Dialectic of Restlessness


  • Marcus Steinweg Berlin University of the Arts




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.

Author Biography

Marcus Steinweg, Berlin University of the Arts

Marcus Steinweg, born in Koblenz in 1971, is a philosopher and author living in Berlin. Over several years he cooperated with the artists Thomas Hirschhorn and Rosemarie Trockel. In 2014/2015 visiting professor for contemporary media at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. In 2008/2009 lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. Fort he Merve publishing house he edits the Inaesthetics journal which operates at the interface of arts and Philosophy and presents contributions in German, English and French.


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How to Cite

Steinweg, Marcus. 2017. “Dialectic of Restlessness”. Performance Philosophy 3 (3):678-84. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2017.32150.



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