Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones 21

2016 / A periodical focusing on theoretical and critical texts reflecting contemporary art.

The twenty-first edition of the Notebook For Art, Theory and Related Zones is devoted to “Speculation and Art”. It examines the aesthetic and critical implications of what is known as the speculative turn in continental philosophy, represented by currents such as speculative realism, new materialism, objectively oriented ontology and accelerationism. The essays forming the backbone of this edition are the first specialist publications in Czech. They are not limited to documenting the basic trends, but develop these ideas in original ways.

In his introductory essay, Václav Janoščík uses the metaphor of the map and the territory from the novel of that name by Michel Houellebecq to examine the philosophy of Quentin Meillassoux and his demand that we leave our comfort zone for the “great outdoors” that lies beyond the boundaries of thinking and object. Tomáš Hříbek offers a critique of speculative realism and new materialism from the position of the analytical philosophical tradition and looks in detail at the ontology of Graham Harman and its implications for aesthetics. The contribution by Martin Kaplický compares Harman’s thinking with that of Alfred North Whitehead and examines in detail the status of aesthetics in the philosophical systems of both thinkers. Lukáš Likavčan draws on the term “xenorationality” to enrich our understanding of the place of aesthetics within the ideological framework of speculative realism. He looks at the problematic of stepping beyond the boundary of anthropocentrism, which on the one hand is creating an ecological crisis and on the other the development of artificial intelligence.

These four original essays are joined by the translation of a text by Suhail Malik that promotes the liberation of artistic creativity from the correlationism anchored in aesthetic experience, a demand that leads inexorably to the need to destroy contemporary art. This thematic block includes a review by Tereza Stejskalová of the anthology Object, published by Václav Janoščík last year on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name at the Kvalitář Gallery. In a second review Milena Bartlová examines the question of the pathos of the link between research activities with the existential situation of the researcher in the book by Josef Vojvodík and Marie Langerová Pathos in Czech Art, Poetry and Aesthetics in the 1940s.

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VVP AVU 2014