User account

  • art theory
  • discourse analysis
  • epistemology
  • aesthetics
  • artistic research
  • Think Art
  • youth
  • post-war generation
  • migration
  • childhood
  • identity
  • 1968
  • autobiography
  • emigration
  • trauma
  • homosexuality
  • memory
  • past
  • primal scene
  • post-war period
  • National Socialism
News + Events

Closing Event »Concave Thoughts« with Film Screening

03.03.2017, 18:00

Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin

Exhibition: Yves Netzhammer: Concave Thoughts

27.01.2017 – 03.03.2017

Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin

Lawless: Clouds Reprise

Ute Holl

The Moses Complex

The Moses complex derives its actuality from recalling the emergence of cultures as fields of mutually engendering relationships. From the perspective of media studies, which is a science of differential relationships between materialities and immaterialities, noises and messages, channels and signals, apparatuses and perceptions, the relationship to God or gods turns out to be one between people and their systems of thought. So media studies argues against fundamentalism, whether ontological, anthropological, or technicistic. The figure of Moses is a decisive node...
  • exile
  • Jean-Marie Straub
  • Arnold Schönberg
  • community
  • Danièle Huillet
Claire Denis

Fragility is the only thing I really know about me

I am not a very balanced person. I am fragile and sad – almost as described in Triste Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss. I feel both those adjectives, I grew up with them. I was aware of my fragility even when I was very young – a baby, learning to walk, living somewhere in Africa and already feeling that the number of white persons was very small compared to the number of black persons and also noticing that most of the black persons that I met were gardeners or maids. I felt – I am sure I am not lying – even at that very young age, not a sense of injustice, but a sort of guilt.

Guilt for what? My parents were nice people, they treated everyone well. My father was avidly learning languages, he spoke many African languages and also Pidgin English very well and he used to speak it...

  • autofiction
  • film d'auteur
  • subjectivity
  • identity

My language

Selected content
English, French

Weitere Themen
Elisabeth Bronfen

Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

An even more strikingly risky moment, which for Don anticipates both a personal and a professional crisis, occurs at the open door of an elevator in the fifth season. After Megan has confessed to him that she wants to stop working at the agency so as to fully concentrate on her acting career, he accompanies her to the elevator, where he takes leave of her by demonstratively giving her a passionate kiss before the door closes. Then, as though this were an afterthought, he once more presses the button. Although, almost immediately, the doors of the elevator next to the one that Megan just stepped into begin to open, he suspects that something is wrong. Standing on the threshold of the opening, he finds himself looking down into the dark abyss of the empty elevator shaft. More astonished than alarmed, he steps back. Then the doors close again. The concrete...

  • 1960s
  • America
  • architecture
  • everyday life
  • Labor
Gareth A. Jones

Multiculturalism and the Embodiment of Fear

  • multiculturalism
  • crime
  • contemporary history
  • South Africa
  • violence
Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer

Siegfried Kracauer, Philippe Despoix (ed.), ...

The Past's Threshold

There can be no doubt, however, that in Kracauer’s texts published at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s from his position as an editor of the cultural pages at the daily newspaper Frankfurter ­Zeitung, then in the 1950s during his American period, he sketches out a theorisation of photography that can be described as groundbreaking. But it is also true that most of his works overlap, in more than one way, with this medium of reproduction or that...
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • photography
  • History of photography
  • film
  • media theory
Kati Kroß

»… Consistently Abused and Forced…«

When non-disabled artists such as Jérôme Bel or Christoph Schlingensief in their productions work with actors who, in hegemonic discourse, are referred to as disabled, they almost invariably face criticism over the exploitation and voyeuristic exhibition of these people. Bel’s Disabled Theater anticipated such reservations and took a good deal of wind out of its critics’ sails by having the performers themselves raise these issues on stage and report on their families’ reactions to the piece. Nevertheless, the question whether Jérôme Bel was showing up his actors was an inevitable topic in newspapers and on critics’ panels—even though, in view of the overall press reviews and the relatively small number of hatchet jobs, it seemed as if some critics only used these objections as alibis for legitimizing their respective point of view, their voyeuristic curiosity, or the work of the successful artist Jérôme Bel. The majority of reactions acquitted Bel...

  • aesthetics
  • performing arts
  • disability studies
  • Jérôme Bel
  • identity
Frank Ruda

Democracy and its Discontents

Fredric Jameson has diagnosed the contemporary situation as one of subjective perplexity and disorientation. After the failures of all the Marxist attempts to install a framework which could provide for a collective subjective orientation, and after the perpetual intensification of late capitalism’s dynamics, the contemporary epoch is marked by the feeling that “the truth of … experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place.” This is to say, that individuals become disoriented because they lack an effective cognitive map of the complete situation they are in. This lack of orientation originates in the absence of a standpoint that would provide not only an abstract, but also a concretizable, perspective on the totality of the situation in which an individual finds himself. Badiou has further complicated the problem of disorientation, by linking it to the modalities of subjectivization offered by contemporary societies. In his analysis he refers to...

  • poetry
  • art
  • contemporary art
  • art criticism
  • aesthetics
The world is all that is the case

Françoise Armengaud, Annabelle Buxton

Wittgenstein’s Rhinoceros

The two young men meet up at the Cambridge railroad station. While waiting for the train, they browse the shelves of the station bookshop. All of a sudden, Wittgenstein grabs Pinsent’s arm: “Look at the title of this book!” “What a coincidence!” exclaims Pinsent, “It is perfect for you!” Both start to laugh. They purchase the novel of a famous English detective novelist entitled A Rhinoceros in the Library. Wittgenstein is very excited. “David, listen carefully,” he says to Pinsent. “I already have three things...
  • young readers
  • Wittgenstein
  • logics
  • thinking
Joseph Mitchell

Madame, Monsieur, regardez la Danse !

Les calypsos viennent de Trinidad, une île britannique des Caraïbes proche de la côte du Venezuela qui fournit aussi au monde de l’asphalte ainsi que l’amer Angustura. Ils sont composés par des hommes hautains, amoraux qui boivent sec et qui se donnent le nom de calypsoniens. En grande majorité ce sont des Noirs. Une guitare sous le bras, ils passent leur temps dans les rhumeries et les cafés chinois de Marine Square et Frederick Street à Port-of-Spain, la ville principale de Trinidad, en quête de rumeurs autour desquelles ils pourraient construire un calypso. Nombre d’entre eux se vantent avec raison du fait que des femmes se battent pour avoir le droit de subvenir à leurs besoins. La plupart sont des vétérans des prisons de l’île. Pour se distinguer des hommes ordinaires, ils n’utilisent pas leurs noms légaux mais vivent et chantent avec des titres adoptés tels que Growler, Lord Executor,...

  • reportage
  • New York
  • New journalism
Joseph Mitchell

Des Caughnawagas

Les plus lestes des Indiens d’Amérique du Nord appartiennent à une bande de sang-mêlé Mohawks originaires de la Réserve Caughnawaga, sur les bord du fleuve Saint-Laurent, au Québec. On les appelle en général les Caughnawagas. Autrefois on les appelait les Mohawks chrétiens ou les Mohawks qui prient. Ils sont trois mille, dont au moins six cent cinquante passent plus de temps dans les villes des États-Unis un peu partout que dans leur réserve. Certains sont aussi remuants que des gitans. Il n’est pas inhabituel de voir une famille verrouiller sa maison, laisser la clé chez un voisin, monter en voiture et partir pour des années. Il existe des colonies de Caughnawagas à Brooklyn, Buffalo et Detroit. La plus grande colonie est à Brooklyn, dans le quartier de North Gowanus. Elle s’y est établie à la fin des années vingt, comprend environ quatre cents hommes, femmes et enfants, continue de grandir...

  • New York
  • New journalism
  • reportage
“Obsessed with buffering”

Tom McCarthy

Recessional—Or, the Time of the Hammer

Towards the end of Thomas Pynchon’s mammoth 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the stumbling ingénue of a hero Tyrone Slothrop sets off on a commando raid. The territory he and his cohorts move through is a giant ­metropolis, a “factory-state” in which capital, technology and power, perfectly co-calibrated, send airships drifting through urban canyons, past chrome caryatids and roof-gardens on skyscrapers that themselves shoot up and down on ­elevator-cables: a conurbation ­Pynchon calls the “City of the Future” or “Raketen-Stadt.” The... ABO
  • literary studies
  • conversation
  • literature
  • fiction
  • Modernism
Judith Butler

Ethical Ambivalence

I do not have much to say about why there is a return to ethics, if there is one, in recent years, except to say that I have for the most part resisted this return, and that what I have to offer is something like a map of this resistance and its partial overcoming which I hope will be useful for more than biographical purposes. I’ve worried that the return to ethics has constituted an escape from politics, and I’ve also worried that it has meant a certain heightening of moralism and this has made me cry out, as Nietzsche cried out about Hegel, “Bad air! Bad air!” I suppose that looking for a space in which to breathe is not the highest ethical aspiration, but it is there, etymologically embedded in aspiration itself, and does seem to constitute something of a precondition for any viable, that is, livable, ethical...

  • community
  • contemporary art
  • activism
  • politics
  • art
Juliane Rebentisch

Realism Today: Art, Politics, and the Critique of Representation

The debate on realism has always closely tied the notion of artistic progressiveness to the question of how artistic production relates to its social and cultural outside. To isolate considerations of formal creation from art’s reference to that outside is to bid farewell to the project of realism. For unlike such formalism, realism is by definition impure. It is always already open to an ethical, political, and epistemic demand: realism – as a stance, a project, a production – requires fidelity; fidelity, that is, to a reality that needs to be done justice in ethical, political, and epistemic terms. Realism attests to reality; it does not engender it. This implies that those who commit themselves to the realist project, and hence to fidelity to reality, must be the contemporaries of this reality. On the other hand, the realist project amounts to more than a positivist or automatic registration of something already given....

  • community
  • art
  • activism
  • contemporary art
  • politics
The biggest bite out of the fruit of Knowledge

Claus Pias (ed.)


Although aspects of cybernetics can be traced back to various points in history, the proceedings of the so-called Macy Conferences, which have been edited for this volume, represent its modern foundational document. Held between 1946 and 1948 under the cumbersome title “Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems,” the papers delivered at these conferences were soon thereafter, at least as of 1949, referred to as contributions to cybernetics. Sponsored by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation (which was...
  • computer science
  • computational sciences
  • epistemology
  • historic documents
  • media theory
Alexander García Düttmann

What is the Contemporary?

The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces, depending on whether we think of it as a given or an uncertain achievement, as an empty, abstract, deceptive present or a springboard into the past and the untimeliness of creation. But if the contemporary is indeed Janus-faced, even the sadness of an encounter with its emptiness, with the semblance of radicalism, must still relate to the excitement of leaping into “now time” or starting to write. Is the present not necessarily empty and therefore always a cause for sadness, also in the case when, in acquiring the sense, or developing the instinct, that is required to venture into the past’s “now time,” we begin to depart from it? In one of his last letters to a young poet, dating from 1904, Rilke distinguishes between two forms of sadness, or rather...

  • aesthetics
  • art criticism
  • poetry
  • art
  • contemporary art