Walter Benjamin, productivist

Author: Marcelo Expósito
ISBN: 978-84-939858-7-5
Product features: Weight: 200g,
Dimensions: 155 x 5 x 240 mm
, 60 Pages
Edition: 2013
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA
Type: Workbook
Language: Spanish and English
Design: ferranElOtro Studio
Supporters: Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, European Cultural Foundation, Bilbao Ekintza

This essay studies one of the fundamental pieces in the historical construction of a materialist aesthetic theory in the 1930s: the pair formed by Walter Benjamin’s texts on the technical reproducibility of the art work and cultural practice as production. It examines the intimate relation that Benjamin’s work (generally studied at an academic level in isolation from the militant movements that were contemporary to him) maintains in that period with the rupturist approaches of other politicised authors such as Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Tretiakov, and makes those historical prototypes resonate in the new articulations that art, politics, activism and mass communication adopt within the yet ongoing cycle of movements today. The work dwells, therefore, on the «bio-political matrix» whose origin is pinpointed between the 1980s and 1990s through the diagrammatic analysis of three case studies: ACT UP, Siluetazo and Ne Pas Plier. This text has a militant rather than a hermeneutic or academic objective: the political reactivation of Benjamin involves taking up seriously the challenge with which he concludes his essay on the artwork: we are once again in a period when one must inexorably take part in the oscillation that drives our societies between the crime of systematic authoritarianism and revolutionary transformation.


This workbook forms part of a series of writings that function as footnotes to Walter Benjamin ‘s text The author as producer. A work tool for opening debates around the notion of production in contemporary art, a field that has been widely explored by the producer of art projects consonni. And, specifically, through the research project Bird-cum-ornithologist, since 2010.


Marcelo Expósito (1966) lives and works in Barcelona and Buenos Aires. His practice as an artist generally explores the territories of critical theory, editorial work, teaching and translation. He forms part of the Nomad University, the Commons Foundation and the Southern Conceptualisms Network, as well as of the transnational editorial collective of the multilingual transversal web journal. Alone or in collaboration he has edited monographs on Chris Marker and Pere Portabella, and the books Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (already a small classic in Spanish covering contemporary artistic activism), Los nuevos productivismos and Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes. Líneas de ruptura en la crítica institucional. One of his most popularly distributed projects is the video series Entre sueños. Ensayos sobre la nueva imaginación política, which is still in process.