Sam Lewitt will be co-leading a seminar with Jenny Jaskey on materialism for graduate students in the Hunter College Department of Art & Art History. He will also select and introduce the next volume of the Pocket Institute book series. Each Pocket Institute contains a single essay that, due to the nature of its initial circulation or the author’s academic or professional discipline, may otherwise be hard to find
or easy to overlook.
Professors: Sam Lewitt and Jenny Jaskey
Students: Amra Causevic, Clara Chapin Hess, Olivia Divecchia, Michael DiPietrantonio, Tom Morrill, Chris Murtha, Jason Rondinelli, Stewart Stout, Maya Yadid
Materialism has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people throughout the history of thought. Some have claimed the term as an orientation toward matter’s physical constituents as the substantial ground of being. Others see materialism as concerned fundamentally with social relations—how humans produce and reproduce the material requirements of life. Using works of art, literature, film, and critical texts as our guide, this class will examine historical and neo-materialist approaches to art practice and aesthetic theory. Readings will include Karen Barad, Alexander Bogdanov, Christoph Cox, Keller Easterling, Elizabeth Grosz, Hans Haacke, Manuel de Landa, Catherine Malabou, Andreas Malm, Karl Marx, and Alfred Sohn-Rethel, among others.
Reading List (updated every week as the class progresses):
Sam Lewitt, “A Questionnaire on Materialisms” in October, No. 155
Christoph Cox, Jenny Jaskey, Suhail Malik, “Introduction” in Realism Materialism Art
V.I. Lenin, “A. Bogdanov’s Empirio-Monism” in Materialism and Empirio-Criticism
Keller Easterling, “Introduction” in Extrastatecraft: The Power of infrastructure space
Karl Marx, “A Critique of the German Ideology”
Melanie Gilligan and Marina Vishmidt, “Economic Subjectivities and Crisis”