Kim Charnley on “Sociopolitical Aesthetics”

Today’s engaged artists draw inspiration not from the aesthetic effects of avant-garde art but its social organization. The critical thrust of contemporary socially engaged art is to counter “individualism” with “collectivism”.

Benjamin’s Artwork essay

Modern society opened up the prospect of the progressive realization of human capacities, but in capitalism this development reached an impasse, leading to artificial refinement on the one hand, and a “bestial barbarization, a complete, unrefined, abstract simplicity,” on the other (Marx).