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Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture
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Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Art is big business, with some artists able to command huge sums of money for their works, while the vast majority are ignored or dismissed by critics. This book shows that these marginalized artists, the
"dark matter" of the art world, are essential to the survival of the mainstream and that they frequently organize in opposition to it.

Gregory Sholette, a politically enga
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 5th 2011 by Pluto Press (first published December 15th 2010)
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Towards the end of the 1990s the French writers Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello made a convincing case (subsequently picked up and focussed by Pascal Gielen and others in the sociology of art) that the régime of labour in art anticipates the condition of labour for other workers. In this excellent book Greg Sholette develops that analysis further by demanding that we look at immaterial labour in more sophisticated ways. The argument and analysis is shaped by Scholette’s ‘dark matter’ metaphor to ...more
Mar 31, 2011 Shaun rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artist types, folks with half-baked "anti-art" sentiments
Sholette provides an invigorating (if not occasionally dense) investigation into collective and collaborative creative practice in the (primarily American) "Left". Focusing on artists and work from the last thirty years which intelligently and actively seek alternatives to the entrenched "Art World" and "citadel culture", Sholette pinpoints useful critiques and operating points for artists currently grappling with the challenge of working critically from a radical political perspective. There's ...more
CG Fewston

Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (2011) by Gregory Sholette is a collection of essays that distinguish the two classes of art: high/light versus low/dark. High art (light matter) is viewed as all art that is nationalized and well-known. Low art (dark matter) is considered all art that is out there but relatively unknown by the general public but known on a much smaller scale. Gregory explores these issues, as well as the differences between professionals and amateur
Stefan Szczelkun
Sholette seems to veer from a passionate belief in the disturbing, if not revolutionary, power of dark matter: ‘self-organised dark matter inserting itself into the ripped fabric of neoliberal cities, from below’, to ambivalent feelings that perhaps these practices ‘subvert, and yet reinstate’. He seems unsure if these ‘emerging aesthetics of resistance’ are any more than ‘tepid acts of delinquency or even bitter gestures of discontent’. He hopes that they at least provide ‘an expectation’ – but ...more
Didn't exactly rock my world; I read chapters 4-6 (which were useful), skimmed the rest. Overall, too much focus on culture jamming experiments of the past, not enough freshness (the book came out in 2011). I think the central idea of Dark Matter (as in a liminal workforce that has its origins in "outsider art" communities and practices) is highly topical; it's also a highly dynamic work-in-progress, as evidenced on a 24/7 basis via the internet and its face-to-face offshoots -- and the book doe ...more
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