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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


Sven Lütticken Lecture

Art + Research
Thu, Mar 30, 2017
Congressman Inhofe attempts to disprove climate change with his famous snowball. Video still. Courtesy C-SPAN.

As part of the Art + Research Center’s Spring 2017 Semester, “New Social Abstractions,” arts theorist and professor Sven Lütticken will deliver a new public lecture, “Producing Facts: Notes on the Politics of Concrete Abstraction,” at ICA Miami. To learn more, or enroll in workshops conducted by Sven Lutticken, please visit

Producing Facts: Notes on the Politics of Concrete Abstraction

Modern reason is productive and productivist. Its real abstractions have concrete effects—all the more so because various strands of real abstraction become increasingly integrated; the merger of law and technoscience produces, if not monsters, at least Monsanto. This productive reason creates facts—scientific, legal, social, historical facts. As the close etymological connection between terms such as facticity and factitiousness suggests, it is not easy to finely separate the factual from the fake. False concretions can be used to deny much more complex facts: a snowball “disproves” global warming, a sinister conspiracy distracts from systemic issues. As fake news and “alternative facts” triumph, the complexity of facticity is denied. However, ritualistic “fact checking” is in itself not a solution as the performativity of social media goes into overdrive. What is the potential of aesthetic and artifactual practices in this situation?

About Sven Lütticken

Sven Lütticken (b. 1971, Kempen, Germany) studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Freie Universität Berlin. He teaches art history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and theory at the Dutch Art Institute. Lütticken publishes regularly in journals and magazines such as New Left Review, Texte fur Kunst, e-flux journal, Grey Room and Afterall, and contributes to catalogues and exhibitions as writer or guest curator. He is the author of Secret Publicity: Essays on Contemporary Art (2006), Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle (2009), History in Motion: Time in the Age of the Moving Image (2013), and Cultural Revolution: Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy (2016).