Posted by: HAT | December 22, 2009


A link between art, religion and utopia is the concept of “the transformation of materials.”

It’s clear that a critical link between art and religion is “transformation of materials.” Art works with and on a whole repertoire of raw materials, within which we might even want to include human perception, or “nature” as subject matter. Religion similarly works with and on a whole repertoire, including pre-eminently human thoughts, emotions, psychological organization, or what we might once have called simply “the human person,” as if we still knew what that meant.

Utopia, as an image of suffering transformed into its own overcoming, also represents (literally, represents) a transformation of materials. These are additionally complex materials: whole human subjects, in their interpersonal and communal relationships, along with their comprehensive activities, and interpretations. Art and religion are constitutive practices in its direction. [Politics ought to be included here, as well, obviously, as a kind of technē.]

None of those practices are necessarily utopian in their conduct or intention. But insofar as the transformation of materials undertaken by art, and by religion, and by politics for that matter, has as its impulse the overcoming of suffering — and that is pretty far, it seems — then insofar as these practices do not move in a utopian direction they betray their own impetus and concept.

They move towards utopia, or they move towards death.

(choose life, choose life, dammit!! CHOOSE LIFE!)

Utopian discourse is transformative discourse.



  1. […] As I’ve said before, Utopian discourse is transformative […]

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