The malaise of contemporary art is by now commonly acknowledged. Beyond the diagnostics of art’s recent and still prevalent conditions, counterproposals are needed for what art might do and, consequently, what it has to be. The recent vindication of rationalism offers one particularly compelling countermanding of contemporary art. It is particularly significant if the concern is to establish criteria for art that are binding yet expansive, obtaining societal traction by extending art beyond the internal concerns of the artworld. Yet, as this presentation will propose, philosophically organised deontologies can not provide the criteria needed for art. As an institutionally-constructed praxis, art is constituted by a risk rationality that abrogates conceptually organised commitments. The question that arises is then: what kind of rationality should art operationalise?