A complete aesthetic legislation would be the first organ of the aesthetic revolution.
By calculating the moment of effect of its products (‘organised systems of stimuli’) according to statistical means, it makes the appearance of aesthetic experience out to be nothing but pure reflex.
The autonomous art that emerged from it - in that it rebelled above all against social interests, claims and expectations - has had an enlightening function ‘as a sort of critical branch office of society and made its most significant social contribution..at such a rigid distance.
Because reason has this tyrannical structure (which Adorno criticised as totalitarian), but autonomy can only be attained through enlightened reason, art is unavoidably fated to undergo a constant process of aesthetic autonomy.
For autonomy can be realised in no other way than by a process of ‘self-legislation through reason’, so that art must develop, ie, think itself, a more intensely rational and conceptual structure the more autonomous it becomes.
External factors once determined by art have become internalized
The paradoxical phenomenon of art, becoming at the very peak of its aesthetic autonomy socially dependent again as to structure, is manifested in post-modernism but not caused by it
This regressive development aquires a certain inevitability: art, in the process of its constantly expanding autonomy, has become differentiated into an independent social system, a ‘self-created social organisation’.
The art that, aesthetically, became autonomous and thereby a ‘self-created social organisation’ continues to be subject to outside regulations, even though these have become innate
If art is not to be overcome by the social controls now within it and to lose its own specific identity…
How a socially defined art can regain and re-develop its autonomy..
Art is forced to develop a completely new strategy for autonomy
The artwork’s only function is to initiate and organise communication, to reduce its arbitrariness and to regulate the anticipation of those participating in the communication: “The unity of the artwork lies..in its function as a communicative program.”