Aesthetics of Existence and the New Spirit of Capitalism
Thomas Khurana (Universität Potsdam), Thomas Khurana (University of Essex, Yale University)

May 13, 2022, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
SPAH, University of Essex

United Kingdom

Topic areas


Contemporary society seems to ask us to constantly renew and re-invent the practices we are involved in and to engage in an ongoing process of self-creation and self-transformation. This general demand which seems in line with the idea of an “art” of second nature, has clearly proven to be problematic, despite the promise of liberation that was once associated with it. The third lecture will elaborate the extent to which the aesthetic notion of second nature can help us understand not only the promise but also the problems, pathologies, and aporias of the aesthetic dispositif. We will explore the ways in which the aesthetic of existence is perverted through becoming the vehicle of a new economic regime. I will defend the notion that the art of second nature still possesses critical resources, even with regard to these forms of “self-actualization” that understand themselves as aesthetic.

Each lecture is one hour, followed by a 45-minute Q&A session. 

If you would like to join this lecture, either in person or via Zoom, please email [email protected] to register.

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May 13, 2022, 2:00pm BST

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