Documents of Contemporary Art

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Past Event

This event was on Thursday 4 May | 7pm

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Book Launch: Speculation 

This event is now fully booked. To join the waiting list, please call the box office on 020 7522 7888 from 11am on the day of the event.

Thursday 4 May | 7pm | £5 or £20.16 (includes book pre-order, with a 20% discount)

Join theorists and curators for a panel discussion to launch the latest in the Documents of Contemporary Art series of anthologies, Speculation 

Engaging with the question of speculation in ways that encompass the artistic, the economic, and the philosophical, with excursions into the literary and the scientific, this collection approaches the theme as a powerful logic of contemporary life whose key instantiations are art and finance. Once social reality becomes speculative and opaque in its own right—risky, algorithmic, and overhauled by networked markets—what becomes of the distinction between not just art and finance but art and life? 

Guest editor and art theorist Marina Vishmidt is joined by PiRaMMMida members – anthropologist Michal Murawski and art historian Maria Mileevafor a wide-ranging discussion chaired by sociologist Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, on what speculation is, and what it means for artistic, curatorial, critical, and institutional practices. 

Ticket information
If you select the book pre-order option with your event ticket, your copy will be available for collection from the information desk on the evening.

Whitechapel Gallery · Book Launch: Speculation
About Marina Vishmidt

Marina Vishmidt is a writer and editor. She teaches at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work has appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Artforum, Afterall, Journal of Cultural Economy, e-flux journal, Australian Feminist Studies, Mousse, and Radical Philosophy, among others, as well as a number of edited volumes.  She is the co-author of Reproducing Autonomy (with Kerstin Stakemeier) (Mute, 2016), and the author of Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital (Brill 2018 / Haymarket 2019). She is a member of the Marxism in Culture collective and is on the board of the New Perspectives on the Critical Theory of Society series (Bloomsbury Academic). In 2022, she was the Rudolph Arnheim Visiting Professor in Art History at the Humboldt University in Berlin and will take up a professorship in art theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in the autumn of 2023. Her research has been funded by the DAAD, the European Social Research Council and the Swedish Research Council. 

About Michał Murawski

Michał Murawski is an anthropologist of architecture and cities. He is Associate Professor of Critical Area Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His first book, The Palace Complex: A Stalinist Skyscraper, Capitalist Warsaw and a City Transfixed was published by Indiana University Press in 2019; and he is currently completing his second book, Putin’s Paradise: Landscaping Recolonial Russia. He is Director of the FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity; and convenor of PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics), a seminar and events platform based at UCL. 

About Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou

Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou is a sociologist and writer. He is an associate professor at University College London, where he directs the BSc Sociology and leads the Sociology & Social Theory Research Group. Komporozos-Athanasiou is the author of Speculative Communities: Living with Uncertainty in a Financialized World (University of Chicago Press, 2022). His second book, Real Fake: An Intellectual History of Distortion, documents how financial technologies have been shaping our collective understandings of reality and truth. His public writing has appeared in The Boston Review, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Aeon, Public Seminar, Roar Magazine, and other publications.

About Maria Mileeva

Maria Mileeva is an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her research and teaching centre around postcolonial and decolonial narratives of the Russo-Soviet imperial projects and Soviet multinationalism. Maria’s current book project interrogates the linkages between the cultural policies of socialist realism and socialist internationalism in the postwar period. An aspect of this research was published as “Imagined Solidarities: Cairo-Moscow and the Struggle for Realist Art”, in a special issue of Art History entitled “Red Networks: Postwar Art Exchange”, ed. Vivian Li, 45:5 (Nov 2022). Maria is the co-convenor of PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics), UCL.