The Conspiracy of Art

An almost obvious, art school classic, and sometimes therefore overlooked as being rich in theory but very little else. Nevertheless, if you aren’t familiar with the essay or its core concepts, it might be fruitful to acquaint yourself because it does relate to the ethos (at least the early ethos) of Grizedale Arts, in which art as a luxury commodity or rarefied object is intended to be overturned, or at the very least, thought about in more imaginative terms. Baudrillard is sharp and humorous, and he speaks here with a firm disregard for the French intellectual establishment, despite now of course being wholly revered by it. His publishing and work with Sylvere Lotringer of Semiotext(e) does suggest new ways of thinking through the role that art can and does play in the context of the broader economy (financially and of course politically), and the two collaborated closely here, with Lotringer both conceiving and editing the piece. The central argument, and obviously it was initially taken as being wildly provocative, is that contemporary art as it stands no longer has any reason whatsoever to exist. However, as the blurb attests; ‘far from lamenting the "end of art," Baudrillard celebrates art's new function within the process of insider-trading. Art has become transaesthetic, like society as a whole’ - perhaps there is fresh ground for insight to be realised in this.

Critical theory
John Baudrillard

Lawson Park Electronic Library is a Guestroom project for Grizedale Arts, designed and built by Dorian Moore