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Anne-Marie Oliver presents a public lecture at Washington State University’s Department of Fine Art: “Why We Can’t Stop Talking about Utopia:  The Artist’s Guide to an Enigma.”

The Artist’s Guide to an Enigma

12,000 utopias.The meaning of the mirror image and why it must be a landscape or a face. The fantasy of the reversible. Things that meet in the middle and things that don’t. Was Sir Thomas More stark raving mad? To see, is to dream of utopia. Ernst Bloch’s notion of art and literature as “anticipatory illumination.” The town planning of sea islands. Political utopias. Characterology. Regarding the assertion that the question of utopia/dystopia is always a question of technology. Artifacticity and retro-effects. Glacial aesthetics vs. the paradigm of verdure. Dummy keys and the eternal problem of dupedom. The gravity of sci-fi: Philip K. Dick. McLuhan-Lewis-Bergson’s artist-as- prophet. The eye of the diviner. Why artists need manifestos. Might utopia be an imageless image? Positivity per se. The image as wager: Lefebvre. Heterotopias: the curious omissions of Foucault. The staggering memory of the unborn fetus. The lurid colors of unknown planets. Face of the future projects. Dictionaries devoted to the future. An analysis of human-machines versus human-animals in the style of Walter Benjamin. Re-reading Arendt’s prologue after Google Earth. Time has no image. It also does not exist. Clockwise and counterclockwise, nevertheless. Extreme realism and other operational fantasies. Munari’s arrows. Sloterdijk’s pyramid as a form that anticipates its own demise. And we’ve barely gotten started.