Archive of projects examining PA from 2000 by David Goldenberg

Tracing the term Post Autonomy

The term Post Autonomy can be traced back to the German literary theorist Hans-Robert Jauss use of the term in  his “Towards an aesthetic of Reception” in the 1970’s. Then  resurfaced again when the term was used by the German artist and theorist Michael Lingner  in one of two texts from 1994. During the late 1990’s the Russian critic Victor Tupitsyn also developed an independent line of thinking into Post Autonomous practices, which nevertheless took its premise from a similar set of issues, with articles produced for 3rd text, culminating in his book “The Museological unconscious.” During the early 21st century this research has broadened.

Lingner and Luhmann

Lingner uses the term Post Autonomy  to define the inherent  movement or laws behind the trajectory of art, taking up many of Niklus Luhmanns Systems theoretical methodologies as outlined in “Art as a Social system”. While in his book “Observations on Modernity” Luhmann makes a number of important points,  points that Lingner  transfers to the art system, namely how thinking, verification of truth  and  definitions of facts, definitions of reality have changed within the complexity of this society in relationship to the invention and origins of society in the 16th Century.

Lingner and Post Autonomy

At the outset Lingner deliberately used the term Post Autonomy and another term in the same manner as Post Modernism, as a slogan, as a term to cover a far more complex set of actions, yet also revealing that whatever mechanisms and symptoms inherent in the development of art led to a point where if we past beyond this point the terms and categories and language of art cease to exist, although he is not talking about something as simplistic as the end of art! These ideas about PA by Lingner have been up dated and expanded in further texts and interviews from the 90’s to the present. [Please see his interview on Post Autonomy for resonance fm where he discusses Heidegger and Derrida concerning where is the work of art and who judges the work of art!].

Lingners definition of Post Autonomy

Lingner says very little about what Post Autonomy is, instead he points out the consequences of what could happen if this trajectory is not taken. Lingner marks this moment in time of art, the time of culmination, completion and collapse as a moment when “art reaches maturity“. But behind the necessity for the text and formulation of the ideas behind Post Autonomy is the troubling  worry of why art in the past failed to live up to its promise and claims, particularly the avant garde and its claims to rupture history and disrupt the Autonomy of Bourgeoise art, which it patently failed to do.

[ It now remains even more pointless to try to revive the avant garde, if only because it revives the hegemonic and colonial features of art through acting out conflicts between European centres of cultural power. We can also say the same thing about Autonomy, to retain autonomy seems to retain the status quo, to retain cultural power as it is, as opposed to saving whatever art is.  This gives even more urgency to locate another language and set of terms and categories via thinking through Post Autonomy as the transformation of art]

The implosion, the culmination of art  that leads to what Lingner suggests is the culmination of this trajectory of art, was first reveled in Kosuths use of tautologies  and Robert Morris decalarations about art…art is art if an artist declares it to be art. It is in this light that Post Autonomy starts to make sense. Nevertheless whatever Post Autonomy is has a resemblance to certain ideas that Schiller developed – that art instead of being locked within an art object is instead another activity where art continues and embodies  Philosophy, whether in the form of communication or thinking. The need for an Aesthetic revolution, the reformulation of Kant’s notion of Autonomy into He-Autonomy and the Culture State, in other words, we find a reformulation of the places for art and a renewed program of what is expected of art.

Victor Tupitsyn

At the same time that Lingner sought to understand the condition or symptom of art in terms of Post Autonomy so did the Russian theorist Victor Tupitsyn in response to installations by Damien Hirst and to a lesser extent Jeff Koons, in articles for Third Text and particularly in his recent book “The Museological Unconscious” . Other than these brief appearances of the term it is difficult to trace other source’s.

What constitutes a Post Autonomous practice and thinking?

If we try to construct a history of a practice or thinking examining Post Autonomy the task is even more complex and  difficult, I am not even convinced by Lingners models for PA nor do I think that Lingner recognized the potential within his reasoning for PA.  It is not to say that there are no practices that can be seen to develop whatever PA is, for instance the “Autonomist” movement is said to examine something along these lines, but due to the complexity and the sheer ambition of what Post Autonomy signals, I am inclined to think that whatever practices today claim to develop a PA practice simply follows a set of terms and categories defining PA that are no longer useful, in other words such practices would need to understand another language in order to comprehend what this thing is that they are doing rather than replicating a language and set of categories and terms along the lines of Post Modernism, or even the categories, terms, language inherent to Modernism itself.

David Goldenberg and Post Autonomy

Aspects of Lingners sketch for Post Autonomy,  outlining a radical hidden potential of PA, was taken up and expanded in research carried out by the London based international Conceptual and Installation artist David Goldenberg from 1998 independently or in collaboration with the Dutch based photographer, video and installation artist Wim Salki between 2001-06, and the media artist and coordinator of the Thing Frankfurt Stefan Beck between 05/06.

Current research into Post Autonomy

Entry points into examining Post Autonomy – include the notions of Participation, Communication, Globalisation and Multi-Culturalism. The model of Post Autonomy examined by David Goldenberg and Wim Salki can be seen to sketch out the early stages  for  an on-going radical experiment, a  new model of art that is formulated along fundamentally different principles than those proposed within the Euro-centric tradition of art! Post Autonomy can be seen as a tool that provides a framework to think beyond or outside the restrictions and cul-de-sac of a European notion of the avant-garde, and any mechanisms and practices that continue European Colonial thinking and practices.

After staging “Post Autonomy is now“, based on Barnet Newman’s reuse of Heideggers statement, for the 2007 Istanbul Biennial, thinking into Post Autonomy entered a new phase. In 2008 the Philosopher Peter Osbourne appropriated the ideas behind the project for a conference at Middlesex University, which launched a conservative backlash against the potential inherent to Post Autonomy. So whenever Post Autonomy is discussed within mainstream institutions they imply the reverse of this potential, instead implying the mainstream institutions of art wish to hold onto its  power and autonomy.


From 1998 David Goldenberg has lectured, written and produced projects extensively on Post Autonomy throughout the UK, Europe, Far East, Middle East and the States. In 2006 David Goldenberg established a second website to co-ordinate projects, texts and discussions exclusively dedicated to research into Post Autonomy. Followed in 2008 by a 3rd and in 2010 by the 4th expanded series of websites.

The material below show projects organised by David Goldenberg, or in collaboration with Wim Salki, Eleana Louka, Man Sommerlinck, Stephen Beck and others


July 1999

Curating post institutional practices, PostAutonomy and public art, A one day symposium, organised by David Goldenberg and Anna Harding, ICA, London, UK


Dec 1999 publication of Engage 7 magazine with details of the ICA debate



Cover of the engage magazine special edition on the ICA conference plus the press release for the ICA conference itself


December 2000

Post Autonomy and activist art


Whats to be done? Debates and projects looking at recent activist art projects. Organised by Wolfgang Zinggl, Arts depot, Vienna, Austria.


December 9th – Lecture by David Goldenberg on art and activism
Aktivismus in Großbritannien
David Goldenberg (Kunstler, London)
Monitoring: Andrea Hubin (Kunsthistorikerin)
Goldenberg wird – ausgehend von Steven Willats,
John Latham, Art in Ruins, Rasheed Araen und
Gustav Metzger – die Rezeption aktivistischer Kunst
erläutern. Er geht der Frage nach, wie die historischen
Praktiken in den Ausstellungen Democracy und
Protest and Survive dargestellt wurden und wie sich
ein neues Konzept jenseits der zwei Ausstellungen
entwickeln lässt, das auf den heutigen Praktiken von
Platform, Poster Studios und Homeless Projects basiert.


Extract from the Arts depot booklet on the conference “Whats to be done?”


Dictionary of Post Autonomous terms, Flex plek, Organised by Wim Salki, Begonegrond, The Nederlands

Feb – June 02


April 02


Installation shot  of Wim Salki installation, BAK, The Nederlands



Example of work produced for a dictionary of Post Autonomous terms


2 page coloured Text on Post Autonomy from a transcription of a talk with Emma Donaldson, produced for Art Anthology by Jochen Gerz

Tour of Germany and Austria


June 02


Cover for the Art Anthology Magazine


Text and image from a dictionary of post-autonomous terms included in the thing book


September 02



Cover of the Thing book


April 03


Think tank for developing a Post-Autonomous practice, How to be a perfect guest? (No.1), in collaboration with Wim Salki, Museum of Modern art, Arnhem, The Nederlands


8 hour long Discussion event looking at Post Autonomy


6th International Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates curated by Peter Lewis


How to be a perfect guest? (no.2) in collaboration with Wim Salki


Cover of the Sharjah Biennial Catalogue and installation shots


Launch of 1st Web site dedicated to research into Post-Autonomy set up by David Goldenberg


May 03


Archive of material on Homeless projects and Post Autonomy


Curating degree zero 3

Tour of Europe and Far East




Photograph of folders containing documentation on the Homeless projects and early stages of the Post Autonomy project, poster for CDZ, installations of the material


July 03


Images and text from a dictionary of Post Autonomy


Charlies place, Organised by Man Sommerlinck, Annely Juda fine art, London, UK



November 03


Lecture – Developing a Post Autonomous practice


Conference in a Forklift truck

Organised by t1 & 2 with Gustav Metzger, Atlantis Gallery, London, UK



Installation shot

November 03


Ram4, Survival kit, Nifica, Helsinki, Finland


Constructing a Post Autonomous practice – lecture and exhibition of documentation





Photograph of David Goldenberg talking about PA


Feb-April 04


Documentation of texts and images looking at Post Autonomy


Soft-logics, Kuenstlehaus, Stuttgart, Germany


Exhibition of all  texts on Post Autonomy




May 04


Event and discussion on Post Autonomy

STRUKTUR in collaboration with Wim Salki and Ilza Black artist:network New York, NY, USA



Installation shots


Feb 05


Documentation on Post Autonomy


Boundless, curated by Henry Meric Hughes, in collaboration with Jan Christiansen, Steriersenmuseet, Oslo, Norway and tour




June – Oct 05


Monthly discussions, dinners and events examining Post Autonomy


Fordham gallery, in collaboration with Man Sommerlinck, London, UK




May 05


Documentation and texts on Post Autonomy

Artists stategies, Museum of Modern art, Stockholm, Sweden


June 05


Launch of the era of Post Autonomy


Les Merveilles du Monde, Organised by Peter Fillingham, Museum of Fine art, Dunkerque France



Installation shot, invite and catalogue cover


July -Oct 05


48 hour wake

Event and text on Post Autonomy


http gallery London & East International, Norwich, UK



Shot of David Goldenberg during a 48 hour wake



October 7th & 8th 05


On-line debate on Post Autonomy organised by David Goldenberg


Open Congress Tate Britain London, UK

with contributions from Elisabeth Penker, Anabela Zigova, Interactingarts


Skype discussion with Basekamp and Anabela Zigova



November 05


Text on Post Autonomy

How much space is there in the art world for redundancy? Organised by Basekamp Andrew Krepps Gallery New York, NY, USA


Dec 05 -March 06


Text work on Post Autonomy

Copy-fight,, Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain


Presentation of new texts on Post Autonomy


Feb-April 06


Anthology of Art, Kunst und Austellungsshalle der Bundersrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany


March 06


Launch of 2nd website dedicated to research into Post Autonomy set up by David Goldenberg –

Archive and Hub for events and regular discussions on Post Autonomy London


March 06


Events and readings of texts on Post Autonomy

Node L London, UK

With contributions from Interactingarts, Wim Salki, Basekamp, Lizzie Hughes


March 06


Walk, talk, eat and talk some more On-line event in collaboration with Ccred and Basekamp with contributions from 16 Beaver group, Anabela Zogova, Interactingarts




June 06


Back to back – 48 hr event, film, on-line discussions and text on Post Autonomy

Fordham at Netwerk, Curated by Man Somerlinck Netwerk vzw, Centrum voor Hedendaagse kunst Aalst, Belgium


Images and texts from the catalogue and pamphlet produced for the exhibition



July 06


On-line debates on Post Autonomy


Jump into the cold water, Curated by Katharina Schlieben & Sonke Gau Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland



Information from the pamphlet produced for the exhibition




Installation shot




October 06


New Text on Post Autonomy included in the first  Post Autonomy Reader organised by the Thing Frankfurt




December 06


Launch of the Department of Post Autonomy

Faculty of invisibility, Jan Van Eyck Academy of Art Maastricht The Nederlands


Dec 06


New text on Post Autonomy published by St/a/r Vienna, Austria


Two images from the STAR article taken from the Sharjah Biennial and Shedhalle exhibition “Jump into cold water”


Jan 07


Texts and images looking at Post Autonomy


Locally localised gravity, in collaboration with Basekamp, ICA Philadelphia, USA



Jan 07


Texts and images looking at Post Autonomy


Over and over again, Curated by Sacha Craddock, Saddlers Wells, London, UK



Feb 07


New text on Post Autonomy – A year of festivities to celebrate the launch of the era of Post Autonomy


Published in the Catalogue for Les merveilles du Monde by White Window and Plate-Forme



27th May-June 6th


Traveling magazine table, organised by Nomads and residents, Yourspace, Vanabbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Nederlands.


Presentation of collected texts on Post Autonomy.



16th June- 8th July


CDZ, Point Ephemere, 200 Quai de Valmy, Paris, France


June 6th


Local Operations, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK


The space of Post Autonomy

Improvised discussion of key ideas of Post Autonomy

[Practice run for talk performance at the Istanbul Biennial]






CDZ, Burgen School of Art, Burgen, Norway


September 7th – Nov 8th


10th Istanbul Biennial

in collaboration with k2


Post Autonomy is Now 1

Installation, collected texts, improvised discussion on Post Autonomy, walks and photographic documentation


Documentation shots of the poster and discussions & walks as part of the Istanbul Biennial – using the Biennial and Global City as a back drop for a discussion of going beyond biennials


October 8th


Klab, Lancaster University, UK

“How much Autonomy do you need?”





Feb – May


Agitpop, London Print makers workshop, London, UK


The End of Language

2 X posters comprising found images from the Chinese cultural revolution and texts




CDZ, West Cork Arts Centre, Ireland


May – June

Three Walls, White Nave, Dover, Kent, UK


Mind maps locating the space of Post Autonomy for 3 Walls





Liverpool Biennial, Artists Anonymous, A-Foundation, Liverpool, UK



Online debate on current definitions of participatory practices, improvised discussions with local people, photographic documentation








The Time of Post Autonomy now 2, Curated by Freek Lommie

Yourspace, Vanabbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Nederlands


Floor drawings, discussions, screenings, photographic documentation






 examples of floor drawing




The climate of change, FACT, Liverpool, UK

DTN 3, Online debates, improvised discussions with visitors, photographic documentation



Translations and misinterpretations, Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland


Mind maps locating the space of Post Autonomy in the form of postcards


Atlantica 48/49


Publication of new text by David Goldenberg  “Notes on Developing the space of  Post Autonomy” including colour images from the Istanbul Biennial and Netwerk, Belgium.




Fordham Gallery, London, UK

Public art work + performance and reading. Poster by Fordham Gallery.


Mobile Documenta, Mobile sculpture, and a 2 day reading of Schillers “The Aesthetic education of Mankind”


[Examination of 2 key aspects of the construction of PA – Schillers notion of He-Autonomy and the Culture State]






Threads, Tank gallery, London, UK


Mobile Documenta 2

Local and online improvised discussion examination the ideological role of existing frameworks and systems for promoting contemporary art, including Biennials and Documenta.




Fordham at Tate Britain, UK

Presentation of posters produced by Fordham gallery documenting all activities  they have staged.





Post Autonomy on Resonance 104.4 FM


The start of a series of 9 one hour programs for Resonance FM

Please see  – – for full program





1st Land art Biennial Mongolia

Post Autonomy now 3, Lecture performance

Imagining the end of Biennials, Colonization and Globalization to signal a new moment



David Goldenberg discussing the idea of moving beyond Biennials



Details from Local Mongolian newspaper with photograph of David Goldenberg




Websynradio, web radio, France


Audio discussions on Post Autonomy, including a recent interview between David Goldenberg and Michael Lingner on current thinking in understanding Post Autonomy


“Cooperation not corporations”, Group show, curated by Maja Ciric in collaboration with David Goldenberg, ITS-1, Belgrade, Serbia.


Floor drawing mapping the start to develop new thinking and steps towards Post Autonomy, with works and texts required to contextualising how art is to function beyond a colonial and global mechanisms.




Local Belgrade newspaper with photos and review of Collaboration not  Corporation show


Plausible Artworlds, Basekamp, Philadelphia, USA


Online discussion between David Goldenberg, Basekamp, Stephen Wright and others on current thinking into Post Autonomy

Please click on link – –  for  further details and transcription  of the discussion-




Arts Depot, Vienna, Austria

The language of Post Autonomy, One day conference organised by David Goldenberg via Skype and with international artists, curators and Local people






Mapping Globalisation, European Festival of Transnationalism, A-Foundation, Arnold Circus, London, UK





Centre for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijian


Conference, Workshop and setting up a permanent PA room


Post Autonomy now 4, Lecture/performance “What is a Biennial and how do we move beyond them?”


Photograph showing David Goldenberg talking during the conference and taking part in the Workshop




“The power to host” curated by Maja Ciric, ISCP, New York, NY, USA

Early texts on PA



September – November


Template – Mobile Doucmenta

Chisenhale Studios, Chisenhale, London, UK


in collaboration with Eleana Louka and Fordham Gallery



Sluice Art Fair, with Fordham Gallery, London, UK


Madam Wang Vol 2

Text on collaborations by Dabid Goldenberg with Eleana Louka




Berlin Biennial online project

Short debate  between David Goldenberg and Eleana Louka on Political Art



Launch of “Art” magazine in Baku including David Goldenberg text” Post Autonomy in Slow Motion”






















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