he Idea of the Avant Garde: And What It Means Today 2

The Idea of the Avant Garde-And What it Means Today 2


We are happy to announce that the book accompanying our 2018 programme, The Idea of the Avant Garde is now available from Intellect books.

Editor: Marc James Léger
Contributors: Martha Rosler, Sven Lütticken, David Cunningham, David Thomas, Massimo Ricci, Pauline Oliveros, John Tilbury, Richard Barbrook, Gabriel Rockhill, Machete Group, Mark Hutchinson, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Gavin Grindon, Marcelo Expósito, Mckenzie Wark, Sylvère Lotringer, Patricia Ybarra, Kelly Copper, Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, Robert Wilson, Carrie Noland, Lucien Kroll, HANS ULRICH OBRIST, V. Mitch McEwen and Dawn Lundy Martin, Lina Stergiou, Eda Čufer, MAP Office, Oliver Ressler, Condé + Beveridge, Edith Brunette with François Lemieux, Freee, Zoe Beloff, Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, Dread Scott, Matthew Shipp, Carla Harryman, Niall McDevitt, Joshua Clover, Marijeta Bozovic, Jessica Zychowicz, Benjamin Noys, Fabio Vighi, Philippe Theophanidis, Jean-Marie Straub, Alfredo Jaar, David Walsh, Bruno Bosteels.
Language: English
Paperback: – black and white
Cover design: Karine Savard
Publisher: NeMe and Intellect (2019)
ISBN: 9781789380880

The concept of the avant garde is highly contested, whether one consigns it to history or claims it for present-day and future uses. The first volume of The Idea of the Avant Garde—And What It Means Today provided an unprecedented forum on the kinds of radical art theory and partisan practices that are possible in today’s world of global art markets and creative industry entrepreneurialism. This second volume presents the work of 50 artists and writers who explore the diverse ways that today’s avant-gardism renews the project of aesthetic and political praxis. The manifest strategies, temporalities and genealogies of avant-gardism are expressed through an international, inter-generational and interdisciplinary convocation of ideas that covers the fields of film, video, architecture, visual art, art activism, literature, poetry, theatre, performance, music and intermedia.

More than one hundred years after the eruption of Dada and fifty years after its loudly proclaimed death, the spectre of the avant garde returns in renewed and vibrant forms. This excellent collection gives an overview of just how and why an experimental artistic politics is important.1Stevphen Shukaitis, author of The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde

One hundred years after the October Revolution, why does art continue to be meaningful in terms of ideological disruption, that is, in avant-garde terms? If you are looking to understand this question, The Idea of the Avant Garde—And What It Means Today is the place to start. Navigating the decade marked by the financial apocalypse of 2008, this forum introduces the twenty-first century anti-capitalist zeitgeist in no uncertain terms: art reserves the right to not let us lose sight of what is wrong, who is responsible and what it means to take sides.2Angela Dimitrakaki, author of Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative: A Materialist Feminist Critique

Buy the book from Intellect.

Table of Contents

  1. Marc James Léger. “The Idea of the Avant Garde”
  2. Martha Rosler. “Take the Money and Run: Can Political and Socio-Critical Art ‘Survive’?”
  3. Sven Lütticken. “Permanent Cultural Revolution”
  4. David Cunningham. “Elementary”
  5. David Thomas. “We Know What We’re Doing”
  6. Massimo Ricci. “Just Another Establishment Ultra-red Ways of Listening: Socially-Practiced Art and Solidarity”
  7. Pauline Oliveros. “Quantum Avant Garde”
  8. John Tilbury. “18 Questions”
  9. Richard Barbrook. “Ludic Training for the Situationist Revolution”
  10. Gabriel Rockhill. “The Theoretical Destiny of the Avant Garde”
  11. Machete Group. “What Does the Avant Garde Mean Today?”
  12. Mark Hutchinson. “For the Avant Garde: Notes on Art, Capitalism and Revolution”
  13. Chika Okeke-Agulu. “The Spectral Avant Garde”
  14. Gavin Grindon. “Disobedient Objects”
  15. Marcelo Expósito. “Festive Disorder, Subjective Mutation and Revolutionary Becoming”
  16. McKenzie Wark. “#Marx21c”
  17. Sylvère Lotringer. “After the Avant Garde”
  18. Patricia Ybarra. “‘The Whole Thing Is Over by Nine O’Clock’: The Rude Mechs’s Adaptation of Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces”
  19. Kelly Copper. “On the Perverse Pleasures of Indifference”
  20. Morgan von Prelle Pecelli. “Seeing What’s Really There: A Talk with Richard Foreman”
  21. Robert Wilson. “Construction in Time and Space”
  22. Carrie Noland. “Experimental Living: Westbeth Artists Housing, Merce Cunningham, and Me”
  23. Lucien Kroll. “Revolutionary Homeopathic Engineering and Empathetic Architecture”
  24. Hans Ulrich Obrist. “A Conversation with Raoul Vaneigem”
  25. V. Mitch McEwen and Dawn Lundy Martin. “On the House Opera | Opera House in Detroit”
  26. Lina Stergiou. “Praxis: The Everyday NOT as Usual”
  27. Eda Čufer. “Feelings and Territories: Makrolab’s Avant-Garde Inquiries”
  28. MAP Office. (Gutierrez + Portefaix) “Urban Spectacle in Post (Socialist) China and Other Illuminations”
  29. Oliver Ressler. “Socialism Failed, Capitalism Is Bankrupt. What Comes Next?”
  30. Condé + Beveridge. “Cultural Relations”
  31. Edith Brunette (with François Lemieux). “The Imaginary Exit of Disengagement”
  32. Freee. “The New Freee Manifesto”
  33. Zoe Beloff. “The Advanced Guard and the Rearview Mirror”
  34. Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping. “The Teachable Life-or-Death of Ferguson”
  35. Dread Scott. “Revolutionary Archive”
  36. Marc James Léger. “Austerity and Impunity, and a Few Words with Theodore A. Harris”
  37. Matthew Shipp. “Language Out of the Abyss”
  38. Carla Harryman. “DISK”
  39. Niall McDevitt. “Contra Avant-Garde or Why Poets Should Reclaim the Avant Garde from the Academics
  40. Joshua Clover. “The Genealogical Avant Garde”
  41. Marijeta Bozovic. “Poetry on the Front Line: Kirill Medvedev and a New Russian Poetic Avant Garde”
  42. Jessica Zychowicz. “FE/M/EN and the Avant Garde: Locating the Text”
  43. Marc James Léger. “A Punk Prayer to the Lack of Reality”
  44. Benjamin Noys. “Epic Fails: Scale, Commodity, Totality”
  45. Fabio Vighi. “Capture and Symptom in Leos Carax’s Holy Motors”
  46. Philippe Theophanidis. “Godard Avant-Gaze”
  47. Jean-Marie Straub. “The Bach Film”
  48. Alfredo Jaar. “The Marx Lounge”
  49. David Walsh. “To Create a Genuine Artistic ‘Avant Garde’ Means Confronting Critical Historical Issues”
  50. Bruno Bosteels. “Three Paradoxes of Communist Art”


  1. Stevphen Shukaitis, author of The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde
  2. Angela Dimitrakaki, author of Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative: A Materialist Feminist Critique
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