Speculation, Now

Essays and Artwork

Speculation, Now

Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: 60 color illustrations Published: March 2015

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Sociology > Social Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Critical Theory

Interdisciplinary in design and concept, Speculation, Now illuminates unexpected convergences between images, concepts, and language. Artwork is interspersed among essays that approach speculation and progressive change from surprising perspectives. A radical cartographer asks whether "the speculative" can be represented on a map. An ethnographer investigates religious possession in Islam to contemplate states between the divine and the seemingly human. A financial technologist queries understandings of speculation in financial markets. A multimedia artist and activist considers the relation between social change and assumptions about the conditions to be changed, and an architect posits purposeful neglect as political strategy. The book includes an extensive glossary with more than twenty short entries in which scholars contemplate such speculation-related notions as insurance, hallucination, prophecy, the paradox of beginnings, and states of half-knowledge. The book's artful, nonlinear design mirrors and reinforces the notion of contingency that animates it. By embracing speculation substantively, stylistically, seriously, and playfully, Speculation, Now reveals its subversive and critical potential.

Artists and essayists include William Darity Jr., Filip De Boeck, Boris Groys, Hans Haacke, Darrick Hamilton, Laura Kurgan, Lin + Lam, Gary Lincoff, Lize Mogel, Christina Moon, Stefania Pandolfo, Satya Pemmaraju, Mary Poovey, Walid Raad, Sherene Schostak, Robert Sember, and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss.

Published by Duke University Press and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School


"[A]n eloquent and intricate political work of art and writing."
  — Marc Tremblay, Broken Pencil

"Speculation can only occur in the course of action, in the heat of practice, in the thick of experience. [It] is immanent critique, insofar as it does not seek to distance itself from experience but rather to intervene . . . through a particular form of disciplined action. Hannah Arendt famously distinguished action from behavior, by remarking that genuine action begins something new in the world. So does speculation, as the many projects, art works, and arguments in this book so vividly illustrate." — Arjun Appadurai, from the foreword


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Price: $29.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The New School.

Prem Krishnamurthy, a designer and curator based in New York, is a founder of the award-winning design studio Project Projects.

Carin Kuoni is Director and Curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, a public research laboratory dedicated to exploring the relationship between political and aesthetic practices.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Carin Kuoni 10

Speculation, Now / Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao 14

Design Notes / Prem Krishnamurthy 26

Visible and Invisible Sides of Reproduction / Boris Groys 33

Dreams, Magic, and Mirrors: More Histories of Extraversion and Speculation in Central Africa / Filip De Boeck 40

Hedge/Hog: Speculative Action in Financial Markets / Satya Pemmaraju 52

Preface to the third edition / Walid Raad 60

The Ethics of Deep Time / Trevor Paglen 70

Colors, Cash, Fabric, and Trim: Fast-fashion Families in Downtown L.A. / Christina Moon 73

Synchronicities / Sherene Schostak 86

Post-Racial America? Addressing Racial Inequality / Darrick Hamilton and William Darity Jr. 92

Psychics Special / Lin + Lam 104

Speculation with Data: Remittances, Refugees, and Migration / Laura Kurgan 112

Diary: Towards an Architecture of Balkanization / Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss 122

Image: Visual Speculation and Political Change / Victoria Hattam 139

Night Thoughts: Unintended Consequences in the Modern Economy / Mary Poovey 142

On the Matter of Change: Three Scenes of Collective Action / Robert Sember 146

over/sight / Lize Mogul 156

The Barzakh of the Image and the Speculative Scene of Possession / Stefania Pandolfo 168

Taking a Trip / Gary Lincoff 188

The Paradox of Beginnings / Angie Keefer and Lucy Skaer 204

Speculation, After the Fact / Arjun Appadurai 206

!?!?. . . / Hans Haacke 210

Speculation Now: The Expanded Field 220

Biographies 234

Acknowledgments 250

Vera List Center for Art and Politics 252

Considering Forgiveness 254

Index 256

Photo Credits 270

Colophon 272
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5829-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5815-2
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