BETH HINDERLITER
,
WILLIAM KAIZEN
,
VERED MAIMON
,
JALEH MANSOOR
,
AND
SETH MCCORMICK
Introduction
COMMUNITIES OF SENSE
The essays collected in Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics and
Politics are grounded in recent theoretical thinking on aesthetics, poli-
tics, and the problem of community within globalization. Over the last
several decades, cultural production has often been described using
terms such as postcritical and postideological. These terms suggest that
the ways in which the relationship between aesthetics and politics has
been formulated since the 1960s are no longer viable in the current
political climate. At the same time, they foreclose the investigation
of the immanence of aesthetics and politics to each other. Following
Jacques Rancière’s theorization of democratic politics, the contributors
here argue for a new understanding of the relations between politics and
aesthetics by suggesting that aesthetics, traditionally defined as the
‘‘science of the sensible,’’ is not a depoliticized discourse or theory of art,
but a factor of a specific historical organization of social roles and
communality. Rather than formulating aesthetics as the Other to poli-
tics, the essays that follow show that aesthetics and politics are im-
bricated in the constitution of specific orders of visibility and sense
through which the political division into assigned roles and defined
parts manifests itself.
This collection seeks to locate Rancière’s relevance to contemporary
art theory and practice in what might be called the hidden vanishing
point of both avant-garde art and Rancière’s political philosophy:
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