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Art and Production: Between Affirmation and Negation

Art and Production: Between Affirmation and Negation

Anthony Iles, Graduate School, UdK Berlin/ Mute (London)/ Post-Media Lab (Leuphana University)
Marina Gerber, Graduiertenkolleg „Das Wissen der Künste“, UdK Berlin

Introduction: Tuesday, June 11th 2013

Follow-ups: 12th/ 13th and 19th/ 20th of September 2013 (planning in process)

Art is production. But not every artistic production leads to an objective product. Sometimes the process of the art production stays hidden, creating a gap between what was achieved and what is to be considered the end result.

Which possibilities to put the focus on the production of art do we have today? How can these practices be criticized?

Within the frame work of an artistic action the participants will be trying to bring an example of a production process to mind. Towards the end of the seminar a publication should describe, picture, document and reflect the production process experienced by the participants.

Validity of the seminar for Fine Art students, Faculty 1:

Fine Art: Kunstwissenschaft, Art Education: Modul3/4/5 (Architektur/Urbanistik)/ (Visuelle Medien/Massenmedien)

Proficiency credits: attendance at the seminar as well as the action (Tiergarten), as well as taking part in the production of a documentation (i.e. writing a report or the theoretical reflection on the action or about one of the discussed texts in the form of a ‘Hausarbeit’ (term paper, 10-15 pages)

Attendance credits: attendance at the seminar as well as the action, documentation of the action (pictures, a short report, written or oral).

At the introduction meeting the participants can decide if and to which text they would like to hold a ‘referat’.

Contact: Marina Gerber (marina-gerber(at)

Reading List

Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (Continuum, London,) S. 1-6.

Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Free Time’ in Theodor W. Adorno, (ed.) J.M. Bernstein, The Culture Industry: Selected essays on mass culture, (Routledge, London & New, 1991), p. 187-197. / ‘Freizeit’ in ders., Kulturkritik und Gesellschaft II, ges. Schriften, Band 10: 2 (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1998 ), S. 645-655.

Walter Benjamin, ‘The Author as Producer’, in New Left Review I/62, July-August 1970 / ‘Der Autor als Produzent’ in ders., Gesammelte Schriften, Band II 2 (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1991), S. 683–701.

Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, ‘Context-Function-Use Value. Michael Asher’s Re-Materialization of the Artwork’, in Michael Asher: Exhibitions in Europe, 1972-1977(Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1980), S. 35-46.

Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, ‘Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions’ in October Vol. 55, (Winter, 1990), S. 105-143 / ‘Von der Ästhetik der Verwaltung zur Institutionellen Kritik’, in Marie Louise Syring (Hg.), Um 1968. Konkrete Utopien in Kunst und Gesellschaft (DuMont, Köln, 1990), S. 86-99.

Sabeth Buchmann, Denken Gegen das Denken: Produktion, Technologie, Subjektivität bei Sol LeWitt, Yvonne Rainer und Hélio Oiticica (b_books, Berlin, 2007), S. 172-183.

Sebastian Egenhofer, Produktionsästhetik (Diaphanes, Zürich, 2010), S. 142-144.

Dan Graham, ‘Eigenheime für Amerika’ in Ulrich Wilmes (Hg.), Dan Graham: Ausgewählte Schriften (Oktagon, Köln, 1996), S. 26-32.

Lucy Lippard and John Chandler, ‘The Dematerialization of Art’ in Peter Osborne (Hg.), Conceptual Art (Phaidon, London, 2002), S. 218-220.

Siegfried Kracauer, ‘The Mass Ornament’ in ders., The Mass Ornament (Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass./London, 1995), S. 75-88.

John Roberts, ‘The Missing Factory’ in Mute, July 2012(

Viktor Shklovsky, ‘Art as Technique’ in L.T. Lemon and M.J. Reis, Russian Formalist Criticism Four Essays, (University of Nebraska Press, 1965).

Hito Steyerl, ‘Is the Museum a Factory?’ in E-Flux, Juli 2009

Jeff Wall, ‘A Draft For Dan Graham’s Kammerspiel’ in ders., Dan Graham’s Kammerspiel (Art Metropole, Toronto, 1991), S. 87-115 / ‘Ein Entwurf zu Dan Grahams Kammerspiel’ in Gregor Stemmrich (Hg.), Jeff Wall: Szenarien im Bildraum der Wirklichkeit (Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg, 2008), S. 47–88.


Additional Material

Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Kulturindustrie: Aufklärung als Massenbetrug’ in ders., Dialektik der Aufklärung, ges. Schriften, Band 3 (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1998), S. 141-191.

Boris Arvatov, ‘Everyday Life and the Culture of the Thing (Toward the Formulation of the Question)’ trans. Christina Kiaer in October, Vol. 81, (Summer, 1997), S. 119-128.

Benjamin Buchloh, ‘From Faktura to Factography’, in October, Vol. 30 (Autumn, 1984), S. 82-119.

Sabeth Buchmann, ‘Under the Sign of Labour’ in A. Alberro and S. Buchmann (Hg.), Art after Conceptual Art (MIT Press, Cambridge/MA, London, 2006), S. 179-195.

T.J. Clark, ‘Modernism, Postmodernism, Steam’ in October Vol. 100, (Spring, 2002), S. 154-174.

T.J. Clark, Farewell to an Idea (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001), S. 225-297.

Gail Day, Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory (Columbia University Press, New York, 2011.

Harun Farocki, ‘Workers Leaving the Factory’ in Senses of Cinema, Issue 21, July 2002 (

Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminism (PM Press, Oakland, 2012), S. 15-22.

Claire Fontaine, ‘Ready-Made Artist and Human Strike’ (

Hal Foster, ‘Arty Party’, London Review of Books, Vol. 25 Nr. 23, 4 December 2003.

Marina Gerber, ‘The Production of Collective Actions’, Vortrag auf dem Performance and Labour Symposium, UCL, London, November 2012 (

Anthony Iles, ‘The Production of History and a History of Production’ in Afgang 10, Det Jyske Kunstakademi, Aarhus, June 2010, (

Frederic Jameson, ‘Culture and Finance Capital’ in Critical Inquiry Vol. 24, No. 1 (Autumn, 1997), S. 246-265.

Maurizio Lazzarato, ‘Immaterial Labour’ (

Stewart Martin, ‘Critique of Relational Aesthetics’ in Third Text, Vol. 21, Issue 4, July 2007, S. 369-386.

Stewart Martin, ‘The Absolute Artwork Meets the Absolute Commodity’ in Radical Philosophy, Nr. 146, Nov/Dec 2007, S. 15-25.

Jacques Rancière, ‘On Art and Work’ in ders., The Politics of Aesthetics(Continuum, New York, London, 2004), S. 42-45.

John Roberts, ‘Productivism and Its Contradictions’, in Third Text No. 100, Vol. 23 No. 5 (September 2009), S. 527-536.

John Roberts, ‘Art After De-Skilling’ in Historical Materialism, Vol. 18 issue 2, S. 77-96.

Viktor Shklovsky, Third Factory, trans. Richard Sheldon, (Dalkey Archive, London & Illinois, 2002), S. 8-9.

Howard Slater, ‘The Spoiled Ideas of Lost Situations: Some Notes on Political Conceptual Art’

Jeff Wall, ‘Zeichen der Indifferenz: Aspekte der Photographie in der, oder als, Konzeptkunst’ in Gregor Stemmrich (Hg.), Jeff Wall: Szenarien im Bildraum der Wirklichkeit (Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg, 2008), S. 375–434.

Kathi Weeks, ‘Marxism, Productivism, and the Refusal of Work’ in ders., The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2011), S. 79-112.

Simone Weil, ‘The Mysticism of Work’, in Sian Miles (Hg.), Simone Weil: An Anthology, (Penguin, London, 2005), S. 178-181.