On March 14, 2011, Omair Hussain publicly interviewed Robert Pippin, on behalf of Platypus, at an event titled On the Possibility of What Isn’t at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Robert Pippin is a professor on the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, and the author of numerous works on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
Hal Foster is a prominent critic and art historian who contributes regularly to Artforum, New Left Review, and The Nation. He is also an editor of October. In the fall of 2009, he sent out a questionnaire to 70 critics and curators, asking them what “contemporary” means today. Foster notes that the term “contemporary” is not new, but that “What is new is the sense that, in its very heterogeneity, much present practice seems to float free of historical determination, conceptual definition, and critical judgment.” 35 critics and historians attempted to answer to the problems implied in this observation.