Sam Sackeroff is a PhD candidate and SSHRC doctoral fellow in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. During the 2014-2015 academic year he held a Mellon MRC Fellowship at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His current research focuses on liberalism and aesthetics in postwar America.
Abstract. Beneath the churning apocalyptic surface of Planet Accelerate is there an unexplored reformist core? In this paper I argue the answer is “yes.” Focusing on Robert Rauschenberg’s printed works of the 1960’s, I explore that core, asking what a politically engaged aesthetic project premised on reform might look like. Making the most of Accelerationism’s permission to speak using capitalism’s own terms while troubling the movement’s more determinist tendencies, I show how accidents of capitalism can be seized interpretively to generate what I call “surplus values” which can then be leveraged in other areas of social and political life.