Issue 11 of Laocoonte. Revista de Estética y Teoría de las Artes aims to offer a space for reflecting on laziness and the refusal of work in contemporary aesthetics. Reception of manuscripts from January 1 to June 1, 2024.

Poetics of inoperosity. Laziness and the Refusal of Work in Contemporary Aesthetics

Laocoonte. Journal of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts n. 11

Issue coordinator/

Juan Evaristo Valls Boix (U. Complutense de Madrid)


Since the institution of what Rancière called its aesthetic regime, art has granted a fundamental and complex status to works of art. Although the work of art is a central element in the aesthetic experience –or precisely because of that–, the entire 20eth century can be read as a sustained effort to make art independent of its works, deploying something like a dematerialized art: an art that was not of works, but of ideas, or of gestures, or of bodies.

The work of art is an indispensable element to make the art world an art market, and it is productivity that turns culture into a cultural industry. Hence, the operativity of art has always been a limit that must be overcome in order to cultivate the critical and political vocation that has so often been attributed to it as a substantial feature. In that sense, the acclaimed autonomy of art in its Modernity cannot but become a sort of inoperosity if we aspire to abandon art’s fetishism and transform it into a laboratory to imagine, as Debord said, desirable ways of life beyond capitalism.

Is art to be unproductive if it is to be critical or political? Does art genuinely consist in being nothing in concrete, that is, in doing nothing, in being deprived of work? Is it only a certain uselessness and the consequent rejection of the capitalist paradigms of productivity that makes it still worthwhile today, after the end of art and after the malaises of aesthetics, to “make” art? If we recognize in the neoliberal regime of our time that power is exercised through the ideology of success and what Miguel de Beistegui calls the government of desire, will not an art of failure be the best form of dissidence? Will desire and affectivity, reproduction and not production, be the battlefield in which art becomes valuable in the era of emotional capitalism?

The journal Laocoonte ispleased to launch the present call for contributions to articulate a monograph that addresses all these questions, in order to think about the political vocation of art from a poetics of its inoperosity. We welcome manuscripts that address any of the following lines of research/

  1. On the uselessness of art.
  2. Contemporary art, laziness and the refusal of work.
  3. Other times, new experiences: partying, dancing, walking, and playing in the living arts.
  4. Bartleby and company: Artists without work, writers who do not write.
  5. Ontologies of inoperosity: from Maurice Blanchot to Giorgio Agamben.
  6. Contemporary aesthetics and the evanescence of the work of art.
  7. The queer art of failure: bodies, images, and stories against the capitalist ideology of success.
  8. For a post-capitalist desire: bonds, care, and affection against the sexual division of labor.

Reception of manuscripts from January 1 to June 1, 2024.

Authors should upload their original texts to the Laocoonte journal platform, which can be found at the following link. There you can also read the rules to be followed by the authors for the submission of manuscripts/

Texts that do not follow these guidelines will not be accepted.

The expected publication date for issue 11 is December 15, 2024.