Functions of Art

Funktionen der Künste. Transformatorische Potentiale künstlerischer Praktiken is a new volume edited by Birgit Eusterschulte, Christian Krüger and Judith Siegmund, with a range of contributions examining the dialectic of artistic autonomy and the social functions of (the) art(s). As the book’s title suggests, it’s mostly in German, with the exception of my essay. Titled “To Live Inside the Law,” my text examines functional differentiation and the erosion of value-spheres, and specifically the changing relation between art and the juridical sphere.

Unfortunately, the second page of my text contains a sentence that got mangled so that it now reads the exact opposite of what it should say: “While aiming to redefine power as something that is passed down to atomized subjects or citizens, in a sovereign chain of hierarchical command, rather than investigating it as something that ‘circulates,’ Foucault largely bypasses the question of what happens when sovereignty is redefined as popular sovereignty.” Of course, Foucault aimed to redefine power precisely as something that circulates! I don’t know how this managed to slip through the net, but I blame latecapitalistneoliberalpostfordist exhaustion.

Image: Forensic Architecture at the ICA, London, 2018.