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Speculative Art Histories

Analysis at the Limits

Edited by Sjoerd van Tuinen

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A ‘counter-discourse’ of speculative approaches to art history

Situated at the interface of philosophy, aesthetics and art history, this collection brings together a series of creative responses to the recent speculative turn in Continental philosophy. It gives you both a genealogy of speculative art history and a provocatively experimental counter-discourse of new speculative art histories.

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Introduction, Sjoerd van Tuinen
1. Asynchronous Present Past. Against the Regime of (Aesthetical) Correlationism, Armen Avanessian
2. (Dis)enchanted Taiwanese Cinema, Schizoanalytic Belief, and the Actuality of Animism, Erik Bordeleau
Art Historical Systems: 3. Attractors and Locked-In Art: Art History as a Complex System, Francis Halsall
4. Enduring Habits and Artwares, Adi Efal
5. Mood (Stimmung) / Blandness (Fadeur): On Temporality and Affectivity, Vlad Ionescu
6. The Plasticity of the Real: Speculative Architecture, Elisabeth von Samsonow
7. Expressive Things: Art Theories of Henri Focillon and Meyer Schapiro Reconsidered, Kerstin Thomas
8. Sympathy and Gothic ontology, Lars Spuybroek
9. Serpentine Life: The Nature of Movement in Gothic, Mannerism, and Baroque, Sjoerd van Tuinen
10. Space Always Comes After: It Is Good When It Comes After, It Is Good Only When It Comes After, Andrej Radman
11. Speculation, Critique, Constructivism: Notions for Art History, Kamini Vellodi
12. The Potentiality of Art, the Force of Images, and Aesthetic Intensities, Bertrand Prévost
Experiments: 13. Impossible! Bergson after Duchamp after Caillois, Sarah Kolb
14. Economies of the Wild: Speculations on Constant’s New Babylon and Contemporary Capitalism, Bram Ieven
15. From Etienne Souriau’s L'ombre de Dieu to Mats Ek’s Shadow of Carmen, Fleur Courtois-l'Heureux
Author’s biographies.

About the Author

Sjoerd van Tuinen is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Coordinator of the Centre for Art and Philosophy. He is editor of numerous books, including Deleuze and the Passions (Punctum Books, 2016), Deleuze and The Fold: A Critical Reader (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Deleuze Compendium (Boom, 2009) and De Nieuwe Franse Filosofie (Amsterdam: Boom, 2011). He is the author of Sloterdijk: Binnenstebuiten Denken (Klement, 2004).


It was only a matter of time before the speculative turn in the theoretical humanities reached the rarefied halls of Art History. But here, in this creative and rigorous collection, such an encounter is also seen to be prefigured within the speculative impulses of Art History itself. The essays in this timely volume then perform a twin function: they attend to object-orientated philosophies, anti-correlationist aesthetics and the non-human; but also to that rich counter-tradition of Art History that has always attended to art’s own speculative and inventive becomings. A must read for anyone interested in both the future and other pasts of Art History, but also for those working within the expanded fields of art theory and Contemporary Art.

- Simon O’Sullivan, Goldsmiths College, University of London

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