After Art will assert that images possess vast power through their capacity for replication, remediation, and dissemination at variable velocities. In order to exploit this power for progressive ends, it is necessary to understand the potency of images on their own terms rather than dismissing them as derivative, dumb, and deceptive. To this purpose, After Art will shift critical emphasis from art’s production (and the corollary of artistic intention) to what images do once they enter circulation in heterogeneous networks. While the prefix after signifies belatedness, it is not synonymous with the more commonly used prefix post, which, as in the vexed category postmodern, or its more recent successor, postmedium, indicates both the termination and transformation of a previous era and its signature styles. Post leaves the art object in tact albeit transformed or negated, whereas after shifts emphasis to its effects—its power—under the conditions of circulation.
Joselit, David. After Art. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013.