Issues
Issue #15
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Boris Groys, Lars Bang Larsen, Sven Lütticken, Gean Moreno, and Hito Steyerl
In a recent BBC documentary on “objectum sexuals”—people who have loving relationships with inanimate objects—Erika Naisho Eiffel spoke about her love affair with an archer’s bow: “We were just such a great team because we had that connection on every single level. I’d almost swear that my blood flowed from my arm and went right into him. And it felt like the molecules in him were flowing right back into my arm.” 1 It’s no surprise that, before their love waned, Naisho Eiffel was a...
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6 Essays April 2010
In these times, we know that everything can be an artwork. Or rather, everything can be turned into an artwork by an artist. There is no chance of a spectator distinguishing between an artwork and a “simple thing” on the basis of the spectator’s visual experience alone. The spectator must first know a particular object to be used by an artist in the context of his or her artistic practice in order to identify it as an artwork or as a part of an artwork. But who is this artist, and how...
Undead and abject, the zombie is uncontrollable ambiguity. 1 Slouching across the earth, restlessly but with hallucinatory slowness, it is a thing with a soul, a body that is rotten but reactive, oblivious to itself yet driven by unforgiving instinct. It follows that if the zombie is defined by ambiguity, it cannot be reduced to a negative presence. In fact, it could be a friend. So why does it lend itself so easily as a metaphor for alienation, rolling readily off our tongues?...
Disorientation: We Are Almost There Many of the more prominent artworks produced in the last decade or so are characterized by a recasting of what were once called installations as something closer to interiors, relegating the installation to a supportive role that places meaning in the service of activity. From an artwork spread out everywhere we turn to one that is located very precisely in the features that can be said to make up the space—the walls, the furnishings, the floor...
Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky? He got an ice pick, that made his ears burn. Whatever happened to dear old Lenny? The great Elmyra, and Sancho Panza? Whatever happened to the heroes? Whatever happened to all the heroes? All the Shakespearoes? They watched their Rome burn. Whatever happened to the heroes? No more heroes any more. —The Stranglers, 1977 In 1977, the punk band The Stranglers delivers a crystal clear analysis of the situation by...
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