Mar 13th 2015

In his keynote address, renowned art historian and Sovietologist Boris Groys asks the question: “how to change the world by art?”

In what way is art able to influence the world in which we live? There are two possible answers to this question. The first answer: art can capture the imagination and change the consciousness of the people. If the consciousness of the people will change—then this changed people will also change the world in which they live.

The second answer is quite different. Here art is understood not as production of messages but, rather, as production of things. Being a specific kind of technology art does not have a goal to change the soul of the spectator. Rather, it changes the world in which these spectators are living—and by trying to accommodate themselves to the new conditions of their environment they change their sensibilities and attitudes.

Boris Groys’s keynote address is part of the Dissonance: Visual and Critical Studies Symposium and Conference taking place at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, March 13–14.

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