Brooklyn, NY: punctum books, 2013. 474 pages, illus. ISBN-13: 978-0-692-20316-3. DOI: 10.21983/P3.0068.1.00. OPEN-ACCESS e-book and $26.00 in print: paperbound/5.83 X 8.27 in.

Speculations V: Aesthetics in the 21st Century

Ever since the turn of the century aesthetics has steadily gained momentum as a central field of study across the disciplines. No longer sidelined, aesthetics has grown in confidence. While this recent development brings with it a return to the work of the canonical authors (most notably Baumgarten and Kant), some contemporary scholars reject the traditional focus on epistemology and theorize aesthetics in its ontological connotations. It is according to this shift that speculative realists have proclaimed aesthetics as “first philosophy” and as speculative in nature. With speculative realism aesthetics no longer necessarily implies human agents. This is in alignment with the general speculative realist framework for thinking all kinds of processes, entities, and objects as free from our all-pervasive anthropocentrism, which states, always, that everything is “for us.”

This special volume of Speculations explores the ramifications of what could be termed the new speculative aesthetics. In doing so, it stages a three-fold encounter: between aesthetics and speculation, between speculative realism and its (possible) precursors, and between speculative realism and art and literature.


“Introduction: Aesthetics after the Speculative Turn,” by Ridvan Askin, Andreas Hägler, and Philipp Schweighauser

Part 1: The Art of Theory

“Non-Phenomenological Thought,” by Steven Shaviro

“Beauty, the Will to Power, and Life as Artwork: Aesthetico-Speculative Realism in Nietzsche and Whitehead,” by Theodor Leiber and Kirsten Voigt Sellars

“Contra Deleuze on Intuitive Knowledge,” by Matija Jelača

“Not Kant, Not Now: Another Sublime,” by Claire Colebrook

“Speculative Aesthetics and Object-Oriented Inquiry (OOI),” by N. Katherine Hayles

“Actual Qualities of Imaginative Things: Notes towards an Object-Oriented Literary Theory,” by Jon Cogburn and Mark Allan Ohm

“Speculative Experiments: What if Simondon and Harman Individuate Together?” by Miguel Penas López

Part 2: The Theory of Art

“Greenberg, Duchamp, and the Next Avant-Garde,” by Graham Harman

“Not Objects so Much as Images: A Response to Graham Harman’s ‘Greenberg, Duchamp, and the Next Avant-Garde’,” by Bettina Funcke

“Strategic Invisibility: The Zero Point of Modernism and the Avant-Garde,” by Thomas Gokey

“The Anxiousness of Objects and Artworks 2: (Iso)Morphism, Anti-Literalism and Presentness,” by Robert Jackson

“The Alien Aesthetic of Speculative Realism, or, How Interpretation Lost the Battle to Materiality and How Comfortable This Is to Humans,” by Roberto Simanowski

“Art and Guerrilla Metaphysics: Graham Harman and Aesthetics as First Philosophy,” by Francis Halsall

“Images I Cannot See,” by Magdalena Wisniowska Disegno

“A Speculative Constructivist Interpretation,” by Sjoerd van Tuinen

ISSN# 2327-803X

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