A work by Freee Art Collective states that protest drives history. Another proclaims that protest is beautiful. The paper considers these projects — as provocative rather than literal readings of history — in light of modern histories of revolt, recurrent resurgences of an interruptive politics (most recently in Occupy), and critiques of modernist art. It suggests that, although protest does not really drive history, nonetheless an art that protests also interrupts and fractures the status quo (which, today, entails the assertion that there is no alternative to neoliberalism). In the crack, as it were, a reimagination of the world is possible.
Farewell to Revolution
Malcolm Miles is professor of cultural theory in the School of Architecture, Design, and Environment at the University of Plymouth. He is author of Eco-Aesthetics: Art, Literature, and Architecture in a Period of Climate Change (2014), Herbert Marcuse: An Aesthetics of Liberation (2011), Urban Utopias (2008), and Urban Avant-Gardes (2004).