Prisms of the Possible

The Machete Group begins with the proposition: theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind. In our continual efforts to investigate the interactions between art, philosophy, and politics, we propose a series of lecture-conversations called “Prisms of the Possible,” which will take place at the Slought Foundation.  At each event, we will select one primary document (text, film, artwork, etc.) whose relevance for the present we plan to interrogate. Each member will then select a prism through which to refract that primary document. Such prisms may be another text or artwork, or simply an idea, a thought, a maxim. Using these prisms, each member will speak for 10-15 minutes, concluding with several questions for conversation. After the prisms have opened up the material, the floor opens for discussion, and Machete members and audience members alike can continue to struggle with ideas, thoughts and images that illuminate our present condition.

A lecture under the rubric of “Prisms of the Possible” was also given by Avi Alpert and Alexi Kukuljevic in Berlin in June 2011, entitled, “A Grey Present: Pessimism, and the Contemporary A video of the event is available here.

Most Recent Event:

Marcuse’s The Aesthetic Dimension:  A Performative Symposium on Art and Politics

Thursday, October 27th, 9pm-11pm
Slought Foundation
4017 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3513

As part of our continual effort to investigate the interactions between art, philosophy, and politics, the Machete Group hosts a presentation/conversation on Marcuse’s The Aesthetic Dimension: Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics (1978) as part of our series, “Prisms of the Possible.”  The goal of this symposium is to stage an aesthetic and theoretical constellation through which we collectively test and explore – with all those in attendance – the performative power of theory.  Each of the three short presentations will function as individual prisms to refract Marcuse’s work and open up possibilities for its use and interpretation – as we struggle with ideas, thoughts and images that speak to our present condition.

Please note:

As this will be a participatory and interactive symposium, attendees are encouraged to review Marcuse’s The Aesthetic Dimension in order to take part in a dynamic public exchange. The text is available here