For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Symbolic Misery, Volume 2: The Catastrophe of the Sensible

by Stiegler, Bernard (2015)


In this important new book, leading cultural theorist and philosopher Bernard Stiegler re-examines the relationship between politics and art in the contemporary world. Our hyper-industrial epoch represents what Stiegler terms a katastroph of the sensible. This katastroph is not an apocalypse or the end of everything, but the denouement of a drama; it is the final act in the process of psychic and collective individuation known as the West. Hyper-industrialization has brought about the loss of symbolic participation and the destruction of primordial narcissism, the very condition for individuation. It is in this context that artists have a unique role to play. When not subsumed in the capitalist economy, they are able to resist its synchronizing tendency, offering the possibility of reimagining the contemporary model of aesthetic participation. This highly original work - the second in Stieglers Symbolic Misery series - will be of particular interest to students in philosophy, media and cultural studies, contemporary art and sociology, and will consolidate Stieglers reputation as one of the most original cultural theorists of our time.


Politics, Aesthetics, Artistic Labour, Psychology, Hyperindustrialism, Artist, Cultural Studies, Media, Media Studies


Stiegler Citations, Stiegler

Links to Reference


Norman, B.



How to contribute.