Issue #19
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Svetlana Boym, Diedrich Diederichsen, Boris Groys, Park Chan-Kyong, and Jalal Toufic
The tension in contemporary culture formulated in terms of a hackneyed clash between premodern tradition and fully modernized enlightened subjects has proven to be a dangerous one—and it has easily given way to patently racist scenarios in which premodern tribal types (such as the EU citizens who happen to be Roma) invade fully modern Western metropolises. It seems much more useful, and interesting, to consider these conditions to be one and the same—two sides of a single, irreconcilable…
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6 Essays October 2010
History Out of Synch The twentieth century began with futuristic utopias and dreams of unending development and ended with nostalgia and quests for restoration. The twenty-first century cannot seek refuge in either. There is something preposterous in our contemporary moment of postindustrial economic crisis and preindustrial cultural conflict. I see in it not a conflict between modern and anti-modern, or a pure “clash of civilizations,” but rather as a clash of eccentric modernities…
1. Classical Music vs. Free Jazz When an adult in Berlin or Vienna wants to spend an evening with company, there are two basic options: one can have a cozy dinner with friends at a restaurant or someone’s apartment, or one can go out. The second option may not be a radical step into the unknown, as there are familiar signposts, but nevertheless, when we go out, we switch into an entirely different mode of experience. Now “going out” can mean all sorts of things: an art…
At the turn of the twentieth century, art entered a new era of artistic mass production. Whereas the previous age was an era of artistic mass consumption, in our present timethe situation has changed, and there are two primary developments that have led to this change. The first is the emergence of new technical means for producingand distributing images, and the second is a shift in our understanding of art, a change in the rules we use for identifying what is and what is not art. Let…
1. I once had an accidental encounter with Mount Gyeryong and an indescribable shock came over me. The light of the full moon allowed the mountain, covered in snow, to reveal itself in its full glory even in the middle of the night. Unlike other large mountains in South Korea, which one can rarely see fully because they are usually hidden by neighboring peaks, Mount Gyeryong is a so-called protrusion-in-the-field type of mountain whose overall shape is quite visible even from a…
What Is the Sum of a Night of Jouissance and a Night of Desire? In A Thousand and One Nights , missing his younger brother, King Shâh Zamân, King Shahrayâr invites him to visit him. While on the point of heading to his brother from his camp on the outskirts of his capital, King Shâh Zamân remembers something he had forgotten in his palace. He heads back and discovers that his wife is betraying him with a slave. He slaughters her and her partner. Then he heads to his brother. The…

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