Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Marxism in Culture: Speculation as a Mode of Production

14 February 2020, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm


The IAS is delighted to host this Marxism in Culture seminar with Marina Vishmidt (Goldsmiths, University of London) entitled 'Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital'. Respondents: Dave Beech (University of the Arts, London) and Anthony Iles (Northampton University)

This event is free.

Event Information

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Andrew Murray


IAS Forum
First Floor, South Wing, UCL
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Book launch: in Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital (Brill, 2018; Haymarket 2019), Marina Vishmidt offers a new perspective on one of the main categories of capitalist life in the historical present. Writing not under the shadow but in the spirit of Adorno’s negative dialectic, her work pursues speculation through its contested terrains of philosophy, finance, and art, to arrive at the most detailed analysis that we now possess of the role of speculation in the shaping of subjectivity by value relations. Featuring detailed critical discussions of recent tendencies in the artistic representation of labour, and a brilliant reconstruction of the philosophical concept of the speculative from its origins in German Romanticism, Speculation as a Mode of Production is an essential, widescreen theorisation of capital’s drive to self-expansion, and an urgent corrective to the narrow and one-sided periodisations to which it is most commonly subjected.

There will be a presentation of the book, with responses from Dave Beech and Anthony Iles, followed by general discussion.


Marina Vishmidt is a lecturer at Goldsmiths, The University of London. Her work is mainly concerned with the relationship between art, value and labour, with an emphasis on the speculative relations that link processes of financialisation and subjectivation. Other research interests include continental philosophy, aesthetics, political economy and feminist theory. She has developed a distinctive profile within and between the spheres of the academy, artistic spaces and activism, where she works as a writer, editor and cultural organiser. She also has a specialism in artists moving image from a critical and curatorial perspective.

Dave Beech is Reader in Art and Marxism at the University of the Arts, London. He is the author of Art and Value: Art’s Economic Exceptionalism in Classical, Neoclassical and Marxist Economics (Brill 2015), which was shortlisted for the Deutscher Memorial Prize. He is also the author of Art and Postcapitalism: Aesthetic Labour, Automation and Value Production (Pluto 2019) and Art and Labour (Brill forthcoming 2020).

Anthony Iles recently completed a PhD on the artist-run journal Inventory (1995-2005). He is an  Associate Lecturer at Northampton University and a Visiting Tutor at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. He is Commissioning Editor for the series Documents of Contemporary Art published by the Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press. A founder member of Full Unemployment Cinema and a Contributing Editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005, he is the author, with Josephine Berry, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: Writing and Crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product (Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014). Essays and reviews by Anthony have been published in the journals Variant, Cesura//Acceso, Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.


All welcome!

Convenors: Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Esther Leslie, Luisa Lorenza Corna, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Andy Murray, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas, Alberto Toscano, Marina Vishmidt.