Transformations Journal CFP: "Rancière: Politics, Art and Sense."

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In The Politics of Aesthetics, Jacques Rancière has argued that we need to rethink aesthetics as "the invention of new forms of life" (25). Rejecting the idea that aesthetics should be confined to such questions as the status of the art object and the aestheticisation of politics, Rancière's work opens up aesthetics to a reflection on the possibilities of sense and its distribution in terms of sensible forms and practices. Politics is itself aesthetic in that it requires a sharing of sense in common; art is not the exemplary site of sensory pleasure or the sublime but a critical break with common sense, opening up possibilities of new commonalities of sense. Art as politics is thus a manifestation of what Rancière calls dissensus, or a gap in the sensible itself. Rethinking the avant-garde as "the aesthetic anticipation of the future," (29) Rancière calls for an aesthetics concerned with "the invention of sensible forms and material structures for a life to come" (29). In this issue of Transformations we invite submissions on critical aesthetics along the lines outlined above. We are especially interested in submissions that employ Rancière's ideas in particular artistic and political contexts, both contemporary and historical.

Suggested topics:

- Distributed sense as aesthetic anticipation of the future
- Politics and aesthetics as forms of dissensus
- Technicity and sense as an aesthetic-political problem
- Art as resistance in new media aesthetics
- Bio-art and life to-come
- New media explorations of the senses
- Revision of the Kantian and Hegelian ideas of aesthetics
- Revisiting of the notion of the sublime
- The continuing relevance of the avant-garde


Abstracts (500 words): due 1st May 2010, with a view to submit articles by 1st August.

Abstracts to be sent to Warwick Mules, general editor at

Transformations Journal: