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  • Modernism
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Current Texts

Stephen Barber

An immodest proposal

J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-­alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions.
Although the Ballard ­estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do so can readily visit the British Library and view the notebooks in their entirety in the freely-­accessible manuscripts collection there.

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Saturnaaaaalia
Saturnaaaaalia

Sina Dell’Anno

Oratio Soluta

Saturn has entered our speech like a lion; as the wild beast of revolution, the limbs of a half-eaten child still hanging from its gaping jaws. This is Goya’s Danton: the bloody face of the untamable fear that human hunger for freedom could go out of control. The gaping jaws announce an appetite for rebellion. This physiognomy of the revolution, heightened tremendously by Goya, is already encountered where Saturn had not yet frozen into the grimace of a world-historical monster, but...
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Arts

Eric Baudelaire

A for Anomie

A for Anomie

The idea that terrorism and other forms of political violence are directly related to strains caused by strongly held grievances has been one of the most common explanations to date and can be traced to a diverse set of theoretical concepts including relative deprivation, social disorganization, breakdown, tension, and anomie. Merton (1938) identifies anomie as a cultural condition of frustration, in which values regarding goals and how to achieve them conflict with limitations on the means of achievement.

Gary LaFree and Laura Dugan, “Research on Terrorism and Countering Terrorism”, Crime and Justice, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2009.

 

B for Block or Blocked

If terrorism in each of its expressions can be considered an indicator of the existence of a political block (of an impossibility of reacting if one wishes to react differently), this influences its real ability to modify the situation. Terrorism has been historically more successful when it was not...

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The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«
The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«

Pierre Guyotat

The Prison

Our prison was encircled by marshland where birds and sick dogs came to die. At night we could hear their cries and death rattles. We could see nothing of the town except its smoke and its dying animals. Prisoners on the second floor watched those washed-out cats and dogs die, lying down then struggling in the mud like birds caught in lime; famished cats jumped on those with gaping wounds and tore them open. From the cellar where we had been...
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  • war experience
  • war
Fiction

Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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350 000 000 photographs onto Facebook everyday
350 000 000 photographs onto Facebook everyday

Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

What we don’t see

Almost 30 years ago the promise was given to connect people around the globe through an asysnchronous and decentralized netlike infrastructure. The “inventor” of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, guessed its potential to change the world fundamentally: “This is experimental. However, it could start a revolution in information access.” The internet was supposed to become an emancipatory project of the many. Everything was intended to be able to be linked, commented, supplemented, and discussed. From now on everyone would...
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Discourse

Ute Holl

Dream, Clouds, Off, Exile

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  • film
  • exile
  • Karl Marx
  • communism
  • monotheism
Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result...
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Humanities
Le texte inconnu est une promesse

Michele Pedrazzi

Le texte inconnu est une promesse

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IT DE
  • electronic music
  • linguistics
  • media theory
  • word processing
  • music
  • reading

 

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