Issues
Issue #33
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Michael Baers, John Miller, Alenka Zupančič, Mladen Dolar, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Martha Rosler
On some days it is more apparent than others that the ground is shifting below our feet. On a clear day, we can see the horizon that tells us we are in the midst of a global regime change, yet we do not yet know the face of the new power just beyond it. But what we can see is the limit of an economic regime that has dangled vast advances in symbolic spheres of information and communication, in capital flows and even human movement across the globe. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before...
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7 Essays March 2012
There is no vision without details. —Hussein Barghouti The psychic and geographical center of Ramallah is Al Manarah Square, a traffic roundabout where five streets converge at irregular angles. Cars and people circulate in apparent chaos around five carved lions statues—symbolizing Ramallah’s five prominent families—which encircle a single Corinthian column, as if standing guard. One lion wears a wristwatch, and depending on one’s sense of the ironic, this detail can be read...
The following text, which is the first of three installments, traces back to a conversation I had with Mike Kelley in 1994, “Too Young to be a Hippy, Too Old to be a Punk.” 1 Christophe Tannert at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin had invited us to discuss underground political and aesthetic culture in the US for the first issue of Bethanien’s Be Magazin . One year later, I followed this up with a narrative account and analysis of the subject, “Burying the Underground.” Meanwhile, a series...
At first sight, and considering its length, Freud’s short essay on Verneinung looks like a fleeting comment, a short note of an observation that is mostly, and in spite of its amusing character, of a technical nature: When in analysis we hear the person utter this and that, we can conclude, with great probability, that what is at stake is this and that. 1 Freud’s most famous example is a remark made by a patient, and has since become proverbial: “You ask who this person in the dream can...
One divides into two, two doesn’t merge into one . This was an old Maoist slogan from the 1960s. Despite its air of universal truth it has become dated, and I fully realize the danger of appearing dated myself by starting in this way. Nowadays, one can recite this slogan in front of a class full of students and none will have ever heard it or have any inkling as to its bearing or its author—it’s almost like speaking Chinese. The slogan combines an ontological statement, a mathematical...
Since the early 1990s Adam Curtis has made a number of serial documentaries and films for the BBC using a playful mix of journalistic reportage and a wide range of avant-garde filmmaking techniques. The films are linked through their interest in using and reassembling the fragments of the past—recorded on film and video―to try and make sense of the chaotic events of the present. I first met Adam Curtis at the Manchester International Festival thanks to Alex Poots, and while Curtis...
A discussion of the struggles, exoduses, and reappropria­tions of cognitive labor, especially in the field of visual art, and especially when taken as the leading edge of the “creative class,” while critically important, is trumped by the widespread, even worldwide, public demon­strations and occupations of the past year, this year, and maybe the next. I would like to revisit the creative-class thesis I have explored here in a recent series of essays in order to frame my remarks in light of...
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