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This chapter takes up the crisis of the work of art in the epoch of social systems from another side.. The crisis of the art work now has become a way of posing the problem of action and intention in autotropic (self-turned) systems. The art work now resembles a practical joke: a staging of reality that one for a moment takes as real and that collapses when exposed. The sudden collapse of the Berlin wall, triggered by a media confusion, serves as one example. The novels of Agatha Christie—the most popular writer in world history—provide another.

The staged and stagy...

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