Tom Holert (Berlin)
Financialization, Visuality, Biopolitics
The ongoing «financial crisis» demonstrates not only that the redistribution of social wealth from below to above has historically reached a new stage. It additionally makes evident that individuals as well as collectives are by now largely subordinate to the financial and economic logics of speculation, investment, credit and risk. This process of the financialization of life has to date provoked widely diverse aesthetic reactions. The approaches oscillate between documentary-based analyses of the financial system and fictional stories about the crisis. Using select examples (including videos by the Canadian artist Melanie Gilligan), this lecture will discuss the images and forms that we owe to the artistic examination of the biopolitical consequences of financialization, and what contribution they make to a critique of 21st century catastrophe capitalism.
Tom Holert is an art historian, a cultural studies scholar and an artist. He is a founding member of the Academy of the Arts in Cologne and an honorary professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Recent publications include: Regieren im Bildraum (2008); Das Erziehungsbild. Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen (ed. with Marion von Osten, 2010); and Distributed Agency, Design’s Potentiality [Civic City Cahier 3] (2011). He is currently working on a book manuscript about the interconnections between art, research and pedagogy in the 1960s and '70s.