PRINT March 2013


Photograph of the mining town of Omarska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, entered into court records in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, July 26, 1996. From Forensic Architecture (Centre for Research Architecture/Working Group Four Faces of Omarska/Monument Group), “The Omarska Memorial in Exile” project.

Art, today, has the task of answering to this world or of answering for it.
—Jean-Luc Nancy


In our age of fatigue and collapse, it is harder than ever to know what we mean when we speak about “art.” Art has always been entangled with power, its autonomy and self-definition thus perpetually troubled. But today, as finance capitalism displays a baffling and disastrous vitality in the face of its triumphant failure and annihilates its last vestiges of moral legitimacy, the art world’s deep interdependence with the sectors of society benefiting most from the crises caused by capital—from the debt-induced deterioration of labor, the elimination of the middle class, and the global commerce of war to the fracking of our natural environment—has become obvious, a scandalous fact. What, if anything, can art do in the face of such crises? What are art’s responsibilities in this brave new world?

Doubts concerning the ethical integrity—and even necessity—of art are nothing new, of course. Their pedigree stretches back to various radical gestures of denigration and rejection throughout the twentieth century. An anti-art stance has long converted distrust in the institution of art into new possibilities for action, motivating the historical shift from art reflecting on reality to art producing realities. Such practices might include Russian Productivism, Warhol’s Factory, the Situationist International, Tucumán Arde, and, more recently, Christoph Schlingensief’s expansions of film, theater, and performance. All these attempted, in various ways, to merge art and life; and around the world today, the numerous collectives engaged with politics, pedagogy, and research have integrated such a merging into a uniquely contemporary anticapitalist activism. These recent endeavors push the art object into political and performative acts, producing what theorist Brian Holmes calls transdisciplinary “eventwork.” In this model, artists invest their energies in social movements for the sake of goals that—as political events—necessarily lie beyond the art world as such, as well as beyond the lifestyles and false moral composure of the superrich class this world helps sustain.

But the unique challenges facing such work were made all too clear by the three large-scale European curatorial projects of the past summer—Manifesta 9, Documenta 13, and the Seventh Berlin Biennale, each of which took as its subject the issue of art’s responsibility to address economic and social concerns. In their scathing review of these exhibitions, artists Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann proclaimed that because any “critique” of capitalism pursued by artists, curators, and theorists is usually spawned within the contemporary bourgeoisie (and therefore remains firmly grounded in the art world as we know it), such critique is not capable of bringing about structural political change “but is first and foremost a question of the political ethics of each individual protagonist.”1 One way of understanding their response is that there is simply no time for art right now. Because of the pervasiveness of neoliberal ideologies, in which creativity in the service of life has merely become another tool of capitalism, the contemporary modes of art-as-critique—the assumption that art can intervene in life in such a way that artistic acts are mapped directly onto social effects—are condemned to be immediately co-opted by the very structures they ostensibly seek to resist or subvert. And so calls for artistic responsibility today typically ask not so much to merge art and life but to leave art behind altogether.

It is no surprise, then, that the burden of responsibility is linked to fantasies of fight and escape. In a lecture on “Exit Strategies,” delivered at the third congress of the multinational research and curatorial project Former West in Utrecht, the Netherlands, last September, theorist and curator Stephen Wright offered sweeping “escapologist” observations on the need to radically dislocate art from its current place in the world.2 Arguing that art’s complicity and heteronomy leave it no meaningful, transformative function, he encouraged artists to abandon the institutional theory of art, which is based on the assumption of an ontological difference between what is denominated as art, on the one hand, and nonart, on the other. For Wright, this division prevents art from becoming socially and politically useful. It has already been overcome, he claims, by artists such as Walid Raad and his Atlas Group project of ambiguously fictional historiography; the online video archive, based in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Berlin, with its focus on topics such as the Kashmiri conflict and HIV/AIDS activism in India; and Jonas Staal and his New World Summit, which convenes political organizations that have been placed on international “terrorist lists.” As Wright says, all of these practices “seem to be seeking to escape performative and ontological capture as art altogether.” In other words, the responsibility of art is to get rid of itself. Art, in escaping from its categorization as such, does not merge with the world as it is but instead promises nothing less than the possibility of new worlds.

Anna Jermolaewa, Methods of Social Resistance on Russian Examples, 2012, video, color, sound, 90 minutes. Shown at “Truth Is Concrete,” Graz, Austria, 2012.

But the irony of Wright’s strategy is that any flight from the institution of contemporary art necessarily entails a negotiation and exploration of its borders. Therefore, the question of whether or not such practices should still be considered art is increasingly irrelevant: Their efforts to escape will inevitably result in a return to art, even if producing an advanced mode of artmaking or a different, elaborated version of aesthetics. If merging art and life threatens simply to replicate the systems that radical art practices hope to overturn, leaving art behind is itself impossible. In this sense, the contemporary call to responsibility must retain some notion of the category of art, exploiting its productive friction with reality—and thereby generating significant forms of distance and reflection between them. It is from these crucial gaps and intervals that new modes of responsibility may emerge.

The titles of three recent books serve to illustrate this exploration of the distances and proximities between art and life: Suzanne Lacy, the feminist performance and Conceptual artist, dubbed a 2010 collection of her writings Leaving Art and spoke in a “triple entendre” about the remainders of “transient and public practices,” the “sources outside of art history and theory” that inform “public practices,” and the exploration of “issues and themes within the art/life continuum,”3 an apt description for the space of activist art and political aesthetics. Art historian Pamela M. Lee named her new collection of essays on aesthetics in times of globalization Forgetting the Art World. Here she describes a kind of forgetting that is less about leaving art behind than about acknowledging “both its ubiquity and the continuity of its techniques with a world that we once thought it surveyed, as if existing ‘down below.’”4 For Lee, the very exhaustion and frustration with the art world is caused by its unavoidably all-encompassing character. And Lee’s fellow art historian David Joselit, in his 2012 book After Art, proposes to think about contemporary art in terms of “afterimage,” as “reverberations” of its own global and local connectivity.5 Lacy, Lee, and Joselit all address a prevalent desire to escape the protocols and power games of the art world, its self-indulgence and its complicity with the global oligarchies, as well as its precarious economy of infinite temporary work. At the same time, they argue against illusory acts of disavowal. For them, neither art nor the art world can (or should) be simply left behind. “Instead,” Joselit writes, “we must recognize and exploit its potential power in newly creative and progressive ways.”6

In order to explore this simultaneous frustration with and fidelity to the prevailing institutional and conceptual frameworks of art, contemporary theater scholar Hans-Thies Lehmann has proposed a distinction between an “aesthetics of insurrection” (Ästhetik des Aufstands) and an “aesthetics of resistance” (Ästhetik des Widerstands).7 The latter both disturbs and reflects on the social and discursive conditions of the production of art; it entangles art and non-art, aesthetics and politics, while still maintaining a distance from the purely political act. Though resistance might effectively deconstruct the framework of art to become increasingly aligned with nonartistic modes of political communication, it would never destroy or abandon the edifice of art for the sake of direct intervention into politics. By contrast, the aesthetics of insurrection actually sacrifices the category of art in favor of action. Such strategies are characterized by the activist creative practices of local and translocal social movements and techniques ranging from documentary video to street art and tactical media. This approach is further marked by a radical indeterminacy between the artistic and the political: Committing an illegal act for the sake of protesting against injustice and abuse of power, whether in the context of Occupy Wall Street, the Los Indignados demonstrations in Spain, or the militant upheavals in Cairo, may—or may not—be considered an artistic act, and this very ambiguity becomes part of the effectiveness of such practice.

However, the relationship between the two modes rendered by Lehmann is not to be thought of as causal or sequential but as synchronous. It is the very coexistence or paradoxical unity of an aesthetics of resistance and an aesthetics of insurrection that characterizes the current moment, in which the politics of activist practice can be seen as legitimate in terms of art while overtly artistic practices may be politically useful.

This paradoxical unity may also be found in certain kinds of split subjectivity, in which different political aesthetics coexist in the fields of resistance and insurrection. For example, in 1970, photography critic A. D. Coleman wrote of balancing the artist’s “responsibility” to his or her art, on a creative level, with a social responsibility, on a professional level, to work toward social change.8 More recently, Martha Rosler proposed the notion of the “artist-as-citizen,” which would allow imagining civic engagement independently from the fact that “someone’s art practice is a pole apart from activism or agit-prop.”9 According to these models, questions about the ontology of art—either in terms of exit and flight or in an attempt to salvage artistic methodologies of reflexivity, ambiguity, or rupture—are a matter of individual intentions. In other words, the future of art as a way of acting politically lies in the very responsibility of the people who produce, perform, curate, disseminate, communicate, and display art—whatever it is, has been, or will no longer be.

Walid Raad/The Atlas Group, My neck is thinner than a hair: Engines (24 December 1983) (detail), 2001–2003, one hundred digital prints, each 9 7/8 x 13 3/4".


Even if the category of art is retained—in subjectivity and practice alike—there are those who would, conversely, deny art’s responsibility tout court. One common response to questions about artistic responsibility is that art, as a quintessentially nonconformist endeavor, should be granted the right to act irresponsibly, since one of its fundamental roles is to fly in the face of social norms and conventions of moral consensus. The complexity of art’s meaning cannot and should not be reduced to the consolidated talking points of politics. Adorno thus famously posited irresponsibility as a fundamental quality of art in his Aesthetic Theory: “Art is in any case irresponsible as delusion, as spleen, and without it there is no art whatsoever.” Yet he nonetheless advocated a dialectical tension between demands of responsibility and irresponsibility, between the burden of guilt in the knowledge of suffering and the irresponsible play, which absolves art “of the guilt of its semblance.”10 Art can take responsibility, but it need not do so in the linear ways that the law does. Artists can imagine conditions outside the confines of reality, in a way that mirrors the uncertainty of contemporary art’s current situation: one ineluctably double-bound between art and non-art, autonomy and heteronomy, spleen and activism, an aesthetics of resistance and an aesthetics of insurrection.

More recently, it has become common to object to the demand for responsibility via a critique of participatory and political art, as most succinctly formulated by Claire Bishop in her 2012 volume Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. Here, Bishop associates responsibility with the much-discussed “ethical turn” in arts and politics, whereby both realms are regulated and circumscribed by the social obligation to act responsibly. For Bishop and others, philosopher Jacques Rancière’s condemnation of the redistribution of art and aesthetics “between a vision of art dedicated to the service of the social bond and another that de-dedicates it to the interminable witnessing of the catastrophe”11 has become a default argument for dismissing gestures of responsibility wherever they emerge in contemporary art, particularly in what is called social practice or community art, as either too facile or too beholden to prevailing moral standards.

But the roots of the reaction against responsibility could be located at the deeper level of contemporary government itself. A key concept in this respect is the rather clumsy-sounding term responsibilization, which sociologist Ronen Shamir, referring to Michel Foucault’s theory of neoliberal governmentality, describes as being “premised on the construction of moral agency as the necessary ontological condition for ensuring an entrepreneurial disposition in the case of individuals and socio-moral authority in the case of institutions.”12 Responsibility is thus no longer about ethics but has become a “technique of governance”: If we are responsible, we are good citizens and consumers. The contemporary politics of advanced liberalism promotes the ideal of the “responsible citizen” who no longer depends solely on the state and its institutions but obeys the rules of “ethical consumption”; commits herself to a lifestyle based on ecologically sound, fair-trade products; and works as a volunteer in her local co-op. The tacit consent of responsible citizenship is one of the prime ideological measures of neoliberal societies.

Yet in the current moment, it seems necessary to think differently about responsibility. And there is ample evidence that art and artists are developing their own antinormative versions of the concept. Thomas Keenan has eloquently defined such a new understanding of responsibility as entailing “the removal of grounds, the withdrawal of the rules or the knowledge on which we might rely to make our decisions for us.”13 Such a redefinition of and reengagement with responsibility might yield a new understanding of the concept as destabilizing and transgressive, rather than an all too easy “for” or “against,” guilty or innocent. Indeed, in discussions of contemporary art’s instrumentality, the complexity of ethical discourse is grossly underestimated, which makes it difficult to conceive of responsibility beyond obvious moral exhortations, consensus views, religious pressures, or legal discourse. But instead of driving art away from the realm of aesthetics into the territory of politics and morality, a territory of simplistic decisions, responsibility could be reimagined as a situation of undecidability. Just as new forms of distance might be explored between art and reality, so too responsibility might be reframed as a heuristic and performative notion—an arena of indeterminacy, of possible experimentation.

Paweł Althamer, Draftsmen’s Congress, 2012, mixed media. Installation view, St. Elisabeth’s Church, Berlin. From the 7th Berlin Biennale.


Rethinking responsibility could begin by addressing urgency: The term is repeatedly bandied about in discussions about the role of contemporary art and artists in times of crisis. In such moments, existing institutions of social welfare and crisis management are frequently failing or have already been cut back, if not dismantled, and so contemporary art is often called on to take their place as a locus of problem solving—rendered in terms of laboratory, think tank, workshop, school, or urban-renewal agency—and expected to contribute to the amelioration of a given social or political situation. The invocation of urgency is designed to support these demands for art and artists to act in the face of economic, political, and environmental disasters such as 9/11, Fukushima, and the sovereign-debt crisis, not to mention the often imperceptible local repercussions of these large-scale catastrophes.

Sometimes the matter is phrased as a question, in the tradition of Lenin’s “What is to be done?” “Should art help in solving problems that politics and society themselves have ignored for so long?” asked the press release for “Truth Is Concrete,” a multidisciplinary conference organized by curator Florian Malzacher as part of the 2012 Steirischer Herbst festival in Graz, Austria. Here, the stakes were high and the demands immense, as the organizers advocated “art that not only presents and documents but that engages in specific political and social situations.” But many participants, such as artist, writer, and activist Gregory Sholette, emphasized that as much as artists might contribute to social and political struggles, one shouldn’t expect too much of them in terms of immediate, instantly palpable effects. The caveat is timely in every sense of the word, as expectations regarding art as a sociopolitical force tend to wildly overestimate its power and its speed. While disaster relief and peacekeeping need to be instantaneous, such swift responses may not be art’s strength, nor do they necessarily lie within its capacity. Moreover, one must be aware of the ways in which the mandate of urgency both limits and polices—an effect that Jacques Derrida warned against in the war-ridden early 1990s, identifying the temporal trickery whereby the moment when “we feel called upon, ‘live,’ to offer answers or to assume immediate responsibilities” undermines the patience and “esoteric rarity” of reflection and deliberation.14 If art today is similarly constrained—even policed—by the immediacy of responsibility, a form of artistic responsibility must be imagined beyond the time frame of urgency.

Soon after “Truth Is Concrete,” in October 2012, another initiative seemed to offer a way of circumventing some of these limitations through strategies for direct engagement. This was the Creative Time Summit, held in New York and featuring keynote speeches by Rosler and Slavoj Žižek—introduced as voices that “wrestle with the necessity of combining cultural production with political urgency.” The summit coincided with the launch of Creative Time Reports, a global multimedia platform for artists interested in “actively engaging in and commenting on the most pressing issues of our time,” based on the belief “that artists are uniquely capable of inspiring and encouraging a more engaged and informed public.”15

Attempts at direct engagement can be reminiscent of journalism, and indeed this term is commonly used to shrug off documentary and political work, implying that such genres problematically take leave of artists’ core competencies. But the moniker journalism has recently been reappropriated by those who were routinely denigrated by it. The association with journalistic practices such as reportage and eyewitness accounting can also be understood as shifting the aesthetic and ethical ramifications of artmaking—its constant negotiation of the balance between responsibility and irresponsibility—toward a different set of ethics, engaging with new principles of truth and objectivity. While the public image of the news journalist (who is now often seen as too “embedded” to be a reliable source of unbiased information) continues to decline, a new opportunity has emerged for artists to inhabit the position of provider of information and truth.

In many respects, the mission statement of Creative Time Reports coincides with the curatorial agenda of the 2012 Berlin Biennale, where the artist Artur Żmijewski and his collaborators exhorted artists to become politicians, citizens, and journalists who “cover politics.” Tomásˇ Rafa, whose “Art Covers Politics” was part of the biennial, echoed this sentiment: “Artists can be engaged observers, who use their skills to empower the communities they are linked to. No tricky art, no mystery, just pure message, pure information, and easy direct action: art-journalism.”16 Rafa’s assumption that artists can produce a superior, because more “pure,” kind of journalism is problematized by the fact that he does not elaborate on the particular artistic “skills” that might make this possible, and (perhaps inevitably) the Seventh Berlin Biennale is widely considered to have been a failure, in which the art rarely lived up to the radical positioning of the curatorial discourse. Yet its basic vocabulary of responsibility, reality, citizenship, involvement, journalism, politics, and activism seems to have stuck.

Site of Jonas Staal’s New World Summit, Sophiensaele, Berlin, May 4, 2012. From the 7th Berlin Biennale. Photo: Lidia Rossner.

The call to dispense with “tricky art,” however, is just one way of framing art’s relationship to journalism, citizenship, and responsibility. In their 2011 exhibition “All That Fits: The Aesthetics of Journalism” at Quad in Derby, UK, curators Alfredo Cramerotti and Simon Sheikh approached the nexus of art and journalism in a more complex and searching manner than that of the Berlin Biennale. They set out to investigate the production of truth and reality effects at the intersections of a variety of media practices, both inside the art field and beyond. Participating photographers and video artists such as Sammy Baloji, Ursula Biemann, Marcelo Expósito, Lamia Joreige, Oliver Ressler, and Hito Steyerl investigated, often in parajournalistic ways, extremely particular local and translocal events and histories, addressing questions of memory and the documentary function of the image. The show followed Cramerotti’s 2009 book Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing, in which he demanded—citing the controversial gonzo journalism of Dutch filmmaker-artist Renzo Martens as a positive example—a “witness attitude in art,” to inspire an “imaginative reading of what is not directly accessible to the senses.”17 He considers artists capable not only of providing a reflective, critical approach toward the mass-media news industry but of becoming the source of an inquisitive counterknowledge that, through acts of witnessing, reaches beyond the images and the language of news journalism, even if occasionally implementing its formats and strategies of communication. But unlike the quasi-metaphysical “presence” and “testimony” recently invoked by Joselit in these pages in a discussion of witnessing in relation to Thomas Hirschhorn’s immersive environments, in which intensive confrontations with images supposedly “enable witnessing” as a “political form of spectatorship,”18 Cramerotti’s variant of art journalism is not necessarily guided by the idea of “pressure,” the term Joselit gives to the effect caused by the overproduction of Hirschhorn’s environments. In a sense, pressure also partakes of the problematic logic of urgency, demanding a direct and instantaneous response to crisis, while Cramerotti’s approach, following Derrida’s, could be associated instead with patience, precaution, and analysis. This kind of contemplative responsibility (on the part of both artist and viewer) would have more to do with destabilizing the urgent ethical reflex than with fostering a form of witnessing in which immediacy threatens to trump reflection.


It is indisputable, however, that bearing witness implies responsibility. In an age of global testimony and transnational witnessing, the issue of responsibility raises piercing questions concerning just who is doing the witnessing, and under what conditions. From a postcolonial perspective (per Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak), responsibility may be problematic and even dangerous: It “annuls the call to which it seeks to respond,” boiling down to the “reasoned responsibility of Europe to the people of the rest of the world in the interest of the self-determination of international capital.”19 To be responsible (or to ask for “responsible” political art from cultural producers working in “developing” countries or other former colonies) is to presume a position of power. The (Western) arrogance of responsibility must therefore be addressed as much as a lack of responsibility should be forestalled. In the case of artists and audiences (assuming this separation still holds amid the ubiquity of participation and collaboration), calls to respond come from numerous places—many of them inhabited by those interested, openly or furtively, in the unfettered speed and agency of international capital. Yet there are also the demands of those who don’t have a voice, suggesting a dialectic between those who call for responsibility and those to whom this call purportedly responds.

The current globalization of artistic production, then, demands radically expanded orbits of responsibility. So why not go where responsibility, citizenship, public memory, and art meet? In the summer of 2012, a group of artists, researchers, and activists decided to reclaim the spectacular 376-foot-high ArcelorMittal Orbit, a London Olympic landmark designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, completed in 2012, by recasting it as “The Omarska Memorial in Exile.” Since 2004, ArcelorMittal, which considers itself to be the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, has owned 51 percent of the Ljubija mining complex, which included the Omarska mine near Prijedor, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For several months in 1992, this mine was used by Bosnian Serb forces as the site of the most notorious concentration camp of the Bosnian War, and in fact became a crucial point of evidence in subsequent war-crimes trials held by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The company states that it is “fully aware of our responsibilities towards the Municipality in which we operate.” However, not only has it continued to exploit the mine in the presence of mass graves, on the doorstep of the very community that suffered the genocide, but it is also reluctant to build a long-promised memorial for the victims of the war crimes.

Reenactment of the Battle of Berlin, organized by Maciej Mielecki, Spreepark, Berlin, April 29, 2012. From the 7th Berlin Biennale. Photo: Maciej Mielecki.

To point to these “orbits of responsibility” embodied by the spectacular private-public ArcelorMittal Orbit in London, two collectives of artists, theorists, and activists from Belgrade, Graz, and Prijedor, known as Grupa Spomenik (Monument Group) and Working Group Four Faces of Omarska (both groups cofounded by artist Milica Tomić), teamed with researchers from the Forensic Architecture project at the Centre for Research Architecture (Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London), headed by architect and theorist Eyal Weizman. In April 2012, the group took a field trip to Omarska. There they revisited sites of the tragedy, including the infamous “White House,” a building in the mining complex where political prisoners had been held. They also met with a local representative of ArcelorMittal, who made clear that the company would utterly abdicate responsibility, ironically by “not taking sides”—although in such a charged context, to remain neutral is de facto to take a political position. Artist and cultural theorist Susan Schuppli published the disappointing results of this meeting in an article last July.20

But even as the group highlighted the problematic consequences of refusing responsibility, they also questioned the straightforward logic of culpability and paradigm of truth that often drives activist projects. In addition to utilizing established techniques such as photographic documentation, the field trip engaged the site experientially, through firsthand witnessing. It also offered an opportunity to conduct research that could be deployed in further investigation, for example a highly precise three-dimensional scan of the White House that was later used to create digital renderings of the building—the crime scene—and analyze it at a level of detail far beyond that possible using the existing archival photographs presented in court. By opening up Omarska to the subjectivity of individual experience, on the one hand, and the flexibility of new tools and technologies, on the other, the project undermined the assumption that evidence is enough. Even if used in the name of a good cause, this kind of “truth” can repress cultural memories and marginalize certain voices, arresting on what is in fact a dynamic and ever-evolving interchange between historical events and current social conditions.

This campaign to convert a sign of corporate power and nationalism into a memorial for crimes long hidden from public view is an example of working across disciplines, times, and places, radically expanding—but not abandoning—the paradigm of art. It is also a practical, research-based intervention in a highly specific situation in which responsibility is simultaneously being assumed and neglected. The project poses a powerful model for art’s reaction in the face of calls for responsibility: By making the rhetoric and reality of responsibility themselves the subject of reflection and critique, responsible acts do not simply follow from the urgency of a situation that seems to demand them. Yet repositioning art as a challenging and reflective practice in an environment driven by a temporality of immediate response will continue to be a daunting task. First, it means coping with the impeachment—in the name of crisis and action—not only of art’s autonomy but of its very existence. And it means asking for a recalibration of the discourse of responsibility itself, with regard to both art’s practice and its reception. For responsibility might reach far beyond the logic of good governance or Manichaean ethics. Rather than a source of certainty, responsibility may be reconceived as an unsettling and transformative ethical force.

Tom Holert is an art historian and critic based in Berlin.

Forensic Architecture (Centre for Research Architecture/Working Group Four Faces of Omarska/Monument Group) on a field trip to Omarska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2012. Photo: Milica Tomic.


1. Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann, “Why Does Bourgeois Society Have Such an Urgent Need for Political Art? Why Now? And in Which Form?” Springerin: Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, Autumn 2012. Online English version, accessed January 2013,

2. Stephen Wright, “Exit Strategies,” keynote address at 3rd Former West Research Congress, part 2, Utrecht, the Netherlands, September 29, 2012, digital video, 73:43,

3. Suzanne Lacy, Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974–2007 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), xiii.

4. Pamela M. Lee, Forgetting the Art World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 186.

5. David Joselit, After Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), 112.

6. Ibid., 96.

7. Hans-Thies Lehmann, “Aesthetics of Revolt? Crossovers Between Politics and Art in New Social Movements,” talk at Foreign Affairs 2012, Berlin, October 10, 2012, digital video, 52:48,

8. A. D. Coleman,“Latent Image,” Village Voice, September 24, 1970.

9. “Talking Politics 2008: An Artists’ Roundtable Moderated by Eleanor Heartney,” Art in America, June/July 2008, 166.

10. Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, ed. Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann, trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 39.

11. Jacques Rancière, “The Ethical Turn of Aesthetics and Politics,” trans. Jean-Philippe Deranty, Critical Horizons 7, no. 1 (2006): 10.

12. Ronen Shamir, “The Age of Responsibilization: On Market-Embedded Morality,” Economy and Society 37, no. 1 (February 2008): 7.

13. Thomas Keenan, Fables of Responsibility: Aberrations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997), 1.

14. Jacques Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, trans. George Collins (London: Verso, 1997), 79.

15. “About Creative Time Reports,” accessed October 2012,

16. “Art Covers Politics,” accessed October 2012,

17. Alfred Cramerotti, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing (Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2009), 104.

18. David Joselit, “Truth or Dare,” Artforum, September 2011, 316.

19. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Responsibility,” Boundary 2 21, no. 3 (1994): 19, 59.

20. See Susan Schuppli, “A Memorial in Exile in London’s Olympics: Orbits of Responsibility,” Open Democracy, July 2, 2012,’s-olympics-orbits-of-responsibility.