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You are here: Platypus /Archive for tag Walter Benjamin
Wann immer Adorno sich einem Phänomen nähert, ist seine Methode eine der immanenten dialektischen Kritik. Das Phänomen wird weder als zufällig noch als beliebig betrachtet, sondern als notwendige Erscheinungsform, die die Bedingungen der Möglichkeit für Veränderung anzeigt.
Ein Interview von Steffen Andrae mit dem Historiker und Kracauer-Biographen Jörg Später
Whenever approaching any phenomenon, Adorno’s procedure is one of immanent dialectical critique. The phenomenon is treated as not accidental or arbitrary but as a necessary form of appearance that points beyond itself, indicating conditions of possibility for change. It is a phenomenon of the necessity for change. The conditions of possibility for change indicated by the phenomenon in question are explored immanently, from within. The possibility for change is indicated by a phenomenon’s self-contradictions, which unfold from within itself, from its own movement, and develop from within its historical moment.
HORKHEIMER’S REMARKABLE ESSAY “On the sociology of class relations” (1943) is continuous with Adorno’s contemporaneous “Reflections on class theory” (1942) as well as his own “The authoritarian state” (1940/42), which similarly mark the transformation of Marx and Engels’s famous injunction in the Communist Manifesto that “history is the history of class struggles.”

Panel held as part of the third annual Platypus International Convention, on Saturday, April 30th, 2011, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

After its apparent exhaustion as a project of social transformation, Marxism seems to remain alive as a cultural and hermeneutic endeavor. Self-avowedly Marxist theorists -- Zizek, Badiou, Ranciere -- exert a heavy, if opaque, influence on the self-understanding and practice of contemporary art and inspire research programs in the humanities. Despite its radical appeal, "Marxist" theory may ultimately flatter the political and aesthetic claims of the present. Could investigation of of the now obscure historical Marxist cultural critique of Leon Trotsky, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin bring to recognition, and therein challenge the inadaquecies of the present? What opaque historical transformations does the difficulty of such work indicate? How might the long-abused concepts of autonomy, medium specificity, kitsch, avant garde -- form part of what Marx called the "ruthless critique of the present." What might the problems of aesthetics and culture have to do with the political project of the self-education of the Left?

Panelists:
Omair Hussain
Lucy Parker
Pac Pobric
Bret Schneider

Transcript of Bret Schneider's remarks in Platypus Review #37 (Click below):