PRINT November 2009



László Moholy-Nagy, From the Radio Tower, Berlin, 1928, black-and-white photograph, 13 3/4 x 10 1/4". © 2009 Estate of Moholy-Nagy/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

NOT MORE THAN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS after Artforum’s October issue hit the stands did I receive an e-mail from a friend and colleague expressing some ambivalence about the magazine’s inclusion of excerpts from Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Commonwealth. Absolutely, he said, it’s great to find the political philosophers’ ideas in these pages—but can we in all seriousness share their enthusiastic belief, suggested in a preamble to those excerpts, that the art world today might offer us a reservoir of experimentation “revealing the limits of our imagination and at other times fueling it”? The reality, my correspondent continued, is much bleaker than that. And while Hardt and Negri shouldn’t be taken to task for their optimism with respect to contemporary art practices (since they don’t pretend to have any expertise in this realm), it is nevertheless crucial to recognize that

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