Dialectic of Restlessness
Keywords:Martin Seel, Adorno, aesthetic, restlessness, Immanence, art, creativity
In the section of Aktive Passivität (2014) entitled “Ästhetik des Nichtwissens” (The Aesthetic of Unknowing) Martin Seel follows Adorno’s formulation of “determinate indeterminateness” in order to proclaim the “celebration of unknowing” as the “telos of all aesthetic perception” (Seel 2014, 102ff). He’s undoubtedly right that uncertainty and unknowing are part of experiencing a work of art as well as aesthetic reflection. Adorno’s formulation restricts the dimensions of the certain and the uncertain, the known and the unknown, the determinate and the indeterminate. Everything depends upon grasping the character of this restriction. You can speak of dialectic insofar as it remains a negative dialectic that denies itself a final synthesis—a dialectic of restlessness.
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