How the world—and the world of visual culture in particular—creates itself in a creative act that knows no economic return.
How does the world form itself? How does it create itself as a world? And how do we understand the role of the visual in this regard? Most responses to these questions within cultural theory and visual culture refer to the rise of globalization, thus highlighting the acceleration of exchanges, the proliferation of information and communication devices, and the multiplication of globally circulated goods and images that characterize the world we live in. Visual Cultures as World-Forming takes a different approach by focusing on the taking place of the world, a creative act that knows no economic return.
This taking place does not lead to more proliferation of goods, additional financial exchanges, further communications, or an increase in the distribution of visual material, but leads to the continued “worlding” of the world. This approach is predominantly, but not exclusively, inspired by the work of Jean-Luc Nancy. Through a reading of his work and of some of his contemporaries both inside and outside of the Western canon, Madani and Martinon attempt to expose how the world—and the world of visual culture in particular—creates itself and the ways in which each one of us is embodying this creation without economy.
Copublished with Goldsmiths, University of London
Adnan Madani is an artist and writer and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College.
Jean-Paul Martinon is a writer based in London and Reader in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College.