Dead Time - Devin Wangert


Dead Time - Devin Wangert


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Banality is a style of experience often indicated by variations of the statement, “nothing is happening.” When you are “doing nothing,” the life you are living appears as both ordinary and impassive. In the present moment, these qualities also come to describe the endurance of structures of impoverishment, disenfranchisement, criminalization, and environmental destruction that form the background and backbone of the current political-economic system, so that “doing politics” often comes to mean interrupting banality. Offering new ways of conceiving the notions of inactionability and intractability that attend to these structures, Devin Wangert forwards banality as a concept capable of both adequately describing those structures as inactionable or impossible situations and of identifying affinities between forms of livelihood that go on living in and responding to those situations. He suggests that repertoires of thinking and acting which were historically posed in opposition to banality and understood as responsible for creating change come instead to actively produce impossible situations as banal and posit banality as an obstacle to political subjectivity, thought, and action.  

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Banality designates an impassive present placed at the threshold of contingency, located in the unfolding of a desired novelty that may come to matter and as the mutability of lives that endure within it. In taking up an aesthetic challenge to treat the banal in its banality rather than as a situation waiting to become new, passable, and livable (or as a situation yet to be identified as such), Wangert attends to the different modes of political activity and subjectivity articulable only within the idiom of banality. Dead Time: Intolerable Images and the Politics of Banality moves between a politics of aesthetics and an aesthetics of politics in order to offer an analysis of our impassive present.

- 6” x 9”
- 134 pg
- Interior Printed 1 Colour Risograph (Blue)
- Edition of 250

Author Bio
Devin Wangert is a PhD candidate in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

Series Editors Nathan Brown and Michael Nardone
Design & Layout by LOKI

Published by The Centre for Expanded Poetics & Anteism