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Art and Multitude

Art and Multitude

Antonio Negri

ISBN: 978-0-745-64899-6

Apr 2011, Polity

224 pages

In Stock



Nine letters on art, written to friends from exile in France in the 1980s. Starting from earlier materialist approaches to art, Negri relates artistic production to the structures of social production characteristic of each historical era. This enables him to define the nature of both material and artistic production in the era of post-modernity and post-Fordism - the era Negri characterizes as that of immaterial labour.

Negri then seeks to define artistic beauty in this new era, and this he does in terms of concepts that have become fundamental to his thinking - singularity, multitude, abstraction, collective work, event, the biopolitical, the common. Art is living labour, and therefore invention of singularity, of singular figures and objects. But this expressive act only achieves beauty when the signs and language through which it expresses itself turn themselves into community, when they are contained within a common project. The beautiful is not the act of imagining, but an imagination that has become action. Art, in this sense, is multitude.

Editor's Note
Author's Introduction
Letter to Gianmarco on the abstract
Letter to Carlo on the postmodern
Letter to Giorgio on the sublime
Letter to Manfredo on collective work
Letter to Massimo on beauty
Letter to Nanni on constructing
Letter to Silvano on the event
Letter to Raul on the body
Letter to Marie-Magdeleine on the biopolitical
Metamorphoses: Art and immaterial labour