Yuk Hui

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In 1985, the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard curated a groundbreaking exhibition called Les Immatériaux at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exhibition showed how telecommunication technologies were beginning to impact every aspect of life. At the same time, it was a material demonstration of what Lyotard called the post-modern condition. This book features a previously unpublished report by Jean-François Lyotard on the conception of Les Immatériaux and its relation to postmodernity. Reviewing the historical significance of the exhibition, his text is accompanied by twelve contemporary meditations. The philosophers, art historians, and artists analyse this important moment in the history of media and theory, and reflect on the new material conditions brought ...

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In Poland, the Law and Order Party has fired a curator for promoting Jewish themes. A Catholic Nationalist is chief adviser to American president-elect Donald Trump. Hungary’s right-wing government threatens the Lukács archive with destruction. Modi’s BJP arrests a college student president for insulting “Mother India.” Theresa May replaces paintings in 10 Downing Street with framed pictures of her own quotes. The curtain rises on the second century since the Russian Revolution to reveal a lifeworld beset with problems shocking in their undead familiarity. It is true that the future is unknown and invisible, but not everything invisible and unknown contains ...

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Art cannot solve the problems of 2017, Alexander Kluge says to Hans Ulrich Obrist in this issue, but it can start solving the problems of 2036. Though it may begin in the affective work of mourning, art moves towards a rational archeology and a realistic anticipation. We could call this “futurist realism,” a vision of the coming decades as a series of problems to be solved, rather than as a source for transcendent salvations or damnations of whatever fashion. Unlike the ecstatic or dispirited futurisms we are accustomed to, futurist realism looks forward with no false regrets. Bad-faith futurism, by ...

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