Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 4:45pm to 6:15pm
2018 ICM New Conversations Series:
In recent years, numerous scholars have called attention to the growing presence of economic rationality in every sphere of contemporary life—including those aspects of human existence portrayed by classical liberal thought as inherently removed from the realm of economic interests. This all-encompassing character of utilitarian calculation that blurs the limits between professional and personal, labor and leisure, interest and disinterestedness, has been repeatedly described as a crucial aspect of neoliberalism. In the realm of contemporary art, which is often described as an exemplary case, it is said that market expertise has replaced critical, aesthetic judgment. However, what if this mode of market expertise and, more broadly, neoliberal reason as such have more in common with aesthetic judgment than one might usually imagine? Can an economic rationality no longer centered on possession but rather on appearance still be described as utilitarian? In which sense can we even call it economic?
PEDRO ERBER is an associate professor in the Department of Romance Studies and director of the East Asia Program at Cornell University. He is the author of Breaching the Frame: The Rise of Contemporary Art in Brazil and Japan (University of California Press, 2015), Política e verdade no pensamento de Martin Heidegger (Loyola/PUC-Rio, 2004), and numerous articles on art and aesthetics, literature, philosophy, and political thought.