Issues
Issue #62
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Luis Camnitzer, Simon Sheikh, Ahmet Öğüt, Paolo Virno, Paul Feigelfeld, Philip Grant, Jon Rich, and Ewa Majewska
Increasingly it seems like no large exhibition opens without an artist boycott. And the reasons to withdraw are legitimate—a gulf museum employs migrant labor under terms approaching slavery, a biennial sponsor corporation operates an offshore detention center, works are censored for petty moral reasons, a municipality passes a homophobic law, or funding is traced to an occupying state with a staggering record of ongoing human rights abuses. Of course, these petitions can start to come...
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9 Essays February 2015
A few days ago it was my birthday. 1 I find that birthdays are the real days of atonement, days when one revisits the past, vacuums it, takes stock, apologizes at least mentally, and distills lessons. Because they are tailor-made and private, I take birthdays much more seriously than somber holidays imposed by religion. Going through this form of accounting I realized, probably once more, that I’m still a militant and a student—a leftist student at that. I realized that I’m still Jewish of...
Circulation organizes time and vice versa. Public discourse is contemporary, and it is orientated to the future, the contemporaneity and the futurity in question are those of its own circulation. —Michael Warner 1 Nothing is less passive than the act of fleeing, of exiting. Defection modifies the conditions within which the struggle takes place, rather than presupposing those conditions to be an unalterable horizon; it modifies the context within which a problem has arisen, rather...
A Personal Prologue I grew up in a place where civil war was part of daily life, where safety in public space was divided into day and night, into wide roads and back streets, mountains with cages or fields with burned trees. It was normal to have military tanks patrolling in the heart of town with heavily armed Special Forces. Working as a journalist in a newspaper was dangerous enough to have one assassinated in the middle of the street during daytime. Listening to music in your...
Watching Themselves Live 1 When psychiatrists refer to déjà vu, they do not mean a known event of the past playing out again, accompanied by either euphoric amazement or bored condescension. Rather, here we have an only apparent repetition, one that is entirely illusory. We believe that we have already experienced (or seen, heard, done, etc.) something that is, in fact, happening for the first time at this very moment. We mistake the current experience for the very faithful copy of an...
Over the past several years, Finnish media theorist Jussi Parikka’s work has received widespread attention in the academic and art worlds alike. Besides contributing to the international foundation for what has been called “German Media Theory” with his work on media archaeology and his editing of Berlin-based media theorist Wolfgang Ernst, among others, Parikka has written on network politics, the dark sides of internet culture, and media ecology. Together with Digital Contagions...
At the end of it all, the Queen defecates—gold bars. The queen in question is Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and quite a few other places beside), but here she is presented more simply as the “Queen of England,” just like the woman she has been conversing with through the short performance. That woman too is a Queen Elizabeth, or better still, was , since she died in 1603. As befits the dead, perhaps, she doesn’t...
The perpetrators of the crime against the French weekly Charlie Hebdo were French citizens. The fact that they are not foreigners is an irony and does not explain much, as many mistakenly perceived, about the factors leading up to the current (historical) moment. The fact that Western cultures see this as a paradoxical trait of modern societies points to a deeper flaw in the structure of modern societies themselves. For the criminals at hand to qualify as French, one expects all...
What relationship is there between the work of art and communication? None at all. A work of art is not an instrument of communication. A work of art has nothing to do with communication. A work of art does not contain the least bit of information. In contrast, there is a fundamental affinity between a work of art and an act of resistance. —Gilles Deleuze After Art and Revolution , A Thousand Machines , and texts and interventions in defense of public education,...
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