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Antagonisms of Reality / Problems of Form


In Aesthetic Theory, Theodor Adorno claims that artworks most effectively contribute to political struggle not when they explicitly depict political issues, but when they transform “the unsolved antagonisms of reality” into “immanent problems of form.”

In this workshop, I hope to take this provocation as a jumping-off point to do some collective thinking and writing about ongoing issues related to aesthetic form and political struggle. What are the risks of representational aesthetics when such images and narratives are easily commodified and coopted? What are the limits inherent to aesthetic styles which emphasize obscurity and refusal?

Participants will be asked to read some brief critical materials and participate in discussions. We may do some collective writing during the sessions or between them, and I will invite participants to share with the group a poem or book of poems which forwards a politics by means of its form. 

This workshop is part of a three-part series, Antagonisms of Reality / Problems of Form, curated by Violet Spurlock.

Tuesdays, January 17, 24, 31, 2022, 6:30 pm
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
6:30 pm


Beauty Supply

Downtown Oakland


Workshop full! Register to join the waitlist.

This workshop is offered in-person. Location + other details will be emailed to registrants.


The venue is up a flight of stairs. Please email us in advance at for access to the freight elevator.

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Violet Spurlock

Violet Spurlock is a writer living in the Bay Area. She is the author of Alloyed Bliss (Eyelet, 2021) and VS VS VS (GaussPDF, 2021). Her first full-length book, In Lieu of Solutions, received the Other Futures Award and is forthcoming from Futurepoem.

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