Issues
Issue #75
With: Donna Haraway, Matteo Pasquinelli, Antonia Majaca, Mari Bastashevski, Ahmet Öğüt, Ariel Goldberg, Geert Lovink, James T. Hong
Businesspeople talk about art like artists talk about money: gratuitously, without compensation. Hired to talk about money, an entrepreneur will speak in terms of art. Put an artist on a panel and you will often get disquisitions on exchange, capital, and commerce. Both constituencies are compelled by what lies outside their professional responsibility, and the response to this compulsion vibrates between veneration and contempt. For every Übermensch crypto-expressionist billionaire...
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9 Essays September 2016
We are all lichens. — Scott Gilbert, “We Are All Lichens Now” 1 Think we must. We must think. —Stengers and Despret, Women Who Make a Fuss 2 What happens when human exceptionalism and bounded individualism, those old saws of Western philosophy and political economics, become unthinkable in the best sciences, whether natural or social? Seriously unthinkable: not available to think with. Biological sciences have been especially potent in fermenting notions about all...
To make machines look intelligent it was necessary that the sources of their power, the labor force which surrounded and ran them, be rendered invisible. —Simon Schaffer If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent. —Alan Turing Metacognition in the Twenty-First Century California Adult The idea that “machines think” displays an unintended solidarity with the animism of less industrialized cultures, which have long recognized autonomous...
1. Nervous Systems In 1882 Doctor Paul Emil Flechsig, a brain anatomist with no experience in clinical psychiatry, took up the directorship of the psychiatric clinic of the University Hospital in Leipzig. For German institutional psychiatry, the appointment decisively inaugurated a new episteme. In one move, the era of the soul ended and the era of the brain began. 1 Dr. Flechsig’s project linked neural activity to all of human behavior and thought, a reduction that persists in...
The Perfect Con
Mari Bastashevski
The perfect con is one where everyone involved gets just what they wanted. — The Brothers Bloom (directed by Rian Johnson, 2009) For the longest part of the voyage, the twenty-six people on board the Zim Qingdao, a ten-year-old, 261-meter-long, 50,689-ton-capacity, Chinese-built container ship under a Liberian registration, included one Israeli captain, four Israeli officers, four Russian-Ukrainian-Israeli engineers, one Russian-Israeli electrician, one Bulgarian boatswain,...
1. Anticipointment 1 During the press preview of this summer’s 9th Berlin Biennale, in the main room of Kunst-Werke, I saw a distracted visitor who didn’t notice a pool of water surrounding a video installation. 2 He ended up falling into it. This unintentional encounter apparently happened to many visitors, and it became a symbolically tragicomic way to begin my visit to the biennial: like a joke that is not funny, nor ironic. What is it then? This time around, we are not...
Simplicity Craving
Ariel Goldberg
There was a dyke story in one of Max’s porn magazines. It was my favorite, but not because I liked it exactly. Reading it by the light of my flashlight was like examining a photograph of dead relatives. —Camille Roy 1 Help us poison position. —Dawn Lundy Martin 2 I got a speeding ticket from a surveillance camera on my way to what was being talked about as the biggest and most controversial show featuring artists who represented homosexuality. Half a year later, my...
Scraping the Social : “We are unknown to ourselves—and with good reason.” Friedrich Nietzsche—“Even the retards are starting to figure it out.” (comment)—“In data we trust.” Priceonomics—“The Internet fails to scale gracefully.” Chris Ellis—“I want to be surprised by my own bot”—“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leo­­nard Cohen—“Just did my sheepish biannual LinkedIn visit, which felt too much like my sheepish biannual sweeping of dry cleaner hangers into the...
The Idea of an Archive An archive is a non-random collection of things, or the place where such a collection resides. The concept of non-randomness or purposiveness implies that archivists have a reason for archiving—that an archive is a meaningful project with a set of goals. It is possible to generate an archive by accident, so long as some party in the future can attribute meaning to this accidental collection of things. 1 An accumulation of dangerous nuclear waste is not normally...
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