Issues
Issue #24
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Boris Groys, Hu Fang, Precarious Workers Brigade, Dieter Roelstraete, Simon Sheikh, and Hito Steyerl
Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike that of art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. And compensation—which is money—is not only for feeding lavish lifestyles or taking spontaneous beach vacations. Ask anyone who has children or sick relatives in a country without good health care—which could by now be almost any country, as...
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8 Essays April 2011
I Want to Think: POST-U
Franco “Bifo” Berardi
Poison While the Japanese tragedy has exposed the poisonous effects of the subjugation of knowledge by an obsession with capitalist accumulation, we should be able to consider what possibilities remain available for creating an autonomy for knowledge from capitalism in the future. We should be able to imagine a pathway for knowledge workers to self-organize, and we should be able to create the institutions, or models for future institutions, of knowledge production and transmission. The...
Art and Money
Boris Groys
The relationship between art and money can be understood in at least two ways. First, art can be interpreted as a sum of works circulating on the art market. In this case, when we speak about art and money, we think primarily of spectacular developments in the art market that took place in recent decades: the auctions of modern and contemporary art, the huge sums that were paid for works, and so forth—what newspapers mostly report on when they want to say something about contemporary art. It...
After being in Vienna for over two months, I paid a visit to the Wittgenstein House. At the side of the street, I saw the familiar shape of the building I had seen numerous times in photographs. Its narrow windows were particularly eye-catching, and its outlines seemed alarmingly clean as it stood in the twilight. I approached the building and noticed a huge and noisy crowd already at the entrance. They were huddled around the front lobby, their hands clutching champagne glasses as...
The week of November 10, characterized now by the dramatic occupation of Millbank and described as “the event of the generation of debt, precarity, and unemployment,” brought 50,000 people into the streets of London. 1 Entering the halls of Britain’s Conservative Party headquarters, many of us found ourselves overwhelmed by a movement we did not know existed. Formerly tucked in the folds of student unions, further education colleges, local councils, trade unions, and classrooms, a...
What if, rather than speaking or dreaming of an absolute beginning, we speak of a leap? — Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (1846) 1. A couple of months ago I was invited to the historic Polish port city of Gdańsk by the Wyspa Institute of Art, the city’s leading contemporary art center, to participate in a conference on the work of locally-based artist Grzegorz Klaman—the founder, so it happens, of the art institute that was...
A text in a magazine is never alone, but always within a context and a dialogue that is both internal and external to the magazine that publishes it: it relates to other texts within the magazine, both past and present, and to other texts on the topic elsewhere (as well as to text production in general). This is part of the rationale behind my own “Positively Revisited” series of texts about texts in e-flux journal . But a text’s relation to the publication in which it appears, as well as...
Imagine you are falling. But there is no ground. Many contemporary philosophers have pointed out that the present moment is distinguished by a prevailing condition of groundlessness. 1 We cannot assume any stable ground on which to base metaphysical claims or foundational political myths. At best, we are faced with temporary, contingent, and partial attempts at grounding. But if there is no stable ground available for our social lives and philosophical aspirations, the consequence must...
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