Can we speak of composition when we are in a state of unfathomable decomposition? Art being made today defies coherent categorization, and the world presents itself, day after day, as spinning into confused chaos, structural disintegration, and violent disorder. Revising his well-known histories of contemporary art, Terry Smith argues that we must respond to the compelling need for coeval composition at a time defined by the contemporaneity of divisive difference. This book traces how—despite many obstacles—visual artists across the globe are rising to this challenge.
The second volume of the Contemporary Condition series continues the investigation into contemporaneity as a defining condition of our historical present. The series aims to question the formation of subjectivity and concept of temporality in the world now. It begins from the assumption that art, with its ability to investigate the present and make meaning from it, can lead to an understanding of wider developments within culture and society. Addressing a perceived gap in existing literature on the subject, the series focuses on three broad strands: the issue of temporality, the role of contemporary media and computational technologies, and how artistic practice makes epistemic claims.