I began to read the political aesthetic work of Esther Leslie with Synthetic Worlds : Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry which considers the alliance between chemistry and art, going from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. It's an absorbing book that opens new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, the inorganic and the synthesized in a poetics of science. I'm currently reading Derelicts : Thought Worms from the Wreckage.

Philosophy and art with the imagination to actually change the world: this is the unfinished dream of history and the heart of the revolutionary modernism of the early 20th century, which globalised war and exploitation managed indefinitely to defer. Esther Leslie reopens the cold case on filmmakers, artists, thinkers and other animals, exiled or otherwise Disneyfied, and finds still-warm fertile ground for a wild future as yet unfulfilled. From ideal homes with traces erased to utopian rivers drawn back to their source, the alienated subject of history discerns its rightful place in the present tense, with no room for buts or half-measures. The derelicts of history find new life beyond commodified thought: would that the same could be said for all their readers.

Further information and publication details - click here

Esther Leslie at AMM#8: Derelicts - Thought Worms from the Wreckage from Jimbo on Vimeo.

Esther Leslie on Walter Benjamin - click here

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