This volume contains a collection of texts that pertain to the notion of "utopia", examining the concept as a recurrent literary and theoretical trope and as it relates to contemporary artistic practice. Succinctly contextualized by Noble as an "impulse or tendency" rather than a place, "utopia" is examined from its earliest explicit articulation in Thomas Moore's 1516 eponymous text through its 19th-century entanglement with revolutionary aspirations in the work of Marx and Engels and its 20th-century negation in George Orwell's 1984. These writings provide the grounds for considerations on the significance of the avant-garde and the relationship between art and politics in its myriad activist and critical guises. Including such suspects as Adorno and Foucault, this book offers a selection of writings on and by such artists as Joseph Beuys, Liam Gillick and Thomas Hirschhorn, while critics are represented with pieces by the likes of Jan Verwoert on the avant-garde gesture and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh's infamous reading of Beuys as a historic self-mythologizer.