Art & Science Transdisciplinary Lectures
Pascal Gielen, Sociologist, and Michael Hardt, Philosopher
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Parsons The New School for Design

A new initiative co-organized with the School of Art, Media, and Technology and the Fine Arts Program Parsons, this lecture series captures the increasingly trans-disciplinary nature of scientific, academic, artistic and cultural practices and, in particular, focuses on the complex cross-disciplinary settings for art’s production in contemporary life. Clustered around specific subjects such as geophysics, system theory, economics, and the physics of time, the lectures are presented in thematic pairs, one week apart from one another. Members of The New School’s acclaimed faculty alternate with external scholars, experts and artists. All lectures are open to the public.

In a double lecture and discussion Pascal Gielen and Michael Hardt discuss the role and the functioning of the art world from a philosophical and a sociological perspective. Gielen describes the art scene as a perfect production unit for economic exploitation in the contemporary network society as he searches for possibilities for artistic freedom in our Post-Fordist work contexts. Michael Hardt responds and argues that the Post-Fordist context offers the possibility of art as biopolitical production. He is asking the question whether artistic skills and talents can be deployed in a democratic project of the defense, production and distribution of the common.

This event is paired with a lecture by curator Okwui Enwezor, presented on November 2, 2010.


Pascal Gielen is Professor of Sociology of the Arts at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. The director of the research group and book series Arts in Society, Gielen has written and co-authored several books on contemporary art, cultural heritage and cultural politics. In 2009, he edited the book Being An Artist in Post-Fordist Times (with Paul De Bruyne) and published The Murmuring of the Artistic Multitude. Global Art, Memory and Post-Fordism (Valiz). In 2010, Community Art and Beyond. The Political Potency of Trespassing was published (Valiz), also edited by De Bruyne and Gielen.

Michael Hardt teaches in the Literature Program at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. With Antonio Negri he co-authored Empire (2000), Multitude (2004) and CommonWealth (2009).

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