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MERRY XENOTISM!
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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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On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids
On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids

Damian Christinger, Monica Ursina Jäger

Homeland Fictions

Climate change is fundamentally changing the Swiss forests. We’re sitting here on the train to Zurich, watching the winter landscape going past. The white of the snow contrasts with the basic brown tones of the surrounding forests. Contrasting accents of color are given by ivy and the occasional evergreen conifer. When my son, who’s now in kindergarten, travels this same route with his grandchildren, the winter forests will be green. Such at least is the prognosis of the researchers at...
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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...
ABO
  • war experience
  • war
Fiction

Maël Renouard

Psychopathologie de la vie numérique

Psychopathologie de la vie numérique. Une nuit de septembre 2016, je rêve que c’est la rentrée et que je dois donner un cours. Il y a des années que je n’ai pas enseigné. Je suis projeté là, in medias res, dans un établissement de nature indéterminée. Je n’ai absolument rien préparé ; je n’ai avec moi aucun livre, aucun crayon, aucune feuille de papier. Je n’ai jamais su improviser. J’ai longtemps espéré d’en être un jour capable, l’expérience et le temps ayant fait leur œuvre ; cela ne s’est pas produit. Quelquefois, par flemme ou parce que j’avais beaucoup à faire par ailleurs, j’ai repoussé indéfiniment la préparation d’un cours, en songeant alors, eh bien, à Dieu vat, ce sera l’occasion d’improviser – et le résultat n’a pas été heureux. L’épreuve s’annonce donc rude, mais, pour essayer de me rassurer, je l’aborde en jouant avec l’idée que cette fois-ci, enfin...

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An immodest proposal
An immodest proposal

Stephen Barber

A War of Fragments: World Versus America

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...
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Discourse

Marcus Quent

Belief in the world is what we most lack.

It was Gilles Deleuze who in various contexts underlined that what we most lacked was “belief in the world.” The odd remark appears, for example, in a conversation in 1990 with the Italian Marxist Antonio Negri about revolutionary emergence and the political force of minorities. In this dialogue Negri examines his interlocutor’s thought in the light of the “problem of the political,” which connects the various stages of the philosopher’s intellectual biography. Deleuze’s remark here is the reprise of a motif that would be familiar to readers of his second book on cinema, which appeared in 1985, in which Deleuze contends that the “power of modern cinema” is based on its ability to “give us back” our lost “belief in the world.”

At the end of the conversation Negri asks his dialogue partner about the possibility of present-day processes of subjectivization. After initially emphasizing the “rebellious spontaneity” of such processes, Deleuze...

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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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