It is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. Furthermore, when the flexibility, certainty and freedom promised by being part of a critical "outside" are considered as extensions of recent advances in economic exploitation, does the field of art then become the uncritical, complicit "inside" of something far more compelling? This latest issue of e-flux journal addresses these important (though somewhat hostile) questions in the in-your-face style the journal is known for. Cover design by Liam Gillick.
Post-Fordism, Precarity, and the Labor of Art
Author: Anton Vidokle
Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art? Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, collectors, or the public? Revealing how all of these groups have shaped today’s multifaceted definition, Terry Smith brilliantly shows that an historical approach offers the best answer to the question: What is Contemporary Art? Smith argues that the most recognizable kind is characterized by a return to mainstream modernism in the work of such artists as Richard Serra and Gerhard Richter, as well as the retro-sensationalism of figures like Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. At the same time, Smith reveals, postcolonial artists are engaged in a different kind of practice: one that builds on local concerns and tackles questions of identity, history, and globalization. A younger generation embodies yet a third approach to contemporaneity by investigating time, place, mediation, and ethics through small-scale, closely connective art making. Inviting readers into these diverse yet overlapping art worlds, Smith offers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the institutions, the personalities, the biennials, and of course the works that together are defining the contemporary. The resulting map of where art is now illuminates not only where it has been but also where it is going.
Author: Terry Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Leading artists, theorists, and writers exhume the dystopian and utopian futures contained within the present “I am the supercommunity, and you are only starting to recognize me. I grew out of something that used to be humanity. Some have compared me to angry crowds in public squares; others compare me to wind and atmosphere, or to software.” Invited to exhibit at the 56th Venice Biennale, e-flux journal produced a single issue over a four-month span, publishing an article a day both online and on site from Venice. In essays, poems, short stories, and plays, artists and theorists trace the negative collective that is the subject of contemporary life, in which art, the internet, and globalization have shed their utopian guises but persist as naked power, in the face of apocalyptic ecological disaster and against the claims of the social commons. “I convert care to cruelty, and cruelty back to care. I convert political desires to economic flows and data, and then I convert them back again. I convert revolutions to revelations. I don’t want, I want to leave, and then disperse myself everywhere and all the time.”
Diabolical Togetherness Beyond Contemporary Art
Publisher: Verso Books
It is often said that we no longer have an addressee for our political demands. But thats not true. We have each other. What we can no longer get from the state, the party, the union, the boss, we ask for from one another. And we provide. Lacan famously defined love as giving something you dont have to someone who doesnt want it. But love is more than a YouTube link or a URL. Loves joy is not to be found in fulfillment, it is to be found in recognition: even though I can never return what was taken away from you, I may be the only person alive who knows what it is. In our present timespost-human, post-reality, or maybe pre-internet, post-it, pre-collapse, pre-fabricated by algorithmswhat does love have to do with it? Since 2009, need and care and desire and admiration have been cross-examined, called as witness, put on parole, and made the subject of caring inquiry by e-flux journal authors. These writings have now been collected to form this comprehensive volume with contributions by Paul Chan, Keti Chukhrov, Cluster, Antke Engel, Hu Fang, Brian Kuan Wood, Lee Mackinnon, Chus Martnez, Tavi Meraud, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Elizabeth A. Povinelli and Kim Turcot DiFruscia, Paul B. Preciado, Martha Rosler, Virginia Solomon, Jalal Toufic, Jan Verwoert, and Slavoj iek.
Author: Julieta Aranda
Category: Interpersonal relations
What is the function of art in the era of digital globalization? How can one think of art institutions in an age defined by planetary civil war, growing inequality, and proprietary digital technology? The boundaries of such institutions have grown fuzzy. They extend from a region where the audience is pumped for tweets to a future of “neurocurating,” in which paintings surveil their audience via facial recognition and eye tracking to assess their popularity and to scan for suspicious activity. In Duty Free Art, filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl wonders how we can appreciate, or even make art, in the present age. What can we do when arms manufacturers sponsor museums, and some of the world’s most valuable artworks are used as currency in a global futures market detached from productive work? Can we distinguish between information, fake news, and the digital white noise that bombards our everyday lives? Exploring subjects as diverse as video games, WikiLeaks files, the proliferation of freeports, and political actions, she exposes the paradoxes within globalization, political economies, visual culture, and the status of art production.
Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War
Author: Hito Steyerl
Publisher: Verso Books
Post Internet is a blog developed between December 2009 and September 2010 by the New York based art critic Gene McHugh, thanks to a grant of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. For almost a year, Gene McHugh kept filling this folder with his personal notes. Writing and posting became a daily, regular activity, that sometimes produced many posts a day, sometimes long (or very long) texts posted at a slower pace. However, Post Internet is not just a piece of beautiful criticism, as reading this book proves. It's also, in itself, a piece of Post Internet art in the shape of an art criticism blog. GENE MCHUGH is an art writer and curator based in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Artforum and Rhizome. McHugh is currently the Kress Fellow in Interpretive Technology at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Author: Gene McHugh
Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc
This book began as a two-part issue of e-flux journal devoted to the question: What is contemporary art? First, and most obviously: why is this question not asked? That is to say, why do we simply leave it to hover in the shadow of attempts at critical summation in the grand tradition of twentieth-century artistic movements? A single hegemonic ¿ism¿ has replaced clearly distinguishable movements and grand narratives. But what exactly does it mean to be working under the auspices of this singular ism?¿Widespread usage of the term 'contemporary¿ seems so self-evident that to further demand a definition of 'contemporary art¿ may be taken as an anachronistic exercise in cataloguing or self-definition. At the same time, it is no coincidence that this is usually the tenor of such large, elusive questions: it is precisely through their apparent self-evidence that they cease to be problematic and begin to exert their influence in hidden ways; and their paradox, their unanswerability begins to constitute a condition of its own, a place where people work.¿E-flux journal: What Is Contemporary Art? puts the apparent simplicity and self-evident term into doubt, asking critics, curators, artists, and writers to contemplate the nature of this catchall or default category.
Author: Julieta Aranda,Brian Kuan Wood,Anton Vidokle
Category: Art, Modern
Hito Steyerl is rightly considered one of the most exciting artists working today who speculates on the impact of the Internet and digitization on the fabric of our everyday lives. Her films and writings offer an astute, provocative, and often funny analysis of the dizzying speed with which images and data are reconfigured, altered, and dispersed, many times over, accelerating into infinity or crashing into oblivion. 0Published to accompany the artist’s survey exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, this book gathers a series of essays and close readings of Steyerl's films from the past ten years. Newly commissioned texts by Sven Lütticken, Karen Archey, Ana Teixeira Pinto, and Nick Aikens, alongside writings by Thomas Elsaesser, Pablo Lafuente, David Riff, and Steyerl, are spliced with over one hundred pages of color stills. This publication is a charged slideshow of the artist’s extraordinary investigations into the status, circulation, and materiality of images.
Too Much World
Author: Hito Steyerl
Category: Installations (Art)--Germany
A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era. 50 years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'. THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read. Welcome to THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn’t just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it’s also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket. 30+ artists contributions: With contributions from Farah Al Qasimi, Ed Atkins, Alessandro Bavo, Gabriele Basilico, Josh Bitelli, James Bridle, Cao Fei, Alex Mackin Dolan, Thomas Dozol, Constant Dullaart, Cecile B Evans, Rami Farook, Hans-Peter Feldmann, GCC, K-Hole, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Eloise Hawser, Camille Henrot, Hu Fang, K-Hole, Koo Jeong-A, Katja Novitskova, Lara Ogel, Trevor Paglen, Yuri Patterson, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Taryn Simon, Hito Steyerl, Michael Stipe, Rosemarie Trockel, Amalia Ulman, David Weir, Trevor Yeung. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Guide to the Extreme Present
Author: Douglas Coupland,Hans Ulrich Obrist,Shumon Basar
Category: Social Science
"A handbook for hunting and punishing witches to assist the Inquisition and Church in exterminating undesirables. Mostly a compilation of superstition and folklore, the book was taken very seriously at the time it was written in the 15th century and became a kind of spiritual law book used by judges to determine the guilt of the accused"--From publisher description.
Author: Heinrich Kramer,James Sprenger
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
This long-awaited visual survey of art and the Internet over the last two and a half decades explores the legacy of the Internet on art and reveals how artists and institutions are using it and why. Original, 3,000 first printing.
Author: Joanne McNeil,Phoebe Stubbs
Publisher: Black Dog Pub Limited
Emissaries (2015 - 2017) is a trilogy of simulations about cognitive evolution, past and future, and the ecological conditions that shape it. Each simulation is centred on the life of an emissary who is caught between unravelling old realities and emerging weird ones.For artist Ian Cheng (b. 1984, Los Angeles), the making of Emissaries became a lesson in Worlding - the unnatural art of creating an infinite game by choosing a present, storytelling its past, simulating its futures, and nurturing its changes.This book is for anyone interested in bridging the complexity of Worlding with the finitude of human psychology. Reflecting on his experience making Emissaries, Cheng derives practical methods for seeing and making Worlds as a whole-brain activity. To produce a World, one must summon the artistic masks who already live within us but rarely get to exercise their power.We will get to know the masks of the Director, the Cartoonist, the Hacker, and the Emissary to the World. As we enter into a strange transitional era, Worlding becomes a vital practice to help us navigate darkness, maintain agency despite indeterminacy, and appreciate the multitude of Worlds we can choose to live.Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Ian Cheng: BOB at Serpentine Gallery, London (6 March - 22 April 2018).
Author: Ian Cheng,Joseph Constable,Rebecca Lewin,Veronica So
Category: Artificial intelligence
A wide-ranging and challenging exploration of design and how it engages with the self The field of design has radically expanded. As a practice, design is no longer limited to the world of material objects but rather extends from carefully crafted individual styles and online identities to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. Superhumanity seeks to explore and challenge our understanding of "design" by engaging with and departing from the concept of the "self." This volume brings together more than fifty essays by leading scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists, originally disseminated online via e-flux Architecture between September 2016 and February 2017 on the invitation of the Third Istanbul Design Biennial. Probing the idea that we are and always have been continuously reshaped by the artifacts we shape, this book asks: Who designed the lives we live today? What are the forms of life we inhabit, and what new forms are currently being designed? Where are the sites, and what are the techniques, to design others? This vital and far-reaching collection of essays and images seeks to explore and reflect on the ways in which both the concept and practice of design are operative well beyond tangible objects, expanding into the depths of self and forms of life. Contributors: Zeynep �elik Alexander, Lucia Allais, Shumon Basar, Ruha Benjamin, Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Daniel Birnbaum, Ina Blom, Benjamin H. Bratton, Giuliana Bruno, Tony Chakar, Mark Cousins, Simon Denny, Keller Easterling, Hu Fang, Rub�n Gallo, Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Rupali Gupte, Andrew Herscher, Tom Holert, Brooke Holmes, Francesca Hughes, Andr�s Jaque, Lydia Kallipoliti, Thomas Keenan, Sylvia Lavin, Yongwoo Lee, Lesley Lokko, MAP Office, Chus Mart�nez, Ingo Niermann, Ahmet �g�t, Trevor Paglen, Spyros Papapetros, Raqs Media Collective, Juliane Rebentisch, Sophia Roosth, Felicity D. Scott, Jack Self, Prasad Shetty, Hito Steyerl, Kali Stull, Pelin Tan, Alexander Tarakhovsky, Paulo Tavares, Stephan Tr�by, Etienne Turpin, Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Eyal Weizman, Mabel O. Wilson, Brian Kuan Wood, Liam Young, and Arseny Zhilyaev.
Design of the Self
Author: Beatriz Colomina,Nick Axel,Nikolaus Hirsch,Mark Wigley,Anton Vidokle
Publisher: Eflux Architecture
Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today's discussions of culture and media. Indeed Western thought has long construed media as a grand choice between two kinds of interfaces. Following the optimistic path, media seamlessly interface self and other in a transparent and immediate connection. But, following the pessimistic path, media are the obstacles to direct communion, disintegrating self and other into misunderstanding and contradiction. In other words, media interfaces are either clear or complicated, either beautiful or deceptive, either already known or endlessly interpretable. Recognizing the limits of either path, Galloway charts an alternative course by considering the interface as an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends: the interface effect. Rather than praising user-friendly interfaces that work well, or castigating those that work poorly, this book considers the unworkable nature of all interfaces, from windows and doors to screens and keyboards. Considered allegorically, such thresholds do not so much tell the story of their own operations but beckon outward into the realm of social and political life, and in so doing ask a question to which the political interpretation of interfaces is the only coherent answer. Grounded in philosophy and cultural theory and driven by close readings of video games, software, television, painting, and other images, Galloway seeks to explain the logic of digital culture through an analysis of its most emblematic and ubiquitous manifestation – the interface.
Author: Alexander R. Galloway
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
New Media: A Critical Introduction is a comprehensive introduction to the culture, history, technologies and theories of new media. Written especially for students, the book considers the ways in which 'new media' really are new, assesses the claims that a media and technological revolution has taken place and formulates new ways for media studies to respond to new technologies. The authors introduce a wide variety of topics including: how to define the characteristics of new media; social and political uses of new media and new communications; new media technologies, politics and globalization; everyday life and new media; theories of interactivity, simulation, the new media economy; cybernetics, cyberculture, the history of automata and artificial life. Substantially updated from the first edition to cover recent theoretical developments, approaches and significant technological developments, this is the best and by far the most comprehensive textbook available on this exciting and expanding subject. At www.newmediaintro.com you will find: additional international case studies with online references specially created You Tube videos on machines and digital photography a new 'Virtual Camera' case study, with links to short film examples useful links to related websites, resources and research sites further online reading links to specific arguments or discussion topics in the book links to key scholars in the field of new media.
A Critical Introduction
Author: Martin Lister
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines