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Immediacy, Or, The Style of Too Late Capitalism : Or, the Style of Too Late Capitalism - Anna Kornbluh

Immediacy, Or, The Style of Too Late Capitalism

Or, the Style of Too Late Capitalism

By: Anna Kornbluh

Paperback | 30 January 2024

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Why speed, flow, and direct expression now dominate cultural style

Contemporary cultural style boosts transparency and instantaneity. These are values absorbed from our current economic conditions of "disintermediation": cutting out the middleman. Like Uber, but for art. Immediacy names this style to make sense of what we lose when the contradictions of twenty-first-century capitalism demand that aesthetics negate mediation. Surging realness as an aesthetic program synchs with the economic imperative to intensify circulation when production stagnates. "Flow" is the ultimate twenty-first-century buzzword, but speedy circulation grinds art down to the nub. And the bad news is that political turmoil and social challenges require more mediation. Collective will, inspiring ideas, and deliberate construction are the only way out, but our dominant style forgoes them.

Considering original streaming TV, popular literature, artworld trends, and academic theories, Immediacy explains the recent obsession with immersion and today's intolerance of representation, and points to alternative forms in photography, TV, novels, and constructive theory that prioritize distance, impersonality, and big ideas instead.

About the Author

Anna Kornbluh is Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where her research and teaching center on literature, film, and Marxist cultural theory. She is the author of The Order of Forms: Realism, Formalism, and Social Space, and Marxist Film Theory and Fight Club, and Realizing Capital.

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