What was once proven can now only be imagined: Overall I am satisfied

Luke Pendrell

Research output: Working paper


In this paper I argue that the Art School, in its various incarnations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, was, not just a site of personal transformation but of radical societal change. Offering crucibles of experimentation and radical visions of what the world could be, and might be constructed, in spaces in which it was possible to “desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future”[1] Such places if not already gone are under pressure. Out of step with a culture in which as Wendy Brown notes “social equality, liberty, and worldly development of mind and character are outmoded and have been displaced by another set of metrics: income streams, profitability, technological innovation.”[2] An education culture of league tables, excellence frameworks of personal entrepreneurial ‘success’ and ‘student satisfaction’ In this paralysis of the cultural imaginary it has been recently argued that, “the future has been cancelled.”[3] Can a reconfigured “Art school” side step nostalgia and be utilised in the conception of radical new structures? By taking Ranciere’s conception of a “critical art” to “produce a new perception of the world, and therefore to create a commitment to its transformation.” How can we re-engineer the future in the neoliberal value system? The solution seems obvious: In order to reengineer the future we must first reimagine it. [1] Walter Gropius “Bauhaus Manifesto and Program” 1919 [2] Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution - Zone Books [3] #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics, Alex Williams & Nick Srnicek, 14 May 2013
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'What was once proven can now only be imagined: Overall I am satisfied'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this