1st Session (October 18th)

Seeing Socialism: The Aesthetics of the Plan and the Transparency of Politics

Dr. Alberto Toscano
(Goldsmiths, University of London)

6-8pm, Tuesday 18th October
Senate House, Room 264 (2nd Floor)

Dr. Alberto Toscano is Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is perhaps best know for his numerous translations of the work of Alain Badiou. A cultural critic and a philosopher, Dr. Toscano has published books on the philosophical problem of individuation -Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation between Kant and Deleuze (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006)- and on the different readings and misreadings of the concept of fanaticism -Fanaticism: The Uses of an Idea (New York: Verso, 2010)-, as well as authoring articles on a diverse number of topics.

His recent work, from which this talk stems, is on the contemporary status of what Fredric Jameson refers to as 'cognitive mapping.' The project, which is soon to be published as a co-authored book entitled Cartographies of the Absolute (Zero Books), considers contemporary representations of capitalism in film and the visual arts. He is currently working on the relationship between art, political aesthetics and socialist planning, both in the revolutionary art of the 20s and 30s and in later critical debates about communism and 'transparency.'

Recommended reading:

Clark, TJ, Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), Chapter 3.

Stites, Richard, Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), Chapters 7 and 8.

Michelson, Annette (Ed.), Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov (London: Pluto Press, 1984), Dziga Vertov's film manifestos.

All are welcome to attend.

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