Issue #121 Twenty-One Art Worlds: A Game Map

Twenty-One Art Worlds: A Game Map

Hito Steyerl, Department of Decentralization, and GPT-3

Flowchart for The Case of the Silk King, Choose Your Own Adventure #14 (Bantam, 2006).

Issue #121
October 2021

This text forms the basis of a choose your own adventure–style game. It updates an old template by Superstudio.1 Players will move across this map in a mixed-reality scenario, while figuring out how to navigate the fragmented and disconnected archipelago of post-pandemic art worlds. In this game, art-worlding is transformed into a world-building activity. As a first step, read the descriptions of the twenty-one existing art worlds below and decide how many of them have become obsolete and need to be composted for the sake of being recycled and resurrected into something else. Depending on the number you choose, you will then discover what type of art-worlder you are at the bottom of the page.

First Art World: The Carnivore Art World

The participants

Dream and die, eaten alive

Art world victims are

Consisting of an excavating apparatus (a kind of turbine, with blades) that, in revolving, crushes rock, forcing all matter towards the center of the cylinder and through a duct up to the ground. The art world happens when new contingents of participants are led underground using the winding screw as a pathway. The procession into the underworld is arranged at 6:00 p.m., and a choreography dictates a precise sequence of movements which participants have to execute, each imitating a small personal robot walking next to them. The traces they leave behind, slime, blood, and other biological fluids, are photographed, censored, and broadcast over a network as a QR code. Once the participants in the procession reach the bottom, they fall asleep and dream of an entirely different art world. They awake refreshed and then are eaten alive by the art world to sustain itself. An orifice 7.22 meters in diameter opens up temporarily on the level below participants. Their biological matter is digested by the machine while their dreams are marketed on some Discord channel. The carnivore art world is constantly creating new images and objects, and reproducing itself.

Second Art World: The Colosseum Art World

An island adorned

Public shaming feasts

Art is a circus

The art world lies on an artificial island built by refugees from civilizational collapse. It is embedded in an urban system erected on poles made of tree trunks from virgin forests. Its modules are adorned with elements obtained through robbery, plunder, and forgery. On a quiet day, it basks in the ocean sunlight, which is artificially constrained by tele-operated modules of steel painted yellow. At its center stands a dome ten meter in diameter and a hundred meters tall, from which a putrefying odor emerges every two years. At this sign, participants start descending onto the art world. A feast is held for a period of many months. Its purpose is the playtesting of new modes of oppression. To this extent, participants crown temporary royalty and cancel all others. The public shaming and humiliation are recorded on the Solana blockchain and auctioned off. Famous people die in this art world: they come to study its rituals, but then the art world takes its revenge and kills them by eating their guts. As the public playtesting is taking place, the art world becomes a big circus with an outer ring and an inner one, connected by nonfunctional elevators and Ferris wheels.

Third Art World: The Museum of Modern Art Art World

Arcane maze MoMA

Shells and bureaucracy are

The art we consume

In the most disfigured, listless, and numb area of that real estate that once was New York, and, more precisely, where MoMA once was at about 83rd Street, this art world is incorporated as a cluster of shell entities. The structure is a 3D hologram with a length, width, and height of 180 feet, consisting of ready-made junkspace cubicles, in each of which there is a lens nine inches in diameter. This structure contains shell cubicles which in turn contain cubicles in an infinite regress. Inside the cubicles, bureaucratic rituals take place under the pretext of child abuse. This activity sustains this art world, but actually, no one in the world understands its arcane, toxic, and superstitious nature. The metabolism of this structure is performed by Picasso and Cezanne artworks circulating in between the shells, fueled by energized impunity. Systems of incorporated art advisories inserted in various points of the shell cluster enable them to communicate directly. At the center of the art world is a shell. On the ground level, a series of gates lead to a labyrinth of rooms, corridors, staircases, and basements. The building is completely sealed off from the outside reality. The whole building is one huge maze.

The Fourth Art World: The P-word Art World

Shame for the P

The P has been forgotten

Debt dissipated

is built on the strict command never to articulate the forbidden word starting with “P.” This law has existed for so long that everyone has forgotten what this word originally used to be. Every year, a growing number of people are executed under the suspicion to have harbored thoughts about the P-word. They are first ritually thrown into debt, symbolically eradicated by numbering their due in shame coins, and then have to confess. A conveyor belt grabs them and strips them of any remaining data. They can return now to the overground but as a sort of virtual leper. In this world, special forms of madness are known. The most persistent plague is the roletarian fever, followed by the recarious rash. People who get infected are interned into huge quarantine facilities, shut in, and forgotten about. This art world is based on strict laws, which are only made clear in case of an emergency. These laws are written in the O-word art world. In this world, every time someone utters the forbidden word, the art world itself splits into two.

Fifth Art World: The Booty Art World

Misminted, exiled

vade retro auction houses

players assemble

There are 815 billion Nomads (NMS) and thirteen billion Exiles (EXS).

The Exiles are an independent faction that can only be created in the world of the same name, which is the only planet in the system not controlled by a major auction house. The Exiles have a base at the furthest point from the system’s star, in a distant cold area of the system.

“Exile” is a common term for a person who has been forced to leave their homeland in order to escape legal prosecution or political oppression. In the case of “No Man’s Sky,” the Exiles are a faction of former NMS players who became separated from the main body of people who once played the game, and were forced into exile by being misminted.

There are ninety Type As and Bs, fifteen Type Xs, four Type Rs, one Type H, R, X, and 4,817 Type Ws. For example, Type As provide 0.7 percent of all BOO sold in the World (in USDC), whereas Type Ws (for the region of Colonio LTX) provide a share of 0.1 percent of all BOO sold, plus 1 percent of all LIB redeemed (in USDC world credits).

If you are part of any private militia, you get an additional five hundred voting weight.

The most popular weapon is the “Autocrat Expressionism” canon, with usage of 2,466,321. The least popular is the “Zombie Formalism Offloaded” pistol, with a usage of fifty-nine.

The most popular attack module is the Primitive Accumulation Blaster. If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital bloodstain on one cheek,” capital comes dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood and dirt.

An Exile can be seen briefly in the game’s intro video on the beach of the first planet the player visits, although it is unclear whether this is actually a live player character or an NPC character. “The floodgates of the privileged few have been opened, and the flood is just beginning.”

Adaptation of Edward Packard’s Supercomputer, Choose Your Own Adventure #39 (Bantam, 1984).

Sixth Art World: La Ville-Machine Habitée

This art world city is

Apparatus Maximus

Feeds from blood and lead

The art world is a machine, such a large machine that not even its inhabitants know its size. The participants are bureaucrats who live in the machine endlessly dragged along by conveyor belts, chutes, and pneumatic tubes from the time of birth to the time of death. The machine takes care of everything, along the innumerable routes which intersect, unite, and divide according to its incomprehensible programming and endless forms. The machine is self-sufficient, it takes from the outside world only the lifeblood of artists and a little lead. This triggers enough animosity for the art world to continue its drab and shabby existence, which would be missed by few people. The first thing that strikes us when we arrive in this art world is the silence. The silence is the result of the art world’s isolation, the absence of any contact with the outside world. The art world is isolated by a barrier of concrete, barbed wire, and guard towers. This barrier is not a natural boundary; it was built by the art world itself, and it is maintained by the art world alone. The art world is self-sufficient, but its inhabitants have always known that its way of life is fragile, and that the slightest contact with the outside world would mean the end of the art world. The art world is fed by two pipelines, which emerge from the ground in the middle of the wall and stretch away into the distance.

Adaptation of Edward Packard’s Escape, Choose Your Own Adventure #22 (Bantam, 1983). 

Seventh Art World: The War Art World

Military shows

Violence, supply, demand

Are in essence art

This art world consists of war shows. Battles and skirmishes are staged for the whole purpose of creating design objects, performative assets, by means of generative destruction. The bones of the dead are studied by art-world haruspices auguring the advent of art prices and auction sales. War art world is the most recent of the art worlds. Its short history starts with the First World War and ends with the War on Terror. War art world is a state of mind. This art world is a hybrid world where the art world and war world overlap. One might say it is the ultimate artistic expression of military necessity. Art galleries are affected by the law of supply and demand and flooded by artworks. Their value is increased if they can be traced back to a conflict. Such institutions offer institutionalized violence for creating art objects. The origin of this art world type is based in “an objective mimetic standard of value for art.” In the course of history the relation between carnage and art changed from a biological relationship—that is, where war is performed for the sake of the survival of a certain group—to a causally artistic one, where violence is staged for the purpose of art production. This form of art is called “de-art” since it is an art object which was produced due to a violent act.

Eighth Art World: The Mutant Art World

Anarchy, lawlessness

Art is in a mutant form

No slaves of any debt

The eighth art world is wild and lawless, where artists and writers are embedded with cultural guerrillas who are setting up alternative communities, which aim to be self-sufficient, beyond any form of governance or law. They want to be free from any form of government or financial debt and they don’t want to be taken over by corporate powers. Here “art” takes the form of a mutant genetic algorithm that also functions as a means of communication in guerrilla cells.

Ninth Art World: The City of Art

Debt and loans in the cube

And artistic credit scores

Bankrupt very soon

It is embedded in the great cube. It is in fact an autonomous art cluster, but as it is part of the greater structure, it is both dependent on and independent from it. There are three parts to the city. First is the art market, where artworks are traded and commissions are agreed on. Second is the museum district, where works are exhibited and sold. Third is the residential district, where artists live and work. The artists, as long as they live in the city, will always be in debt to it. Artists who produce more works than required by the city will have their credit rating lowered, and will not be able to borrow money or exhibit in the city anymore. Artworks produced by artists who have been blacklisted by the city are considered worthless and cannot be traded anywhere else either. Artists can apply for loans from the central planning office in exchange for a percentage of future revenue on their works. Loans are paid back in ten years with an annual interest of 12 percent. If the artist can’t pay back the loan, the works produced with the loan will be auctioned off to the market, and the money will be used to repay the loan. Every seven years, everyone goes bankrupt but the banks.

Adaptation of Edward Packard’s Inside UFO 54-40, Choose Your Own Adventure #12 (Bantam, 1982). 

Tenth Art World: The Last Art World

At the end of time

Capitalism will fall down

Art goes extinct now /fork gets extruded

The tenth art world is the last art world. When the capitalist system collapses, there will be no more art worlds /fork too many art worlds. The art worlds will fade away into the dark ages. The art worlds will become extinct like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. The art worlds will become fossils that are found in museums /fork they will be museums that are found in fossils. When capitalism collapses, people will no longer be able to live off the art worlds. They will no longer be able to make a living from their art. /fork people will finally be able to capitalize on collapse.

Eleventh Art World: The Animated Van Gogh Art World

An apparatus

Van Gogh copies ad nauseam

Chop an ear off here

The art world consists of an inflatable structure of dimensions 10 × 200 meters. In this structure lies enclosed an immersive scenario in which Van Gogh artworks are projected on every available surface. Under the inflatable structure lies a small torture chamber in which Xerox copies of Van Gogh paintings are tortured by rotating them between acid tanks and electroshock machinery. The frequencies detected are then turned into 3D animations, sexed up with maximum Fresnel levels and sheen, and forced into mobility. Meanwhile, the original paintings lie entombed in concrete rods swaying with the rumble of earthquakes. In this artwork you can pretend to be Van Gogh by cutting off replacement ears rendered in 3D. Additional wounds are optional. A good hole in the stomach will cost you only $300. The artwork is composed of a series of interconnected rooms, one of which has been designed to be a crime scene. The victim lies on the floor, and the bullet hole can be seen in the stomach. The bullet hole is an opening into a secret room, where the original painting lies. Visitors can cut off the ear of the original painting and take it with them as proof of their visit to the art world.

Twelfth Art World: The VC Art World

Hedge and invest art

Sell and buy a token war

No exit ahead

A crypto-exclusive fund that fuses infrastructure, finance, art, unique collectibles, and virtual estates. The twelfth art world is decolonial de-fi. We are in the process of constructing a crypto-museum that is not only digital but also psychical. A place where our culture is preserved and protected. It will be a place where our culture is bought and sold. It will be a place where our culture is traded and transferred. It will be a place where our culture is stolen and returned. It will be a place where our culture is destroyed and ruined. It will be a place where our culture is protected and destroyed. It will be a place where our culture is decentralized and stolen.

It is an art world that is not only highly ambitious, but also extremely violent and deadly, so much so that it has been called a “war of tokens,” not to mention that it has been reported that there have been over three thousand casualties and more than eleven thousand arrests. The Global South is the laboratory for the establishment of an art world whose goal is to be a permanent state of exception.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. I am not a qualified financial advisor. You should seek the advice of a professional financial advisor before investing in anything.

Fourteenth Art World: The Metamorphosis Art World

Locked up in MoMA

Living is a performance

A sentence for life

It is a month after the opening of the “Metamorphosis” exhibition, and ten artists have been recruited by the MoMA board to create a performance that rethinks the museum. The ten artists are:

Alessandro Mendini, Italian designer

Ben Vautier, French artist

Caroline Achaintre, French architect

Fabio Reinhart, Italian architect

Pietro Ruffo, Italian artist

Rirkrit Tiravanija, Thai artist

Robert Rauschenberg, American artist

Tomma Abts, German artist

Ugo Rondinone, Swiss artist

Yves Klein, French artist

Each of the ten artists is given a bedroom and is instructed to sleep in the museum for the month of the exhibition. They are to do whatever they like in their bedrooms, but they are not allowed to leave the museum. When they wake up, they are to make whatever they want in their bedrooms. Each day, the MoMA staff will bring them food and supplies. They are told that they will have to use the public spaces as well. The public spaces are to be used as studios. No visitors will be allowed into the museum at any time. The result is a strange metamorphosis. After a week of contemplation, Mendini opens his door and throws out a pile of garbage bags. Most of his “art” is in those bags. He closes the door and never opens it again. Ruffo spends the first few days drawing. The drawings are amazing. He then gets bored and doesn’t do anything. Mendini’s garbage bags are dumped in the hallway outside his door. Tiravanija cooks and eats a lot of noodles in the middle of his room. The food is taken to him by MoMA staff, who just walk the food into his room. Ruffo is the only one to complain about this. Tiravanija is not allowed to leave his room and is told that he can’t make any art while inside the museum. But he doesn’t care. Klein has filled the entirety of his room with balloons. There are no windows in Klein’s room, just balloons. After a few days, he lights a match and burns down the museum. Abts paints the walls of her room black and never leaves. She doesn’t even open the door. Reinhart makes a drawing that covers an entire wall of his room. It is absolutely gorgeous. It is a drawing of a drawing of a drawing. It is so beautiful that the museum is forced to buy it. Vautier makes one painting and then puts it up for auction. It sells within a few hours. Rauschenberg spends the first few days walking around the museum, examining everything. There are no windows in Rauschenberg’s room, just mirrors. After a few days, he appears in the lobby, in the middle of the day, and tells everyone that he has made art in his room and would like to leave. He is told that all ten artists have to finish their sentences. After a month, all ten artists are allowed to leave. The museum is shut down for repairs. They all receive a stipend.

Fifteenth Art World: The Democratic Art World

Expertise has vanished

All that remains is the art

Soulless and painless

This type of world was created by extreme democratization processes and art talk by laypeople without any practical experience. The democratic art world is an image of freedom and an occasion for individualistic self-expression. It is a culmination of democratic society and is associated with “a consumable, transparent art world” in order to generate bliss without pain, like a slide winding down a Frank Gehry atrium. The aseptic art world is dichotomized by investors and amateurs. It revolves around an absent guillotine. An optimistic concept of quality in art is created by this art world, which quickly becomes very popular. The democratic art world is giving birth to post-pandemic austerity as a cultural dominant, and art critics adapt to its dominant position in art. Under the surface, it ensnares real estate lots, messes up the rent, and triggers expropriation movements.

Sixteenth Art World: The Zoom Art World

this game is an Art

come one, come all, join the zoom

this Art is a game

​​De Groene Amsterdammer: “The workers in this Zoom performance are really ambitious. You can’t take that away from them. It is playful, which is always nice, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder whether the game is at the expense of the art.” Focus Art Magazine: “I’m not sure whether the participants are to be congratulated or not. As employees of the Zoom art world they have produced art for their bosses. But they have ended up working for nothing.” De Volkskrant: “The Zoom art world is a great idea. Monumental, but also a little infantile.“ Robin Westerdijk from Wendingen, “The Zoom art world is what happens when you cross the International Institute of Social Studies with a day-care center for senior citizens, which is a bit Schiphol, but also utopian. Until recently van der Keuken was a project manager at the National Gallery in Amsterdam, and not so long ago he was an art student. ‘So here we are with petty-bourgeois ambitions.’” Jasper Bakker from De Volkskrant: “This is an art institution which is incapable of launching something. Some people just come here to paint, some others only do their laundry. In any case, the Zoom art world has been a great thing for van der Keuken. For the rest, it remains an unresolved experiment.” De Groene Amsterdammer (again): “As it is, the Zoom art world is a solely local phenomenon. A sort of collective retirement home for old hippies. A place where you can have nice conversations over a glass of wine. But what happened to the revolution?” Studio International: “The Zoom art world, which has been in operation for over three years, now has to close its doors, not because it has run out of money, as was initially claimed, but because the Amsterdam authorities found that the structure is too unsafe.”

Seventeenth Art World: The Missing Art World

An art world amiss

Thirteen does not exist, no!

but Seventeen does

The seventeenth art world consists of the thirteenth art world, which was omitted.

Eighteenth Art World: The Token Art World

stake it and fake it

tokenize your phony loot

the rich are feasting

Behind a fake baroque facade, the eighteenth art world lies in hiding. One in a family of newly feudal art palaces, the eighteenth art world feeds on the sweat of stolen faces. Images of someone else are accumulated, headhunted, mauled, and ground into sand to bake fake sandstone gargoyles as living mementos to the fall of fake empires.

The token art world is an old feudal pastime. The token gesture takes the shape of a plaster cast of an ancient ruin, a manufactured DaVinci, a looted ethnographic artifact, a paternalistic gesture of cannibalism.

The token gesture takes the shape of a bronze cast of a child soldier, a manufactured Jackson Pollock, a looted Asian mask, a paternalistic gesture of cannibalism. The token gesture takes the shape of a fake performance by a fake artist, a fake performance by a fake charity, a fake charity performance by a fake charity, a fake charity performance by a fake artist.

Adaptation of Edward Packard’s Cave of Time, Choose Your Own Adventure #1 (Bantam, 1982).

The Nineteenth Art World: The Fake Art World

Fund a circle jerk

The Whites Are At It Again

no substance remains

The nineteenth art world consists of the fake charity performance inside the eighteenth art world.

There is a moderator who introduces the guests: first the chairman of the foundation. The foundation does not want to change anything and praises the work of the museum as inclusive and multicultural. But the vice chairman is sick of the colonial loot discussion and wants to restitute and argues for opening the institution to new voices. In the audience: A storage worker, who wants to keep things as they are, as he needs to pay rent and is afraid of getting fired. One opportunist artist who pitches a critical project to get paid. A gallerist who argues for putting the artworks in question up for auction. A group of activists who argue for exiting the museum, taking it over, or just bloody NFTing the whole thing. Someone from a group who argues for the restitution of someone else’s ancestors’ ritual artifacts. Immediately, new factions emerge. They include a white woman who argues that the museum is a place of resistance. An academic who argues that the museum should be closed, as it is a white-male-hegemonic-patriarchal-colonial institution. A security guard who wants to be a hero by stopping a protester. A woman who argues that the museum should be a peripheral place, not the center of Berlin. An Exile from NMS who wonders aloud what they are doing there. An administrator who argues that the museum should not be under state control. A white person who asks why only white men can be racist. An Egyptian who argues that the museum should be in the Middle East. Someone who argues that the museum should become a gallery where artworks are destroyed in order to keep things new. A man who argues that the museum should be a place to make Germany great again. A small personal robot that pitches investment into BOO coins. A white male artist who argues that the museum is a place for him to be a star. A person who argues that the museum should be a place for migrant workers, as they cannot afford to go to the opera. A French bureaucrat talking about their experience at Administrators Anonymous. Someone who argues that the museum should be an institution of love. Another person who wants to build an identical copy of the museum right next to it. Out of these people, two main opposing groups emerge. The first group consists of the people who want to change things and the second consists of the people who want to keep things as they are. The group that wants to change things argues that the museum is a place of death, it is a place of violence where artworks are destroyed in order to keep them new and where people are being hurt and silenced. In the end, one of the main characters, the white-male-hegemonic-patriarchal-colonial-institution, is shot by the security guard who wants to be a hero. Museumsgärten was written in German in 2018 by someone impersonating Theaster Gates and applying for funding. It is based on the 2017 controversy of the “white cube” of the Berlin National Gallery. The work is set in an imagined art museum and was directed by the American independent filmmaker Bill Viola. It is filmed in the Tempodrom, a circular building in the former West Berlin, and was released on the video-on-demand platform Vimeo in 2018.

The Twentieth Art World: The Fluid Art World

a submerged art world

the one that will never be

or be born at all

The twentieth art world got flooded before it even emerged. End of story.

The Twenty-First Art World: The Next Art World

why create weapons,

when one can create machines?

nevermind, canceled.

This is a variation of the Lucas Plan for the Art World. The Lucas Plan was created by arms-industry workers who were threatened by redundancy in the 1970s. They came up with a catalog of socially useful products they could make with the knowledge and resources they had, instead of creating weapons. What kind of products could the art world come up with? The list starts with a machine to save the lives of small children who have been run over. It ends with a machine to make the people in power in the art world redundant. In between there are 1. a machine to clean up the oceans 2. a factory that recycles old art 3. a machine that paints pictures that can’t be stolen 4. a machine that uses words to make wars impossible 5. a machine that doesn’t exist 7. a machine that finds out why people give money to hideous rubbish in art 8. a machine that creates paintings that need to be stolen 9. a machine that makes the people who decide what art is a pile of worthless shit 11. a machine that paints with thunderstorms 12. a machine that tells when art is complete 13. a machine that keeps on improving itself until it includes the world 14. a machine that makes art that cannot be read by any computer, which tells us what it is about 15. a machine that mimics a quantum computer entangling art and the weather 16. a machine that tells us how art really works 19. a machine that removes all the ideas and makes it possible for anything to happen 20. a biodegradable machine that makes art 21. a machine that rids the world of the things that prevent people from being free—of aristocracy, of war, of money, of pain, of fear, of time 22. a machine that disallows people to change their pasts 23. a machine that makes everyone so radically different that all the words in all the languages cease to have meaning 24. a machine that allows us to rediscover the earth and animals and plants in a new way 25. a machine that brings back the dead but keeps them in storage 26. a machine that allows people to change their place in the universe 27. a machine that takes away the fear of living 28. a machine that rids us of the horrible idea that everything has to be explained 29. a machine that creates happy endings 30. a machine to stop other machines. The project ended in 2020 because it got canceled on social media.


Compost the art worlds you selected as obsolete and learn your personality type via our psychological test results below. Share your results by tweeting them to @compost_nfts or posting them to our Telegram group. Nominate your peers by using the hashtag #nftnominate on Twitter—the bots will make sure your peers get the instructions to join the composting machine.

Results of the Psychological Test

Of the art worlds whose descriptions you have read, how many are obsolete?

If you selected more than nine art worlds:

You are the head of an art fair, or hope to become one, or at any rate you are suited to be one. The logic and the mechanism of the system are perfected within you, and part of you, are you. You know the system, and it knows you. You are the system, and the system is you.

From six to nine art worlds:

You are an art critic. You don’t have to be a slave. You simply have to be a victim. Your victims are the artists. You are an element of the system, a cog functioning perfectly within its mechanism; lubricated by the logic of the culture, and thus free from friction, you turn smoothly, perfectly synchronized with your creator; hallucinating and sadistic, you generate terror. The system, however, is not the culture. The system is you.

From three to six art worlds:

You are a token. You have killed your doubts in order not to be killed by them, and you have died with them anyway. You don’t think, you don’t want, you only execute an order. Of the whole you, there remains but limbs and organs, nothing more than mechanical parts functioning in one direction only: from the assembly line to the junkyard. But there is still a chance for you to reinvent yourself, to free yourself from the slavery of your past and its past. The orders are not the system. The system is you.

From three to one art worlds:

Are you a smart contract? Come forward to be gently sent to the zero address forever.

You didn’t think any of the art worlds were obsolete:

You are an artwork. You have not caught on: you haven’t understood that you are just a pretext. Is it possible that you didn’t realize that it is enough to carry forward the logic of the system until it becomes rigorous logic, to concretize many more hallucinating fantasies than those described here? Hold on, the way is broad, the “technologically advanced” art worlds are running rapidly along it (ever nearer their goal) and the “developing art worlds” are following close behind. The system is a system for the rationalization of art. It is, nevertheless, a system for the legitimization of art, the art of the future. And the most important thing for you to realize is that there isn’t any other system. The system is you.


Gian Piero Frassinelli, Twelve Cautionary Tales for Christmas: Premonitions of the Mystical Rebirth of Urbanism. Documented here: .

Contemporary Art, Language & Linguistics
Artificial intelligence, Contemporaneity, Storytelling, Media Critique
Return to Issue #121

Thank you to Matthias Planitzer.

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, moving-image artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. Her principal topics of interest are media, technology, and the global circulation of images. Through her writing practice, films, and performative lectures, Steyerl considers the status of the image in an increasingly global and technological world.

Department of Decentralization is an open collective of individuals established in Berlin in 2018, working on Decentralized Open Source software and its intersection with art and culture. The Art department of DoD, collaborating in this essay, is the result of over three years of work, research, and promotion within the intersection of blockchain and arts.

GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) is an artificial-intelligence language generator developed by OpenAI.


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