Lisbon Consortium Lecture Darko Štrajn

April 30 – 18h30 | Room Descobrimentos Portugueses


Since the first obvious indications of the inception of the times of the “end of representation” – as Deleuze pointed out half a century ago – we have to deal with a widespread awareness about the persevering change of art and of reflections about art in the framework of social, institutional and technological contexts. The analysis of interactions, starting with the invention of film/cinema, artistic practice and theory, including aesthetics, highlights the importance of the notions, categories and agencies of movement. The emergence of so-called post-media epoch signals a new decisive change following the one, which was revealed as the overwhelming onset of mass culture and the other that has been marked as the event (Badiou) of the revolution of the 1960s. As the theoretical indecision about the features of an on-going new change seems to be still dominant, the practice of art of any conceivable variety reflects basically the same indecision. The fact that “film” is still the notion, which by and large means moving images, while the digitalization made the material (celluloid) film obsolete, is an elementary metaphor of the process of a vanishing of signifiers, related to the notion of art. However, in a more complex term, the questions about the correlation between form and content are re-emerging in novel configurations as well as the epistemological and ontological problems of aesthetics, concerning the designations of objects of analysis. In these settings the art does not necessarily need to be militant or socially involved to be political, since the categories of truth and reality are destroyed through the mediatic dissipation of notions of subjectivity and objectivity. In the elaboration I am trying to answer what actually is a still undefined change, which, nonetheless, instigates a flawed thinking of a repetition of the transformation of social meanings and effects of modernism from 20th century. Of course, my own answer to the complex question will and cannot be definitive, but what is important is to keep alive a search for an answer about the senses of art in the world operated by the forces of software and neoliberal economy/ideology.  

Index terms change; digitalization; film; art; mass culture; movement; post-media