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Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck
Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

Elisabeth Bronfen

The Elevator—A Heteropia

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

Current Texts

Dieter Mersch

Digital disrupture

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 in a circularity that leaves the drawing of boundaries and raising of barriers solely to programming, instead of restoring them to our ethical conscience and understanding of what the social could mean today. The machine, by contrast, remains alien to any mechanical limitation—just as its inability to decide lies in the impossibility of self-calculation. The nucleus of digital culture should instead be sought where the cultural of culture is located:...


Dauerausstellung »Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken« von Yves Netzhammer

05.09.2017 – 05.09.2018

U-Bahn-Station Altes Landgut (U1)
1100 Wien

The Storming of the Winter Palace

06.04.2018 – 06.06.2018

Muzeum Sztuki – ms1
Więckowskiego 36
90-001 Łódź

The Storming of the Winter Palace
The Forensics of an Image

24.11.2017 – 08.04.2018

HMKV im Dortmunder U
44137 Dortmund

Scripted Culture: Book launch Berlin

12.04.2018, 18:00

Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin

Scripted Culture: Book launch Zurich

15.06.2018, 18:00

ZHdK – Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8031 Zürich


Current Texts
Humanity is a metahuman concept.

Rolf Bossart, Milo Rau

Humanity is a metahuman concept.

  • transhumanism
  • realism
  • postmodernism
  • art theory
  • re-enactment
  • artistic practice


Fragility is the only thing I really know about me
Fragility is the only thing I really know about me

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...
  • autofiction
  • film d'auteur
  • subjectivity
  • identity
Current Texts

Brian Massumi

Complexifying the Subject of Interest

We are enjoined to rational choice. We are taught that our freedom is one with the freedom of choice. We are told we become who we are by how we choose. We are assured that if we choose well, according to our own best interests, we will end up serving the interests of all. We are told that there is a mechanism in place to ensure this convergence between our interests and others’. Market is its name. Its “invisible hand” adjusts best choices to each other, its magic touch guided by the principle of competition. Competition weeds out suboptimal choices, selecting for efficiency. Efficiencies multiply each other, minimizing effort and maximizing profit for all. The market, we are further led to believe, is self-regulating. It has a natural inclination toward optimization. As political subjects, we are enjoined to vote, rationally, in its interests so that we may pursue our own,...

  • epistemology
  • affects
  • Homo economicus
  • crisis
  • critique of neoliberalism
Current Texts

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...

  • Modernism
  • conversation
  • literary studies
  • fiction
  • literature