and journals are likewise caught up in the contradictions of our economy of time, and occupy a niche that works for them. What cannot be valued enough are those working relationships with magazines, reviews or journals whose durations and rhythms can be brought in synch with yours, at least intermittently.

Speaking of the Autonomy Project, that loose collaboration between various art schools, universities and the Van Abbemuseum, which straddles different economies (of time): I am currently editing the Art and Autonomy reader, as head of an editorial team that also comprises Autonomy Project colleagues. The reader is to be published by Afterall, which itself is situated in something of an art world/academia nexus. We're trying something rather different from the standard reader format with this one. As a denizen of Old Europe I don't like to show my excitement too much, but the book is taking shape rather beautifully. The aim is to finalize the edit after the summer and have the thing out before the end of the year. We shall see.