Issue #73
With: Giorgio Agamben, Vivian Ziherl, Claire Fontaine, Rebekah Sheldon, David Claerbout, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Marco Magagnoli, Stefan Heidenreich, María Iñigo Clavo
All things have borders that make them what they are. Some borders are spatial, like the edge of a painting, and some are chronological, like the end of a play. In this issue, Vivian Ziherl and Maria Iñigo Clavo both attempt to translate modernity from a historical, chronological teleology into a spatial geography. Ziherl does this by drawing our attention to the persistence, within contemporary space, of that supposedly historical borderline, the frontier, while Clavo provides a taxonomy of…
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9 Essays May 2016
1. Form-of-life is not something like a subject, which preexists living and gives it substance and reality. On the contrary, it is generated in living; it is “produced by the very one for which it is form” and for that reason does not have any priority, either substantial or transcendental, with respect to living. It is only a manner of being and living, which does not in any way determine the living thing, just as it is in no way determined by it and is nonetheless inseparable from it….
From 1772–75, Reinhold and Georg Forster, a father and son team of German naturalists, accompanied Captain James Cook on his second Pacific expedition. The voyage sought to map the unknown reaches of the South Pacific, and to discover the imagined Great Southern Continent. While anchored in the Melanesian archipelago (now New Caledonia), Third Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill encountered the social body of the ship’s map-making. The Forsters’s journal records the following scene in the course…
The fiftieth-anniversary issue of Artforum included an article by Hal Foster entitled “Critical Condition,” with the subtitle “On criticism then and now.” The adjective “critical,” which he uses here to define a condition, refers both to the medical sense of the term, as well as its philosophical sense, where “critical” comes by way of the Greek verb krino , meaning to discern , to separate things by means of the intellect . Having no need to remind us of this, Foster moves directly to…
Queer Universal
Rebekah Sheldon
1. Recent feminist and queer theorizations have turned emphatically away from the ambitions of late twentieth-century universalism in favor of particular forms of life. Lightning, atoms, jellyfish, and fetuses teem from the pages of prominent journals, as do HeLa cells, extinct aurouchs, wooly coral reefs, sacred pipestone, indigenous cosmologies, toxic dumps, and transgender frogs. 1 This patchwork of objects and life-forms has much to say about the ineradicable openness of the…
Photography is currently undergoing the sort of transformation that music went through roughly fifteen years ago. This transition was a major shift for musicians but was generally considered positive by the listeners. For those young photographers keen on knowing how their profession will evolve, I would suggest they look at the music industry of today, fifteen years later, to get a glimpse of the changes to come. In the short term, these changes may seem merely technical: simply a…
Blu’s Iconoclasm and the End of the Dada Century
Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Marco Magagnoli
On November 26, 2016, the fortieth anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK,” Joe Corré will burn his £5 million collection of punk memorabilia. This gesture by the son of Malcom McLaren and Vivian Westwood—two icons of punk’s first wave—is a response to Punk London, a year-long slate of concerts, films, talks, and exhibitions organized by the British tourism board. As Corré explained to NME Magazine : You talk to people about it these days and it’s almost…
Continued from “ Freeportism as Style and Ideology: Post-Internet and Speculative Realism, Part I ” Freeports are large, tax-free storage facilities that are uniquely suited to housing works of art adapted to the demands of contemporary financial markets. Because of the dominance of these markets, “freeportism” can be understood to signify the conditions of representation, production, and distribution that correspond to this dominance. The successful freeport artwork requires a strong…
1. Facing History: Modernity as Prefix It is a hallmark of postcolonial theory to question selective, self-flattering accounts of European modernity. Postcolonial theorists from both Europe and the rest of the world have illustrated how ideals of emancipation, equality, freedom, and scientific and industrial development were only possible through their opposites: colonial exploitation, inequality, slavery, torture, and suffering in the Global South. 1 That’s why, during the 1990s,…

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