e-flux journal: New Issue, New Editor, New Book!

e-flux journal: New Issue, New Editor, New Book!

e-flux journal

February 3, 2016

e-flux journal: New Issue, New Editor, New Book!

with Hito SteyerlGleb NapreenkoCarol Yinghua LuIlya BudraitskisMcKenzie Wark, and Charles Tonderai Mudede


Launch of issue 70
Friday, February 5, 7:30pm
With a talk by Hito Steyerl and screening of Harun Farocki’s Parallel I–IV

311 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

e-flux journal: New Issue, New Editor, New Book!

We are very pleased to welcome Stephen Squibb to the editorial team of e-flux journal. Since his days at the studio of Martha Rosler, Stephen has been a long time collaborator of e-flux. Squibb’s work as a writer and an editor has appeared in and around e-flux journal, n+1, Jacobin, and Monthly Review, among other publications. He is a founding member of Woodshed Collective theater company, and a PhD candidate in the English Department at Harvard University.

Berlin launch of Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution
With writer Benjamin H. Bratton and e-flux journal editor Julieta Aranda, as part of transmediale
Friday, February 5, 2:30–3:30pm

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

e-flux journal issue 70

Art has something to teach Marxism about the reasons for its great historical failure to understand nationalism, because art proceeds with the understanding that the materiality of representation is not the same thing as the materiality of production. If it were, if the value-process were reducible to the labor-process, or vice versa, then both art and inflation would be impossible.

Duchamp understood this even before Keynes did. Marxists don’t like to admit it, but their whole show relies on the gold standard as a way of avoiding the problem of the materiality of representation; because labor can only immediately be the source of value if the medium used to represent value is uncontested. Once the gold standard vanishes, the mediation of value becomes a social question distinct from the social question of labor. And the social question of valuable media is determined, in the last instance, by the jurisdiction of the artist. The suspicion that the nation-state has for art is just the fear of losing its monopoly on the management of valuable material. National Socialism staged exhibitions denouncing degenerate art precisely because their own “national art”—their currency—had degenerated so completely as to become nearly value-less.

This explains the desire for artists to see themselves now as gods, now as slaves. In the first case they command the world because they can inscribe value into anything—think of Picasso paying for meals with scribbles on napkins—or Damian Hirst managing his dot paintings like a central banker. In the second they are workers like any other, happy to slip inside the warmth of a movement that needs more from them than ever. Sometimes solidarity means recognizing that the differences between us are only differences, rather than pretending to be all alike in order to hoard our singular editions for ourselves.

Once it was cliché that businesspeople only wanted to talk about art, while artists only wanted to talk about money. Today the space between these two obsessions feels more precarious than before. Rather than pretending to be slaves, maybe we should ask: What would I want from the free, if I were otherwise?


In this issue:

Hito Steyerl—A Tank on a Pedestal: Museums in an Age of Planetary Civil War
One might think that the active historical role of a tank would be over once it became part of a historical display. But this pedestal seems to have acted as temporary storage from which the tank could be redeployed directly into battle. Apparently, the way into the museum—or even into history itself—is not a one-way street. Is the museum a garage? An arsenal? Is a monument pedestal a military base?

Gleb Napreenko—A Farewell to Totality
The implicitly spiritual inheritance of Hegelian-Marxism can also be detected in Buchloh’s passion for totalizing schemata. The all-embracing system of spectacle, which infiltrates and appropriates for its own profit even consciously resistant artistic strategies, is Buchloh’s eternally returning and unconditional nemesis, his original sin, whether understood as capitalist ideology or state propaganda (e.g., “From Factura to Factography”). “Capitalism remains my Devil,” as his contemporary T. J. Clark once put it, revealing more with the second noun than with the first.

Carol Yinghua Lu—From the Anxiety of Participation to the Process of De-internationalization
The de-internationalization of the contemporary art world in China is further concealed by the Chinese art system’s ability to continuously adopt terms and references from its Western counterpart while at the same time giving them a Chinese interpretation. In 2001, a new media art department was established in the National Art Academy, with many other art academies subsequently following suit. The artists and teachers who helped push for this change considered it a covert opportunity to generate a more progressive teaching program and to break away from the institution’s conservative and stagnant atmosphere. Privately, this move found its spiritual origin in the radicalism associated with the emergence of new media art in Europe at the end of the 1980s. But publicly, the artists and teachers behind the new department linked it to the society-wide and not-at-all-radical obsession with new technology in China at the time.

Ilya Budraitskis—The Eternal Hunt for the Red Man
The growing need for the Red Man myth reflects the nostalgia of the Russian (and the Ukrainian) intelligentsia for an integral picture of reality now lost. The need for moral abstractions and vulgar generalizations is based on a dogmatism of thought, the roots of which can be sought in the Soviet period. The dogmatic post-Soviet intelligentsia outlived not only the demise of its encompassing society, but also its own demise, the loss of its own social and ethical basis in post-Soviet reality. Using the construct of the remnant, designating a contrived communist specter as a primary enemy, the intelligentsia strives to affirm its own existence in this reality by insisting that the specter is other than a shadow.

McKenzie Wark—The Vectoralist Class, Part Two
What if history can be neither negated nor accelerated? Perhaps second and third nature have been built so broad and so deep that there’s no getting around this infrastructure. Thus while the commodity economy keeps plodding along, at its own relentless pace, it forms agents of any class in its own image and obliges them to work in the forms it determines. What if even the vectoralist class had little power anymore over its own creation?

Charles Tonderai Mudede—The Equalizer
We are not a strong animal; we are essentially weak. Our closest relative, the chimpanzee, is, according to evolutionary biologist Alan Walker, four times stronger than the average human. We don’t even have sharp teeth. Our development is terribly slow. Our big brains take twenty-one years to fully develop. Our babies are completely useless. Unlike chimpanzees and gorillas, our women need assistance during childbirth. They need help. Humans are even terrible sprinters, as much as we admire Usain Bolt. Few things in nature are more doomed than a human who is alone and left to fend for him- or herself. Our survival has depended on dependency.

The print edition of e-flux journal can now be found at:
Amsterdam: De Appel arts centre / Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten Andratx: CCA AndratxAntwerp: M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Århus: Kunsthal Aarhus Athens: OMMU Auckland:split/fountain Austin: Arthouse at the Jones Center Baden-Baden: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-BadenBanff: Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre Barcelona: Arts Santa Mònica / MACBA Basel: Kunsthalle Basel / Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel Beijing and Guangzhou: Vitamin Creative Space Beirut:98weeks Belgrade: Cultural Center of Belgrade Bergen: Bergen Kunsthall / Rakett Berlin: b_books / Berliner Künstlerprogramm – DAAD / Bücherbogen am Savignyplatz GmbH / do you read me? / Haus der Kulturen der Welt / Motto / Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Pro qm Bern: Kunsthalle Bern / Lehrerzimmer Bialystok: Arsenal Gallery Bielefeld: Bielefelder Kunstverein Biella: UNIDEE – University of Ideas, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto Onlus Birmingham: Eastside Projects / Ikon Gallery Bologna:MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna Bregenz: Kunsthaus Bregenz Bristol: Arnolfini Brussels:WIELS Contemporary Art Centre Bucharest: National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (MNAC) / Pavilion Unicredit Cairo: Beirut / Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) / Townhouse Gallery Calgary: The New Gallery Cambridge: Wysing Arts Center Castello: Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló (EACC)Chicago: Graham Foundation / Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts / The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago Cologne: Kölnischer Kunstverein Copenhagen: Overgaden Derry: CCA Derry~Londonderry Dijon: Les Ateliers Vortex Dublin: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane / Project Arts Centre Dusseldorf: Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Eindhoven: Van AbbemuseumFrankfurt: Städelschule / Portikus Gdansk: Łaźnia Centre For Contemporary Art Geneva: Centre de la photographie Ghent: S.M.A.K. Glasgow: CCA Centre for Contemporary Arts / Glasgow Sculpture StudiosGraz: Grazer Kunstverein / Kunsthaus Graz / Künstlerhaus KM– / para_SITE Gallery Grijon: LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries Groningen: University of Groningen Hamburg: Kunstverein in Hamburg Helsinki: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Hobart: CAST Gallery / INFLIGHT Hong Kong:Asia Art Archive Iași: theartstudent at the University of Fine Arts, Iași Innsbruck: Galerie im TaxispalaisIstanbul: BAS / Cda-Projects / DEPO / SALT Johannesburg: Center for Historical Reenactments Kansas City: La Cucaracha Press Klagenfurt: Kunstraum Lakeside Kristiansand: SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum Kyiv: Visual Culture Research Center Leeds: Pavilion Lisbon: Maumaus, Escola de Artes Visuais / Oporto / Kunsthalle Lissabon Ljubljana: Moderna galerija Llandudno: MOSTYN London:Architectural Association—Bedford Press / Calvert 22 / Chisenhale Gallery / Gasworks / ICA / Serpentine Gallery / The Showroom / Visiting Arts Los Angeles: REDCAT Loughborough: Radar, Loughborough University Luxembourg: Casino Luxembourg Madrid: Brumaria / CA2M / PENSART Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Marfa: Ballroom Marfa Melbourne: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) / World Food Books Merrylands: Cerdon College Mexico City: Librería Casa Bosques / Proyectos MonclovaMilan: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi / HangarBicocca Milton Keynes: MK Gallery Minneapolis: Walker Art Center Monaco: Nouveau Musée National de Monaco Moncton: Fixed Cog Hero (a bicycle courier company) Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) Moscow: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture Munich: Haus der Kunst / Museum Villa Stuck / Walther Koenig Bookshop New Delhi: Sarai CSDSNew York: e-flux / Independent Curators International (ICI) / Printed Matter, Inc / McNally Jackson Nottingham: Nottingham Contemporary Omaha: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Oslo:Kunstnernes hus Oxford: Modern Art Oxford Padona: Fondazione March Per L’Arte ContemporaneaParis: castillo/corrales – Section 7 Books / Centre Pompidou / Les Laboratoires d’AubervilliersPhiladelphia: Bodega Pori: Pori Art Museum Portland: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) / Publication Studio Porto: Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves Prague: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art Prishtina: Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina Providence: AS220Reykjavik: Reykjavik Art Museum Riga: kim? Rio de Janeiro: Capacete / A Gentil Carioca Rome:MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma / Opera Rebis Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute / Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art Saint-Nazaire: Le Grand Cafe, centre d’art contemporain Salzburg:Salzburger Kunstverein San Antonio: Artpace San Sebastián: Centro Internacional Cultura Contemporanea São Paulo: KUNSTHALLE São Paulo / Master in Visual Arts, Faculdade Santa MarcelinaSarajevo: Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA) Seoul: The Books / The Book SocietySherbrooke: Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University Singapore: The Ngee Ann Kongsi LibrarySkopje: Press to Exit Project Space Sofia: ICA-Sofia / Sofia Art Gallery / SWIMMING POOL St Erme Outre et Ramecourt: Performing Arts Forum St Louis: White Flag Projects Stockholm: Bonniers Konsthall / Iaspis / Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation / Konstfack, University College of Art, Craft and Design / Konsthall C / Tensta konsthall Stuttgart: Württembergischer Kunstverein StuttgartSydney: Artspace Tallinn: Kumu Art Museum of Estonia The Hague: Stroom Den Haag Toronto: Art Metropole / Mercer Union / The Power Plant Torun: Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun (CoCA) Toowoomba: Raygun Contemporary Art Projects Trieste: Trieste ContemporaneaTrondheim: NTNU University Library Umeå: Bildmuseet, Umeå University Utrecht: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst / Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory Vaduz: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Valencia:IVAM–Biblioteca Valletta: Malta Contemporary Art Foundation Vancouver: Artspeak / Fillip—Motto / Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia / READ Books, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design Venice: The Biennale Library-ASAC Vienna: Kunsthalle Wien / Salon für Kunstbuch—21er Haus Vigo: MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) Vitoria-Gasteiz: Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea Visby: BAC – Baltic Art CenterWarsaw: Zachęta National Gallery of Art Wiesbaden: Nassauischer Kunstverein (NKV) Yerevan:Armenian Center For Contemporary Experimental Art (NPAK) Zagreb: Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic / Gallery Nova / DeLVe | Institute for Duration, Location and Variables Zurich: Postgraduate Program in Curating, Zürich University of the Arts / Shedhalle / White Space.

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