Dr. Barbara Kuon

Barbara Kuon is a philosopher and art theorist. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Art Theory and Media Philosophy at the University of Art and Design (HfG) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Member of the Research Network "Anderes Wissen" / "Figures of Knowledge in Art and Theory" (DFG 2017-2020). Her key interests comprise theory of contemporary art, critical theory, and politcal philosophy. The focus of her research is on phenomenology of revolution, techniques of self-production through self-alienation, and political economy of symbolic power.

Recent publications include „Jenseits des Bildschirms / Beyond the Screen“ (in: „Parapraxis. Im Feld des Fehlers / In the Realm of Error“, Ed. Stephanie Winter, Flora Schausberger, 2016); „Die Kunst der Selbstenteignung“ („The art of self-expropriation“, german version, in: „Anderes Wissen“, Ed. Kathrin Busch, 2016) ojects.


Beyond GDP, or: How to Enjoy Stagnation

Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism, plutocratic rule by corporations – whatever you wish to call it – has allowed a tiny elite to stash away more wealth and accrue more power than any feudal monarch could ever have dreamt of. The only revolution in sight seems to be a “conservative revolution” – a fake revolution because it shares globalists’ and neoliberals’ belief in competition and is therefore pretty compatible with capitalism – as actually any kind of identity politics does, be it labelled rightist or leftist. Historically and logically, there is only one political project that is able to confront the globalist ideology of competition and endless economic growth – namely internationalist socialism with its project to invert the concept of competition and to manage and organise economic stagnation. If we want to understand how this political project works, we have to resort to philosophers’ and artists’ strategies of playing the game “Who loses wins”, and ask how this game can be played on a larger social scale.