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Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer
Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer

Siegfried Kracauer, Philippe Despoix (ed.), ...

The Past's Threshold

There can be no doubt, however, that in Kracauer’s texts published at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s from his position as an editor of the cultural pages at the daily newspaper Frankfurter ­Zeitung, then in the 1950s during his American period, he sketches out a theorisation of photography that can be described as groundbreaking. But it is also true that most of his works overlap, in more than one way, with this medium of reproduction or that...
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • photography
  • History of photography
  • film
  • media theory
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Des zétrangers des zah des zuh

Etrange extraneus du dehors pas du dedans (intraneus) pas de la maison unheimlich pas du heim pas du foyer de l’autre côté des portes – fores, foreigner pas dans le rythme en trop, odd pas régulier pas ordinaire rare singulier seltsam bizarre besherat vaillant élégant fantasque tordu verschroben de travers surprenant extraordinaire étonnant

 

C’est étonnant comme nous sommes riches en mots formes façons pour tourner autour de l’étrange étranger de l’ausländer hors du pays pas « pays avec nous » comme on disait jadis en France « c’est un pays à moi » pour dire quelqu’un de mon village de mon coin ma province mon bled

 

Riches à profusion pour tout ce qui n’est pas proche et propre, approprié, convenant, mitmenschlich ce qui ne fait pas mitdasein

 

Parce qu’on présuppose que mit avec with est consistant, plein, solide et solidaire et ce qui est without avecsans mitohne avec hors ou hors d’avec la proximité

 

Mais avec même proche exige...

Current Texts

Jean-Luc Nancy

غریبه‌ها غریبه‌ها

Etrange (غریب) در زبان فرانسوی از ریشه لاتین extraneus به معنای «خارجی» در برابر داخلی intraneus است. آنچه از خانه نیست unheimlich (امر غریب) از heim (خانه) نیست از منزل نیست در طرف دیگر دروازه fores است foreigner (خارجی)، خارج از ضرب و زیادی است odd (زاید) ناهنجار نامعمول نادر کمیاب تکی است seltsam (عجیب) عجیب و غریب besherat رشید ظریف پراوهام خمیده‌‌ verschroben (بد خو) خمیده شگفت‌ آور خارق‌ العاده حیرت‌ انگیز

غنای زبان امری غریب است در کلماتی که به نحوی حولِ مفهومِ غریبِ خارجی ausländer شکل گرفته اند خارج از کشور «هم‌‌ کشور ما» همانگونه  که پیش‌ تر در فرانسه می‌ گفتیم «این کشور من است» برای اشاره به کسی از روستای من محله‌ ی من استان من ولایت من

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Andreas L. Hofbauer

The yoke of being, noteworthy dis-position

It wasn’t nature and its dangers that forced domestication and enabled the economic shrine. Temple and funerary cult, sacrifice and distribution of the meat—for Homer all sacrificial animals were still hieria, holy creatures—and the containment of wildness led to symbolic and socio-cultural change, which became the vector and motor of sedentary, food-producing communities. It wasn’t sheep, goats, or cattle that were domesticated first; it was the zoon logon echon itself that bowed to the self-created yoke of the cult. Why, we don’t know. Beyond this it’s important that unlike plants only very few species of animal can be domesticated, and that this shouldn’t be confused with taming. Economic significance develops as an epiphenomenon. It transforms from possible human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to the distribution of meat in early “Greek” antiquity, then to the obeloi (skewers with varying amounts of meat, as tokens for the priests’ or judges’ portion; even...

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  • economization
  • money
  • anthropology
  • ethnology

 

Kerstin Stakemeier

Crisis and Materiality in Art

Against all earlier hopes, the survival of mankind in and after the modern industrial age has turned out not to be automatable. On the contrary, it entirely depends on the continued active restoration of its material living conditions. Gilbert Simondon describes this connection between humans and their machines in the 1950s in On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects as a tragically truncated, restricted, and limiting way of living for both because, “man’s alienation vis à vis the machine...
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  • materialist turn
  • anthropology
  • materiality
  • material aesthetics
  • thing/thingness
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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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