Issues
Issue #52
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Reza Negarestani, Ane Hjort Guttu, Tom Holert, Tyler Coburn, Jonas Staal, Antke Engel, Stephen Squibb, Pierre Dardot, and Christian Laval
Neoliberalism began as the idea that economic rationality could be applied as a model of governance in place of political ideology. No more authoritarianism. Just the rational calculation of people's needs and wants. But now we realize that needs and wants are not rational. They are crazy. And they take place on such vastly different scales that, without any political idea to stabilize desires and render them accountable—even simply in the sense of being legible and comprehensible—we are...
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9 Essays February 2014
Inhumanism is the extended practical elaboration of humanism; it is born out of a diligent commitment to the project of enlightened humanism. As a universal wave that erases the self-portrait of man drawn in sand, inhumanism is a vector of revision. It relentlessly revises what it means to be human by removing its supposed evident characteristics and preserving certain invariances. At the same time, inhumanism registers itself as a demand for construction, to define what it means to be human...
We are taught that the sun shines on everyone. The sun is one of the best things in life, and the best things in life are free, or so we’ve heard. But that’s not how it is. The sun belongs to someone. The clouds belong to someone. The roads, the trees, the houses. The sound of footsteps on the street. It’s all for sale. You can buy the smell of wet asphalt, the dew on the lawn, the roar of the city, the sparkling sea. The splashes of sunlight on the bedroom wall in the morning that you saw...
Colors of Intervention On January 11, 2013, the French military launched Opération Serval, 1 an attempt to assume command in Mali, France’s former colony. Using fighter jets and ground troops, France intervened on the side of the Malian armed forces to defend the country against a litany of militias advancing from the north: the Islamic Toureg fighters of Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), the Salafist group Al Qaeda in the...
Charter Citizen
Tyler Coburn
In October 2012, the Supreme Court of Honduras forced closure on a recent chapter of neoliberal expansionism, ruling against the constitutionality of autonomous cities within its borders. The ill-fated enterprise dates back to the 2009 TED conference, when liberal economist Paul Romer took the floor to pitch “charter cities,” built on the territory of host countries and subject to the market-friendly jurisdiction of credible guarantor nations. At the 2011 TED conference, Romer returned...
There is something deeply propagandistic in the disappearance of the notion of propaganda from artistic discourse. The word only resurfaces bluntly to dismiss certain practices as one-dimensional, as pamphletism, or as ideological and doctrinal. In our capitalist-democratic age, art is merely expected to “hold up mirrors,” to “ask questions,” and to show the ambiguities of our existence. As Hito Steyerl succinctly stated: “If contemporary art is the answer, the question is: How can...
I have felt the age-old triangle of mother father and child, with the “I” at its eternal core, elongate and flatten out into the elegantly strong triad of grandmother mother daughter, with the “I” moving back and forth flowing in either or both directions as needed. —Audre Lorde, Zami With this in mind, I approach Henrik Olesen’s multimedia installation Mr. Knife and Mrs. Fork (2009) and LaToya Ruby Frazier’s exhibition of black-and-white photographs, A Haunted Capital...
The first thing I did was make a mistake. I thought I had understood capitalism, but what I had done was assume an attitude—melancholy sadness—toward it. This attitude is not correct. Fortunately your letter came, at that instant. “Dear Rupert, I love you every day. You are the world, which is life. I love you I adore you I am crazy about you. Love, Marta.” Reading between the lines, I understood your critique of my attitude toward capitalism. —Donald Barthelme, “The Rise of...
Risk: A Dimension of Existence and an Imposed Lifestyle The new subject is regarded as the possessor of a “human capital”—a capital to be accumulated through enlightened choices that are the fruit of responsible calculation of costs and benefits. The results achieved in life are the result of a series of decisions and efforts that come down exclusively to the individual and require no special compensation in the event of failure, other than that provided for by voluntary private...
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