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Paperback | $24.95 Trade | £19.95 | 160 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 40 b&w illus. | January 2013 | ISBN: 9780262518437
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Spheres of Action

Art and Politics


Contemporary art is increasingly part of a wider network of cultural practices, related through a common set of references in cultural theory. Within Europe, relations between national theoretical traditions have become more fluid and dynamic, creating an increasingly transnational—or postnational—space for European cultural and art theory. This book offers a snapshot of recent influential work in contemporary art and political theory in France, Italy, and Germany, in the form of original writings by major representatives of each of the three overlapping national traditions.

In France, debates center on the status and possibilities of the image. Éric Alliez, Georges Didi-Huberman, Elisabeth Lebovici, and Jacques Rancière each adopt a distinctive approach to the making, undoing, and remaking of aesthetic images in contemporary art and their political significance. From Italy, Antonio Negri, Maurizio Lazzarato, Judith Revel, and Franco Berardi each address the “immaterial” situation of contemporary art. From Germany, Peter Sloterdijk, Peter Weibel, and Boris Groys reassess the contemporary legacy of postwar art, demonstrating appropriations of vitalism, structuralism, and deconstruction, respectively.

About the Editors

Éric Alliez is a philosopher and professor at Université Paris 8 and at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (Kingston University). He is the author of Capital Times (with a preface by Gilles Deleuze), The Brain-Eye and Undoing the Image.

Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University, London. Editor of the journal Radical Philosophy, he is the author of The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde.


“As dense with academic traditions as it is flush with insight, this collection offers an overview of significant theoretical work on the thriving intersections of art and politics in France, Italy, and Germany…The essays are striking in that their collective topical coherence is married successfully to a range of historical moments, artists, and political preoccupations.”—Publishers Weekly