The End of Art, Again: Systems and the Aesthetics of Dispersion

16 June 2023, 6pm

Francis Halsall will be in conversation with Rachel O’Dwyer to mark the publication of his new book.

To mark the publication of Contemporary Art, Systems and the Aesthetics of Dispersion (Routledge, 2023), please join us in Studio 6 for a discussion and refreshments with the author Francis Halsall and Rachel O’Dwyer.

This book considers five artists who exemplify contemporary art practice: Seth Price; Liam Gillick; Martin Creed; Hito Steyerl; and Theaster Gates. Given the diversity of materials used in art today, once-traditional artistic mediums and practices have become obsolete in describing what currently artists do. Instead of stable mediums practitioners now use whatever systems of distribution and display are available to them. The two central arguments are: any understanding of what art is will always be underwritten by a view of what a human being is; and that these both have a particular character in late capitalism or, as is named here, The Age of Dispersion.

Francis Halsall is lecturer in Visual Culture in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the (co) director of Masters programmes, Art in the Contemporary World, he is working on several projects on the cultural, intellectual and aesthetic history of systems.

Rachel O’Dwyer is a lecturer in Digital Cultures in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She is the author of Tokens, (Forthcoming Verso October 2023). She was formerly a research fellow in Connect, the Centre for Future Networks and Communications in Trinity College Dublin and a Fulbright scholar in collaboration with the Future of Money project in University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the intersection of cultural and digital economies and has published widely on this and other topics.