2015 Monday June 15 at 20h ~ Benjamin Noys: Matters of Acceleration & Abstraction. Invited by Bassam el Baroni in the context of his seminar Before Art: the problem of abstraction and its contradiction.
Subject to the forces of capitalist abstraction, which renders the world and its contents in terms of value, contemporary artistic, theoretical, and political work has been focused on matter as the site of resistance to this process of abstraction. This resistance takes different forms and directions – from a stress on matter as excessive and vital, in the currents of speculative realism, to a desire to subject matter to abstraction and extraction in new forms, in the currents of accelerationism. Here Benjamin Noys argues, through a consideration of avant-garde and contemporary artistic gestures, that this treatment of matter tends to miss the form of abstraction that we call ‘real abstraction’. This suggests the need to reconsider the form of matter in the regime of contemporary value generation and artistic engagement with this form.