• The critical invariant: Avant-garde and change

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Intellect, 2018-12-01)
      ‘Change’ is the locus of the avant-garde’s revolutionary character. Historical claims and contemporary theorizations of the avant-garde enforce methodological distinctions between radical and conforming attitudes that fluctuate according to existing political agendas. This process of instrumentalization renders the avantgarde susceptible to the conformity of institutionalization. More importantly it prescribes the avant-garde with a subservient role that controls its operational means and deflates its capacity to produce politics. What is to be done, if the avant-garde achieves its goal for socio-political change? Are we to abandon the spirit of critical reflection and surrender to the conditions of the next system? How can there be an avant-garde after capitalism if its ends are solely confined in the substitution of one system with another? This article traces out this problem, assessing what kind of emancipatory potential we might expect, or hope for, from a post-capitalist avant-garde, by advancing a critical examination of recent theories of political subjectivity, the dialectics of change and the reconciliation of the institution.
    • Digital realities & virtual ideals: Portraiture, idealism and the clash of subjectivities in the post-digital era

      Altintzoglou, Euripidis (Taylor and Francis, 2019-02-26)
      All portraits play host to a number of antithetical tensions, such as ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘real’ and ‘ideal’, without which they would be reduced to a type of unassuming identification of subjects. Whereas in premodern times the artist was subject to the demands of the commissioner, after modernism the representational desires of the sitter began to clash with the creative intentions of the artist. Prior to the introduction of digital formats, this clash of subjectivities manifests itself in photography during the production of the work, the shooting of a portrait. Digital photography and post-production editing have expanded the methods for idealising external appearance; a desire stimulated by the recent technological acceleration of production and circulation of more ‘manipulated’ portraits than ever. In what ways, therefore, does the introduction of digital post-production editing and composite images affect this double-clash in portraiture, between the real and ideal, and the desires of the sitter against the intentions of the artist? Moreover, how does the evolution of self-portraiture in the ‘selfie’ affect the epistemological character of the genre? As such, is conceptual and aesthetic subservience a matter of technological possibility or creative determination?