In terms of this year’s journal theme, ”unprecedented,” there is no other contemporary philosopher who has a more radical notion than Alain Badiou when it comes to theorizing the new; that is, the emergence of an unprecedented Event ex nihilio—not novel or innovative, but free of the authority of any prior example—to make a truth claim. For art educators, especially for the Social Caucus, Badiou offers a challenge to what has largely captured the theoretical writing in this journal — namely aesthetics and representation. As well intentioned as these theorizations have been concerning identity politics and critical theory stemming from Paulo Freire, who seems to be ever-present in the Caucus’ fundamental imaginary, both aspects, if Badiou is taken seriously, are challenged if the “social” in “social theory” is to be rethought for future transformative directions. The burden of this essay is to introduce Badiou’s philosophy concerning art and “inaesthetics” to the Social Caucus readership since his importance to art and its education, I predict, will only continue to increase. A leftist thinker, with Maoist roots, who studied with Louis Althusser, but rejected his theories, Badiou remains a leading contemporary philosopher, slightly younger than that famous cadre of French philosophers who were politicized in the ‘60s and have now passed away. He has deep psychoanalytic roots, drawing on Lacan’s register of the unconscious Real. This is what interests me most for art and its future education.


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