Issue #42
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Dieter Roelstraete, Rasmus Fleischer, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Adam Kleinman, James T. Hong, and Irmgard Emmelhainz
Sitting at home, you dream of living in places you barely know. And yet, you feel like a tourist in your own city. Maybe you should get out more. But when you do go out, you barely recognize anything. It’s a problem: everything important happens somewhere else. You are more attached to political struggles and events in other places. All the food you eat is imported. All your closest friends and family have moved away to live or work in countries where they don’t speak the language. You might…
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7 Essays February 2013
Ô Paresse, mère des arts et des nobles vertus, sois le baume des angoisses humaines! —Paul Lafargue, Le droit à la paresse , 1880 Full disclosure: I grew up the son of an artist, and after more than ten years in the business, I feel it is about time I finally wrote about it. For although this reluctant resolution may simply be motivated by the mundane tragedy of my own private aging, it has become increasingly clear to me in recent years that much of my current thinking about…
How to decide what music to listen to? Presented with boundless access, this is the perpetual question today. The standard response is to propose the use of automated systems of recommendation. Instead of spending all that time choosing music ourselves, we could just let software identify patterns in the statistical data we have left in our trail. Next, this software goes on to offer us radio stations specially tailored to our individual preferences, stations which often prove themselves…
On July 25, 2011, I sat down for a conversation with Egyptian writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist Nawal El Saadawi while she was in London for a workshop as part of the Edgware Road Project at the Serpentine Gallery. It was a beautiful July week in London and an equally bright time for the ongoing revolution in Egypt that had begun only a few months before, and I found Nawal full of the ferocious optimism she is known around the world for. As darker clouds now loom over the horizon…
Remember the early 1990s, the years that “punk broke” in Washington State. It’s late spring there, and the lilac bushes are beginning to bloom. Although the first Gulf War has ended with a “victory” for the American-led coalition forces, the USA, and most of the West, is facing yet another financial downturn. To make ends meet, Gale, a young mother from Puyallup, Washington, is forced to take on several jobs. Sadly, Gale’s elderly mother has just been moved to a home, and Gale must sell her…
In late 2012, I was invited to a ceremony memorializing WWII Japanese biological weapons attacks on a village near Yiwu in Zhejiang Province. The ceremony would be attended by a group of Japanese researchers whom I would follow throughout the province on their investigation of Japanese germ warfare. This is my production diary: November 13, 2012: The Laws of Wartime I’m flying directly from Taiwan to Shanghai. To me, this is still amazingly convenient, as I remember when there were…
Nowadays, artists’ voices are thought to be important in giving shape to society, and art is considered to be useful. Moreover, the state, the private sector and society attribute to art a decisive political role as on the one hand, they invest in culture with the purpose generating political and economic surplus value. On the other hand, art and cultural practices are now part of the same network of strategies and questions as social movements are (this space is known as the “Infosphere”)….

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