The police says that there is nothing to see on a road, that there is nothing to do but move along. It asserts that the space of circulating is nothing other than the space of circulation. Politics, in contrast, consists in transforming this space of ‘moving-along’ into a space for the appearance of a subject: i.e., the people, the workers, the citizens: It consists in refiguring the space, of what there is to do there, what is to be seen or named therein. It is the established litigation of the perceptible.

Ranciere, 'Ten Theses on Politics'  (via aidsnegligee)

First of all, we cannot enclose the question in the concept of politics of art. What is efficient is not art in and of itself; art is part of a certain distribution of the sensible – part of a certain reconfiguration of experience. What was important, in the case of workers’ emancipation, was the possibility of leisure and the ability to see paintings, much more than specific words or paintings. People were not emancipated by revolutionary painting. But they could acquire a new kind of body, a new gaze out of this availability of any kind of painting. There is something wrong with the idea that political effects are to be located in the artwork itself or, in particular, in the intention of the artist. What happens in the aesthetic regime of art is that artists create objects that escape their will. Sometimes it denies their will. There are democratic works that are made precisely by artists who were not at all democrats.