Abstract

David Joselit argues that although the politicization of information and fake news is nothing new—facts, after all, have always been ratified by power, and standards of evidence are historically specific—the mode of its authentication is now in crisis. He describes this condition as a state of cognitive conflict in which different species of knowledge battle one another for pre-eminence, rather than reach for an agonistic but productive political translation or negotiation. Adopting the concept of cognitive justice as theorized by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Joselit proposes that under Trumpism art can be a resource for working out a politicized and materialized, even formal, theory of information. By tracking the plasticity of information—the shapes it assumes through circulation, shifts in scale and saturation, and its velocities and frictions—which is deeply enmeshed in relations of power, post-Conceptual art can have real purchase on cognitive justice.

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