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Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer
  • photography
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • media theory
  • History of photography
  • film
»Resonanzkatastrophen sind ganz und gar systemkonform«
  • economics
  • credit
  • political economics
  • financial system
  • financial crisis
  • financial markets
  • economy
  • critique of capitalism
  • Homo economicus
  • discourse history
  • politics
  • capitalism
Other Topics
­Pioneering!
­Pioneering!

Manuel Franquelo

An interview with Manuel Franquelo

There are almost no publications about him, for a painting he takes a whole year, for his photographic works he develops the hardware himself, and the software along with it, and he has only exhibited twice in his entire career. The trained engineer is involved in large projects on facsimileing and 3D reproduction for museums, but his skill is largely applied to his own slowly and brilliantly developing work. Manuel Franquelo is an artist of unusual radicalism, both in the autonomy...
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Arts
“Poetry must be made  by all. Not by one.”

Mário Gomes

“Poetry must be made by all. Not by one.”

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  • theory of architecture
  • architecture
  • community
  • poetics
  • South America
  • spatial turn
  • fiction
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
  • war experience
Fiction
The limp, voluptuous decadence of the place

Bruce Bégout

The limp, voluptuous decadence of the place

  • avant-garde
  • urbanism
  • contemporary literature
  • short stories
  • obsession
  • Venice
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

Tom McCarthy

“Obsessed with buffering”

I’ve become obsessed with buffering—or the narrator in my new novel is obsessed with buffering. He’s an anthropologist who has grown up reading Lévi-Strauss but he’s also a corporate anthropologist who is working for the Man. He’s putting culture in the service of capital. Like we all do, he spends most of his life staring at a screen, and he frequently encounters bouts of buffering. And the first thought he has is that this is not ultimately a technological situation, it’s a theological situation. Behind that little circle spinning on your laptop there’s this belief that somewhere in Uzbekistan, Nevada or Finland there are many Über-servers with satellite dishes generating and sending out data. “Data” means gift and these servers are gifting all this data to you in this unconditional act of endless generosity and data angels are dancing on the pinhead of your Wi-Fi. And this places you inside...

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  • Modernism
  • literary studies
  • fiction
  • literature
  • conversation
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

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...

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  • Labor
  • architecture
  • 1960s
  • America
  • everyday life
Humanities

Maurizio Lazzarato

The endless array of merchandise

In contemporary capitalism, subjectivity is the product of a mass industry organized on a global level. For Félix Guattari this is actually the first and most important of capitalist productions, because it preconditions and is part of production in all other forms of merchandise. Subjectivity is a ‘key merchandise,’ which in its ‘nature’ is put together, developed and manufactured in the same way as a car, electricity, or a washing machine. Capitalism organizes the production and control of subjectivity through two different systems, which weave together the manufacture of the individuated subject (“social subjection”) and what seems to be the opposite, de-subjectification (“machinic enslavement”). Therefore capitalism exercises a twofold hold over subjectivity.

Social subjection involves techniques of government, which pass by way of, and mobilize, representation (political and linguistic), areas of knowledge, discursive visual practices, etc., and produce ‘subjects of rights,’ ‘political subjects,’ in short: ‘subjects’ of ‘I’s,’ of individuals. By...

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  • data
  • algorithms
  • identity
  • Governmentality
  • capitalism

 

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