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Productivism and Its Contradictions

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Before the publication of Maria Gough's (2005) and Christina Kiaer's (2005) work on 1920s Soviet Productivism, Productivism had been deemed to have 'not got off the drawing board'. Gough, in particular, shows this to be very short-sighted; the presence of Productivists in the Soviet factory system was greater than imagined. Drawing on this new research, and Boris Arvatov's Kunst und Produktion (1926), the article examines the place (and limits) of the factory in Productivism's model of the revolutionary transformation of art and labour. In turn, the revival of Productivist language in recent cultural and political writing on the new immaterial economy is assessed. In what ways does this 'vitalist' Productivism - as the author calls it - delimit or transform the Productivist legacy?

Keywords: Arvatov; Constructivism; NEP; Productivism; factory; immateriality; labour; production; value; vitalism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-09-01

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