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date: 20 September 2021

p. 656. The utopian laboratorylocked

p. 656. The utopian laboratorylocked

  • Stephen Eric Bronner


‘The utopian laboratory’ explores the notions of aesthetics and utopia. Friedrich Schiller introduced aesthetics as a utopian response to society. The Frankfurt School said that art should not depict the wrongs of society, but rather should experiment with new forms that could elicit utopia. Ernst Bloch aggregated work from all over the globe into the ‘utopian laboratory’, while Herbert Marcuse contended that the modern world of scarcity was being artificially maintained, and psychological reconfiguration could end this repression. Both these views elicited vigorous criticism from other Frankfurt School members. The dream of utopia is an enduring one, but the dream of realising it is abstract and unreachable.

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