The Idea of the Avant Garde - And What It Means Today is premised on the view that the avant garde has an increased importance in these times of global political crisis. Much cultural production today is shaped by a biopolitics that construes all creative and knowledge production in terms of capital accumulation. A different kind of culture is possible. This collection of writings, essays, interviews and artworks by many of today's most radical cultural practitioners and astute commentators on matters avant garde mediates the different strategies and temporalities of avant-garde art and politics. Tracing diverse genealogies and trajectories, the book offers an inter-generational forum of ideas that covers different arts fields, from visual art, art activism, photography, film and architecture, to literature, theatre, performance, intermedia and music.
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Marc James Léger is an Independent Scholar. He is author of 'Brave New Avant Garde' (2012) and 'The Neoliberal Undead' (2013), both from Zero Books, as well as 'Drive In Cinema: Essays on Film, Theory and Politics' (Intellect, 2015).
In the age of deception, when everything presents itself as something else, where militants perform as artists and business people imagine themselves as revolutionaries, can we still recognize the 'avant garde'? This highly informative anthology engages several generations of artists and thinkers to question the meaning and identity of the avant garde in a post-everything world of blurred horizons, distorted perspectives, and disguised authorities.
- Eda Čufer, dramaturg and founding member of NSK
The avant garde never gives up! Léger's excellent anthology gives ample proof that the struggle to bring aesthetic transformation to everyday life, and to bring everyday struggles into aesthetic transformation is alive and well and taking on ever new forms. Every aspiring avant-gardist could learn a thing or two from this book. Study it, steal from it, stick it in the blender and concoct your mix with some new ingredients. The world needs the avant-garde spirit now more than ever.' -- McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto and The Beach Beneath the Street
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