This course will explore the notion of dematerialization for understanding the relationship between art and the social relations of production since the 1960s, with special emphasis given to Latin American artists and theorists. Beginning in the 1950s and 60s, artists and industrial designers began to question art’s traditional material supports and the nature of the aesthetic in the increasingly technical and logistical nature of the most advanced forms of production. Our seminar will ask how to understand the relationship between these cultural and socio-economic shifts, particularly as they occurred at the margins of capitalism. Some of the phenomena and questions to be addressed include the re-definition of art; the relationship between materiality and materialism; the place and conception of language in art and in the production of value; the relationship of art and design to information and logistical operations; the techniques, technologies and material processes of labor and its organization; and the way that the socialization of art and of labor have been theorized separately and in relation to one another during this period. The seminar will strive to approach and understand the questions and texts presented through their own vocabulary and context and in relation to an expanded notion of dematerialization in historical, aesthetic, and speculative terms that we will attempt to sketch collectively. Authors may include Karl Marx, Alfred Sohn Rothel, Paolo Virno, Félix Guattari, Suely Rolnik, Waldemar Cordeiro, Oscar Masotta, Benjamin Coriat and Tomás Maldonado.
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