CDS Lectures: Jelena Vesić

Administration of aesthetics

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies

Thu, 2 Apr 2020, 6pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 308 459 303

Amidst the present day operations of speculative finance, the economy culturalizes, while culture is increasingly tied to economic logics and analytics. In this double bind, artistic (allegedly non-alienated and autonomous) activity is transformed into 'exhausting immaterial labour', while conditions for 'regular workers' become increasingly pervaded by ideologies of creativity, free labour and self-management.

How does art-as-ideology inhabit the speech used inside art’s occasions of labour negotiation? How are the modes of production established by means of speech? How do individual actors mediate these processes? Select dramaturgies of communication – non-official, para-legal and p2p agreements towards art production – will capture the terrain of operations of those who live at the bottom of “enterprise Culture” – independent writers, freelance teachers, experimental curators, critically oriented visual artists, leftist intellectuals, alternative theatre troupes, independent critics, essayists, columnists, etc. For the actors in this field, contemporary life is marked by the nominalism of keywords and terms, by tag cloud mentalities and excesses of networked communication that transform all its participants into “linguistic animals” – shaped and limited by a specific matrix of language.

Jelena Vesić  is independent curator, writer, editor and lecturer, who is based in Belgrade. She was co-editor of Prelom – Journal of Images and Politics (Belgrade) 2001–2009 and co-founder of independent organization Prelom Collective (Belgrade) 2005–2010, active in the field  of publishing, research and exhibition practice that intertwines political theory and contemporary art. She is also co-editor of Red Thread  – Journal for social theory, contemporary art and activism, (Istanbul) since 2009 and member of editorial board of Art Margins (MIT Press).

In her research, she explores the relations between art and ideology in the fields of geopolitical art history writing; experimental art and exhibition practices of the 1960s and 1970s in former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe; practices of self-organisation and self-management in contemporary cognitive capitalism, etc. Her curatorial practice often experiments with frameworks, methodologies, and contextual and collaborative aspects of art. (

Jelena Vesić "Administration of aesthetics”