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LUC BOLTANSKI

Introduction: Howie Chen/Jason Kakoyiannis (read)

In his recent work, Boltanski rehabilitates Bourdieu's concept of domination in response to “the speed and force with which real inequalities, masked by an officially sanctioned ideal of formal equality, have taken hold again, or indeed have got worse.” In recasting domination, Boltanski marks a shift from a descriptive critique invested in tracking the mechanics of management and control to an emphasis on generating widely held norms and objectives.

According to Boltanski, artistic critique – rooted in the ideals of emancipation and authenticity – must be reconfigured around a new concept of domination in order to meet the inequalities produced by the pseudo-fulfillment of its last set of demands. Artistic critique must undertake to state what is the case (for everyone) in order to have sufficiently broad relevance rather than be consigned to the “private, particular, idiosyncratic domain, or even being treated as bizarre or crazy.”

April 2010
at Artists Space
38 Greene Street
New York

Organized by Howie Chen and Jason Kakoyiannis
in conjunction with Columbia University’s Center on Organizational Innovation
with special thanks to Laura Mitterrand for facilitating the project

This is the second event in a series of programs, Juicing the Equilibrium, organized by New York based curator Howie Chen (Dispatch, NY) and artist/attorney Jason Kakoyiannis to assess how sociological and cultural economic approaches to art world debates can augment artistic critique.

Luc Boltanski

Luc Boltanski is the leading figure in the new "pragmatics" school of French sociology. He is a professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and is the founder of the Centre de Sociologie Politique et Morale. In his recent book, On Justification (co-authored with Laurent Thévenot, English translation forthcoming, Princeton University Press), Boltanski argues that modern societies are not a single social order but an interweaving of multiple orders. Boltanski identifies six "regimes of justification," systematic and coherent principles of evaluation. These multiple orders (civic, market, transcendence, fame, industrial, and domestic) are not bounded to particular social domains but coexist in the same social space -- as Boltanski persuasively demonstrates through a content analysis of texts used in managerial training in contemporary French corporations. Boltanski's current work explores a seventh "connectionist" regime (organized around the concept of flexible networks now prominent in the conception of "the Project") based on a systematic analysis of managerial science literature in the 1960s and 1990s.

Boltanski's recent publications include: "The Sociology of Critical Capacity," (with Laurent Thévenot) European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 2, nº 3, August 1999, pp. 359-378; Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme (with Eve Chiapello) Gallimard, Paris, 1999; Distant Suffering: Morality, Media and Politics, Cambridge University Press, 1999; and L'amour et la justice comme compétences: trois essais de sociologie de l'action, Éditions Métaillé, Paris, 1990.

Center on Organizational Innovation

COI is one of eight centers at Columbia's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). The Institute's core mission is to catalyze and produce pioneering social science research and to shape public policy by integrating knowledge and methods across the social science disciplines. COI promotes research on organizational innovation as well as new forms of collaboration, communication, and coordination made possible with the advent of interactive technologies.



Juicing the Equilibrium: Critique, Value, Markets, Prices

Juicing the Equilibrium is a series of programs organized by New York based curator Howie Chen (Dispatch, NY) and artist/attorney Jason Kakoyiannis to assess how sociological and cultural economic approaches can help art producers generate new critical demands and leverage within the space of cultural production. How can the robust analytical tools and models of the social sciences—whether they be data driven, behavioral, network, or quantitative—be utilized to mend the deteriorating ability of critical practice to narrate its own complex reality?