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Dispersal

Modeling the catalyst of an event (the pandemic, e-flux journal’s call for readers) and its subsequent—diffuse, diverse, anticipated, and unforeseen—consequences on subjects both isolated and in communion, we invited interested artists to respond to the articles “Is It Love?” by Brian Kuan Wood (selected by BRD) and “The Unthinkable Community” by Paul Chan (selected by Hannah Varamini) as points of departure for selections of their own. Christina Valentine, Babsi Loisch, Fiona Yun-Jui Chang, Hanieh Khatibi, Elizabeth Preger, Rachel Kerwin, and Silvi Naçi enact Love’s Remedies’ principle of expansive and recursive connectivity through this game of relay and diffusion. The selections revolve around questions of agency, labor, commitment, and participation as artists operating in a dispersed mode of affiliation. 

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Compiled by Love's Remedies
9 Essays
And pairs that cannot absorb one another in meaning effects Go backward and forward and there is no place —Lisa Robertson, “Palinodes” No one lives in the future. No one lives in the past. The men who own the city make more sense than we do. Their actions are clear, their lives are their own. But you, went behind glass. —Gang of Four, “Is It Love?” Over the past few decades, it has often been said that we no longer have an addressee for our political...
In Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot , two men wait by the side of a country road for a man who never comes. If done right, that is to say, if done with humor, fortitude, and a whiff of desperation, the play is as contemporary, funny, precise, courageous, and unknowable as I imagine it was back in 1952, when the play premiered in Paris. When I worked with others to stage Godot in New Orleans in 2007, we took many liberties to make it work at that place, for that moment in time. We...
Art is a history of doing nothing and a long tale of useful action. It is always a fetishization of decision and indecision—with each mark, structure, and engagement. What is the good of this work? The question contains a challenge to contemporary practitioners—or “current artists,” a term I will use, as contemporary art no longer accounts for what is being made—that is connected more to what we have all become than to what we might propose, represent, or fail to achieve. The challenge is...
Game Over
Franco “Bifo” Berardi

Environmental collapse, global civil war, nuclear proliferation, and epidemics of panic and depression are steps towards extinction. But this is not the end of the world, since abstraction has created a world of its own, subsuming social language and prescribing the social forms of interaction.
 

One hears time and again that contemporary art is elitist because it is selective, and that it should be democratized. Indeed, there is a gap between exhibition practice and the tastes and expectations of the audience. The reason is simple: the audiences of contemporary art exhibitions are often local, while the exhibited art is often international. This means that contemporary art does not have a narrow, elitist view, but, on the contrary, a broader, universalist perspective that can...
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...
The rise of participatory art since the 1990s invites us to constitute a history of this practice, ideally one that reflects the global spread of this work today. forthcoming book Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London: Verso, 2011).] In charting this history, important variants appear that challenge the dominant way of thinking about participatory art in Western Europe and North America, where this work tends to be positioned as a political,...
“Perhaps contemporary art is an art to survive our contemporaneity as an artist.” —Boris Groys Since the early days of modernism, artists have faced a peculiar dilemma with regard to the economy surrounding their work. By breaking from older artistic formations such as medieval artisan guilds, bohemian artists of the nineteenth century distanced themselves from the vulgar sphere of day-to-day commerce in favor of an idealized conception of art and authorship. While on the one...
The Weather As an embodied experience and agentic force, weather moves, scars, imprints. Our armpits dampen in response to the heat; our jaws and tongues stiffen in the biting cold. Like hail-damaged rooftops and sun-bleached laundry, our bodies bear the impressions of the weather-world. We could say that weather is the external conditions that structure one’s quotidian existence; this existence is felt in and as our bodies. Weather has a verbal form. 1 But is weather only a...
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