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“Obsessed with buffering”
“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...
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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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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:...

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Dauerausstellung »Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken« von Yves Netzhammer

05.09.2017 – 05.09.2018

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

The Storming of the Winter Palace
The Forensics of an Image

24.11.2017 – 08.04.2018

HMKV im Dortmunder U
Leonie-Reygers-Terrasse
44137 Dortmund
Deutschland

 

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

Mário Gomes

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

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Photographs tend to suggest infinity
Photographs tend to suggest infinity

Siegfried Kracauer

The Photographic Approach (1951)

The photographic approach – that is, the effort to utilize the inherent abilities of the camera – is responsible for the particular nature of photographs. In the days of Zola and the Impressionists, the properties of photographs were commonly held to be the hallmarks of art in general; but no sooner did painting and literature break away from realism than these properties assumed an exclusive character. Since they depend upon techniques peculiar to the medium, they have remained stable throughout its evolution....
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  • Siegfried Kracauer
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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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Chantal Mouffe

Counter-Hegemonic Struggle and Agonistic Practices


In recent years we have witnessed an incredible acceleration in the process of commodification in the field of culture. With the development of the culture industries, the worst nightmares of Horkheimer and Adorno seem to have been realized. Indeed, some theorists claim that, through our dependence on the entertainments corporations, we have become totally subjugated to the control of capital and that we cannot even imagine modes of resistances. Aesthetics, they say, has been so completely harnessed towards the development of a hedonistic culture that there is no space left for a subversive experience – not even in art.


Were this to be true, we would have to conclude that there is no alternative to the present post-political world. The current hegemonic form of neoliberal globalization would constitute our only horizon and we would have to abandon the hope of fostering the agonistic democracy that I have been advocating in my work....

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