Grey Room no. 91: Plan and Council

The new issue of Grey Room contains my article “Plan and Council: Genealogies of Calculation, Organization, and Transvalation.” Responding to the renewed discourse on socialist calculation and economic planning in the context of Big Data, this text revisits debates on plans and on workers’ councils, with particular focus on the role of aesthetics and visualization—from Gerd Arntz and Otto Neurath in the 1920s and 1930s to recent projects by artists such as Jonas Staal and Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann. If the texts appears to resonate somewhat with my recent October essay on organizational aesthetics, this is not entirely coincidental: the plan is that they become the basis for consecutive chapters in the second volume of Forms of Abstraction—at some point, if there is enough interest to warrant the effort.

Images: Gerd Arntz in Die proletarische Revolution (1927); Make Amazon Pay campaign designed by Jonas Staal.