16 Tons
17 Tons: Memory as practice
17 Tons: Memory as practice
2012 Architects & Refunc
Aesthetics of Pollution
Alexandrov, Grigori
Almarcegui, Lara
Amalrik, Leonid, Dmitri Babichenko & ...
Amorales, Carlos
Anthoine, Roger
Apóstol, Alexander
Art Salon | Artist Talk ...
Artwork Entry
Ashington Group, The
Auden, W. H. [Wystan Hugh]
Becher, Bernd & Hilla
Beehive Design Collective
Ben Cain: About his research
Ben Cain: Audience and Interaction
Ben Cain: Physical aspects of ...
Bevierre, Olivier
Biscotti, Rossella
Bissill, George
Boltanski, Christian
Boom, Irma & Johan Pijnappel
Brandt, Bill
Britten, Benjamin
Broodthaers, Marcel
Buckle, Janet
Burtynsky, Edward
Cain, Ben
Campbell, Duncan
Carboniferous Landscapes
Cinematek Brussels
Claire Fontaine
Claus, Emile
Coal Face, 1935
Cobb, Francis William
Contemporary Art
Cornish, Norman
Crises of Capitalism
Cuauhtémoc Media (Chief Curator Manifesta ...
Cvijanovic, Nemanja
Cycles of Realism
Dark Matter
Dawn Ades: Coal as a ...
Daykin, Gilbert
de Loutherbourg, Philippe Jacques
Deller, Jeremy
Demuth, Charles
Douard, Cécile
Duchamp, Marcel
Durán, Manuel
Edgar Hermans about the Heritage ...
Embroidered Sayings
Epics of Redundancy
Ernst, Max
European Civilisation
Furlan, Tomaž
Garden Cities
Geers, Kendell
Geerts, Paul
Goldin+ Senneby
Granata, Rocco
Gronbach, Eva
Grubic, Igor
Guillaumin, Armand
Habex, Jan
Hair, Thomas Harrison
Hammons, David
Hanging the Manifesta 9 Flag
Harrison, Tony
Harskamp, Nicoline van
Hedwig Fijen: The idea behind ...
Herman, Josef
Heslop, Robert
Hüner, Emre
Industrial Revolution
Interview: Ante Timmermans
Ivens, Joris & Henri Storck
Izquierdo, Jota
Jafri, Maryam
Jitrik, Magdalena
Kaliski, Kevin
Karikis, Mikhail & Uriel Orlow
Kessels, Willy
Kilbourn, Oliver
Klutsis, Gustav
Konijnenberg, Willem Adriaan van
Konrad, Aglaia
Kozakis, Nicolas & Raoul Vaneigem
Kuai Shen
Landscape: From the Picturesque to ...
Landscape: From the Picturesque to ...
Leck, Bart van der
Lieshout, Erik van
Linde Hermans: Scenography of Manifesta ...
Livrets des ouvriers mineurs du ...
Long, Richard
Luce, Maximilien
Luque, Manuel
Maciá, Oswaldo
Manifesta 9
Manifesta Journal 13: Conversation between ...
Martin, John
Masereel, Frans
Mass-Observation movement
Matthys, Michaël
McCullin, Don
McGuinness, Tom
Meunier, Constantin
Michaël Matthys about La Ville ...
Mieke Mels (Curatorial Assistant) about ...
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig
Mining Machine
Monko, Marge
Moore, Henry
Munby, Arthur
Museum of the Miner’s House, ...
Newcomen Colliery Winding Engine
News from the Graveyard: On ...
Ni, Haifeng
Nostalgia and Its Discontents
Origins of Manifesta
Pabst, Georg Wilhelm
Paulus de Châtelet, Pierre
Perlee Parker, Henry
Poetics of Restructuring
Portrait of Spyros Roumeliotis and ...
Prayer Mats
Preparation of the Building
Promo Video
Raqs Media Collective
Rittase, William
Robinson, William Heath
Rocco Granata about 'Marina'
Saint Barbara
Schlingelhoff, Bea
Selander, Lina
Sime, Sidney
Smithson, Robert
Smoke, Colours and Loans
Soi, Praneet
Soviet propaganda
Stella, Joseph
Sutherland, Graham Vivien
The Age of Coal: An ...
The Legacy of Manifesta
The Mine Depot, Waterschei
Timmermans, Ante
Tomaszewski, Yan
Torfs, Ana
Underground as Hell
Underground, Models of the
Vanden Eynde, Maarten
Vandersteen, Willy
Vega Macotela, José Antonio
Venet, Bernar
Vercheval, Georges
Vermeir, Katleen & Ronny Heiremans
VIDEO: Kuai Shen
Video: manifesta 9 symposium on ...
VIDEO: Marge Monko - Nora's ...
VIDEO: Raqs Media Collective - ...
Video: Sounds from Beneath - ...
VIDEO:Oswaldo Maciá - Martinete
Visible Solutions, LLC
Waterschei Planning Archive
Woods, Paolo
Zola, Émile
Zwartberg drama

EN / nl


The usual meaning of “to work up from raw material, fabricate, manufacture (material objects)” is a reduction of the etymology of the Latin producere, which meant “to lead or bring forth”
(The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 2004). 

Modern economists have tended to narrow the concept of production even more tightly around a notion of ‘the useful’. Thus, for Jean Baptiste Say the “production of wealth” was distinguished from any other form of creation as the reproduction of “existing materials under another form” where “there is a creation, not of matter, but of utility” (1821: 2).

Karl Marx argued that under capitalism, “production appears as the aim of mankind and wealth as the aim of production,” in deep contrast with previous social formations which, despite their limitations, viewed the human being “as the aim of production” (1993: 487f.). He also criticized the distinction between “productive” and “unproductive” activities (and between the “useful” and the “useless”) as a purely ideological judgment about the extent to which a specific activity contributes to the accumulation of capital (ibid 273).

Such a critique of the modern concept of production ran parallel to Marx’s own anthropology, which posited labour, production and self-production as defining the human condition. Whereas animals such as bees or ants “produces what it immediately needs ,” Marx described humans as able to produce unconstrained by physical need, for their goal was none other than “creating an world of objects by his practical activity, in his work upon inorganic nature” (Marx 2005:276). When Marx defined production as “the appropriation of nature on the part of an individual within and through a specific form of society” (1993: 87), he not only alluded to historical forms of property and social relations, but to the degree to which knowledge and technique become, in the industrial age, “direct” forces of production, because natural materials are “transformed into organs of the human will over nature” and “general social knowledge” (i.e., science and culture) become the “organs of social practice” (ibid 706).

In the early 1970s, Jean Baudrillard criticized Marxism (as well as thinkers like Gilles Deleuze) for being unable to escape “an unbridled romanticism of productivity” (1975: 19) and unwilling to “conceive of a mode of social wealth other than that founded on labour and production” (ibid 30). Yet, as Giorgio Agamben has pointed out, “Everywhere, even where Marx’s thought is condemned and refused, man today is the living being who produces and works” (1999: 74). In that sense, the modern age has split the ancient Greek concept of poiesis (ποίησις) in two, opposing products (derived from technical means) with poetic “works of art” identified with originality or authenticity (ibid 60f.). CM