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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
  • everyday life
  • America
  • Labor
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:...

Current Texts

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...


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 Zurich

15.06.2018, 18:00

ZHdK – Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8031 Zürich

Scripted Culture: Book launch Berlin

12.04.2018, 18:00

Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin


  • Color and meaning

    Color and meaning

    Who is afraid of Red, Yellow, Blue…?

    • color
    • chromatics / colour science
    • monochrome
    • semiotics and semiology
    • image and imagery
  • minima oeconomica

    minima oeconomica

    Analysen und Kritik moderner Ökonomie, deren Wissenschaft und Legitmation im Zeitalter der Finanzialisierung

    • economization
    • economy
    • economics
    • discourse history
    • financial markets
    • financial crisis
  • Choreographing multitudes

    Choreographing multitudes

    • crowd
    • protest movements
    • swarm model
    • social networks
    • social movements
    • crowd psychology
Current Texts

Sebastian Gießmann

A praxeological history of the credit card

In every good American tale of entrepreneurship there is at least one hero, and an initial magical scene of invention has to be told. So it does not come as a surprise that the story of Diners Card as a New York neighborhood technology has been told as an anecdote ever since the 1950s. By now, we know that Frank MacNamara did not conceive of the idea while lacking the cash (or the wallet) to pay for his business dinner at Manhattan-based Major’s Cabin Grill in 1949. He did not call his wife by telephone to bring in the money, either. The concept rather came up as an everyday idea that MacNamara wanted to put to a test, together with Ralph Schneider as his business partner. In the end, that lovely New York story has proven to be a quite successful PR device that Matty Simons, the first press agent...

  • credit
  • actor-network-theory
  • money
  • history of media
  • ethnomethodoloy
Current Texts

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...

  • data
  • Governmentality
  • algorithms
  • identity
  • capitalism


One plus one equals other
One plus one equals other

Dieter Mersch

Epistemologies of Aesthetics

We  identified ‘showing’—rather than ‘saying’—as the primary self-manifestation of the aesthetic. By ‘showing’ and ‘manifestation’ we do not mean expression, but exhibition and exposition. Wherever works work only with aisthēta and relevance is drawn from perceptions or things and their materiality—from every nuance of coloring, from the way in which objects are framed or combined, from the position of a detail, from the interval between two notes and their microtonal succession or arrhythmic placement, from any hesitation of physical feeling,...
  • Think Art
  • aesthetics
  • epistemology
  • artistic research
  • discourse analysis
Current Texts

Lorenzo Chiesa

Notes Towards a Manifesto for Metacritical Realism

It is high time to challenge the horizon of finitude that critical philosophy has imposed on thought. This move should not correspond to a reactionary return to dogmatic metaphysics. It should rather resume the latter’s most ambitious and far-reaching questions and offer innovative answers to them. The overall aim of metacritical realism is to develop a philosophical position that shares the anti-critical stance of so-called speculative realism, its claim that thought can somehow access the “absolute” real in a non-dogmatic way, but, unlike speculative realism, advances such a claim by focusing on human nature. This interest in human nature constitutes the metacritical component of metacritical realism.

  • politics
  • justice
  • ethics
  • emancipation / liberation
  • potentiality