Cite as: Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Introduction to the symposium Bad Taste?: Culture and Consumption in the Great Acceleration, ICI Berlin, 17 June 2022, video recording, mp4, 12:46 <>
17 Jun 2022


By Benjamin Lewis Robinson

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:12:46
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Symposium

Bad Taste?: Culture and Consumption in the Great Acceleration

‘The climate crisis is also
a crisis of culture.’

Amitav Ghosh
The Great Derangement

This symposium takes the planetary ecological crisis as an urgent occasion to reflect on the history and politics of taste. Talk of taste today is considered outmoded, if not suspect. But is this not itself suspect in the ongoing Great Acceleration, a period defined since the 1950s by excesses of consumption and corresponding disruptions to the earth? In the context of the contemporary ecological crisis, examination of the implicit relation between taste and consumption seems all the more pressing. To what extent has the Great Acceleration been propelled by taste? What might such a question contribute to understanding these twin crises of climate and culture?

Attending to taste in the Great Acceleration involves analyzing the proliferation and the allure of certain aesthetic forms, materials, and attitudes – as well as the obfuscation of the associated production of waste. And it means revisiting historical debates since the 1950s in aesthetic theory and culture critique for their blindspots and evasions as much as for their insights. Might reflection on the politics of taste indicate an intersection of affective embodied experience with the ostensibly more abstract categories of cosmopolitan politics, the global economy, and planetary ecology? Is there an alternative sensus communis to the rampant consumerism that has driven the Great Acceleration and that can no longer be dismissed as mere bad taste?


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


Nathan Brown
Giulia Bruno
Pierre Charbonnier
Heather Davis
Alexi Kukuljevic
Clio Nicastro
Melanie Sehgal

Organized by

Benjamin Lewis Robinson
Caroline Lillian Schopp
An ICI Event in cooperation with LMU Munich, this project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 101025546.