Essay

While attention paid to the Israeli geography of imagination, used to configure and dismantle Palestinian territory through the “separation barrier,” has been profoundly significant, what this text addresses is not only the physical border but the cultural and historical borders that [im]mobilize particular identities and social forms. “Why Didn’t You Knock?”. Securing the Self from Security presents the different notions around the “separation barrier” and how it reveals the Israeli geography of imagination, of territorial expansion, of cutting and crisscrossing through Palestinian villages and towns, among other relevant issues.

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Accelerationism is the name of a contemporary political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, critique, or détourne it, but to accelerate and exacerbate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies. Since the 2013 publication of Williams’s and Srnicek’s #Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics, the term has been adopted to name a set of new theoretical enterprises that aim to conceptualise non-capitalist futures outside of traditional marxist critiques and regressive, decelerative or restorative solutions. #ACCELERATE presents a genealogy of accelerationism, from Marx to the present day. At the forefront of the energetic contemporary debate ...

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24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life. Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human ...

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Part of JRP|Ringier’s innovative Documents series, published with Les Presses du Réel and dedicated to critical writings, this publication comprises a unique collection of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the development of the curatorial field–from early independent curators in the 1960s and 70s and the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the U.S. through the inception of Documenta and the various biennales and fairs–with pioneering curators Anne D’Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten and Harald Szeemann. Speaking of Szeemann on the occasion of this legendary ...

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Neoliberalism—the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action—has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Its spread has depended upon a reconstitution of state powers such that privatization, finance, and market processes are emphasized. State interventions in the economy are minimized, while the obligations of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens are diminished. David Harvey, author of ‘The New Imperialism’ and ‘The Condition of Postmodernity’, here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and ...

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A double is haunting the world–the double of abstraction, the virtual reality of information, programming or poetry, math or music, curves or colorings upon which the fortunes of states and armies, companies and communities now depend. The bold aim of this book is to make manifest the origins, purpose, and interests of the emerging class responsible for making this new world–for producing the new concepts, new perceptions, and new sensations out of the stuff of raw data. A Hacker Manifesto deftly defines the fraught territory between the ever more strident demands by drug and media companies for protection of their patents ...

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How does one write an experimental ABC, an impossible theory that would deal with a series of phenomena, concepts, places, sensations, persons, and moods? A para-philosophy? Returning to a once-abandoned project of fragmented thoughts where the author’s voice moves from the serious to the pathetic, to the absurd, to the cynical, Simon Critchley’s ABC of Impossibility finds new life in the form of this small encyclopedic and aphoristic text where the reader bears witness to the slow emergence of an attempt at a poetic ontology. ABC of Impossibility is a unique undertaking that reexamines the poetic site of the fragment ...

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There are few things in urbanism today so unfashionable as the ceremonial public square. The vast, proverbially windswept plazas built under “really existing socialism” from the 1920s to the 1980s are widely considered to be useless spaces, designed to intimidate or at least impress. Yet if they are only of use to those in power, why is it they have been used so successfully in protest? From Petrograd in 1917 to Independence Square in Kiev during the Orange Revolution, these spaces have become focuses for mass protest. Beginning in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, and taking in Warsaw, Ljubljana, Kharkov and Moscow, Owen ...

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Art as we know it is dramatically changing, but popular and critical responses lag behind. In this trenchant illustrated essay, David Joselit describes how art and architecture are being transformed in the age of Google. Under the dual pressures of digital technology, which allows images to be reformatted and disseminated effortlessly, and the exponential acceleration of cultural exchange enabled by globalization, artists and architects are emphasizing networks as never before. Some of the most interesting contemporary work in both fields is now based on visualizing patterns of dissemination after objects and structures are produced, and after they enter into, and ...

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From the preface by Alain Badiou: It is no exaggeration to say that Quentin Meillassoux has opened up a new path in the history of philosophy, understood here as the history of what it is to know … This remarkable “critique of critique” is introduced here without embellishment, cutting straight to the heart of the matter in a particularly clear and logical manner. It allows the destiny of thought to be the absolute once more. “This work is one of the most important to appear in continental philosophy in recent years and deserves a wide readership at the earliest possible date ...

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After the Future explores a century-long obsession with the concept of the “future,” starting with Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto,” tracing it through the punk movement of the early 70s, and into the media revolution of the 90s. The future, Bifo argues, has come and gone, the concept has lost its usefulness. Now it’s our responsibility to decide what comes next.

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Composed in a series of scenes, Aisthesis–Rancière’s definitive statement on the aesthetic–takes its reader from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarmé to the Folies-Bergère, attend a lecture by Emerson, visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Rancière uses these sites and events—some famous, others forgotten—to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the ...

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This compelling and highly original book represents a confrontation between two of the most radical thinkers at work in France today: Alain Badiou and the author, François Laruelle.At face value, the two have much in common: both espouse a position of absolute immanence; both argue that philosophy is conditioned by science; and both command a pluralism of thought. Anti-Badiou relates the parallel stories of Badiou’s Maoist ‘ontology of the void’ and Laruelle’s own performative practice of ‘non-philosophy’ and explains why the two are in fact radically different. Badiou’s entire project aims to re-educate philosophy through one science: mathematics. Laruelle carefully ...

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Napoléon was the first conqueror to “legalize” looting by forcing the vanquished to sign contracts surrendering historic art objects. The recent selling off and dispersal of the collection of Iraq Museum, was presented as the simple work of market forces, but it continues and extends Napoleonic forms of looting.

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The main affirmation of artistic practice must today happen through thinking about the conditions and the status of the artist’s work. Only then can it be revealed that what is a part of the speculations of capital is not art itself, but mostly artistic life. Artist at Work examines the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addresses them from the perspective of performance.

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In Bad Boy, renowned American artist Eric Fischl has written a penetrating, often searing exploration of his coming of age as an artist, and his search for a fresh narrative style in the highly charged and competitive New York art world in the 1970s and 1980s. With such notorious and controversial paintings as Bad Boy and Sleepwalker, Fischl joined the front ranks of America artists, in a high-octane downtown art scene that included Andy Warhol, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, and others. It was a world of fashion, fame, cocaine and alcohol that for a time threatened to undermine all that ...

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On the ledger and the herbarium: the settling of financial and botanical accounts.

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A nuclear facility in Iran before and after an explosion, a village in Pakistan before and after a drone attack, a Cambodian river valley before and after a flood. The before-and-after image has become the tool of choice for analysing events. Satellite photography allows us to scrutinise the impact of war or climate change, from the safe distance of orbit. But one thing is rarely captured: the event itself. All we can read is its effect on a space, and that’s where the architectural expert is required, to fill the gap with a narrative. In this groundbreaking essay, Eyal and Ines ...

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Preservation is ordinarily reserved for architecture that is unique. So how would we go about preserving buildings that are utterly generic? Such is the case with Belyayevo, an ordinary residential district in Moscow. Belyayevo is a classic microrayon, the standardised neighbourhood system that successive Soviet regimes laid out across the USSR in what was the most expansive programme of industrialised construction the world has ever seen. Belyayevo’s buildings, and the desolate spaces between them, are identical to thousands of others, but is it different? Kuba Snopek argues that is. Home to many of the artists of the Moscow Conceptualism school, the ...

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Playwright, poet and activist Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was known for his theory of the Epic Theatre and his attempts to break down the division between high art and popular culture. The Threepenny Opera, his collaboration with composer Kurt Weill, was a milestone in musical theatre, and plays like Mother Courage and Galileo changed the course of modern drama and aesthetic theory. Framed by two world wars, the Weimar Republic and a global depression, Nazism and exile and East German socialism, Brecht’s own life became a project, illuminating and intervening in the ongoing crisis of modern experience, shaped by capitalism, nationalism and visions of social utopia. Brecht ...

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These are serious times, or so our governments keep telling us. Strangling economies with their austerity policies, they assure us that they have no choice. In a world where “there is no alternative”, how do you dissent? Once upon a time, graphic designers would have made political posters and typeset manifestos. Today, protest has new strategies. Enter the internet meme. With its Darwinian survival skills and its viral potential, the meme is a way of scaling up protest. Hackers and activists have learned to unleash the destructive force of a Rick Astley video. They have let slip the Lolcats of ...

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After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system – a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.

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Can capital be seen? Cartographies of the Absolute surveys the disparate answers to this question offered by artists, film-makers, writers and theorists over the past few decades. It zones in on the crises of representation that have accompanied the enduring crisis of capitalism, foregrounding the production of new visions and artefacts that wrestle with the vastness, invisibility and complexity of the abstractions that rule our lives.

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Can capital be seen? Cartographies of the Absolute surveys the disparate answers to this question offered by artists, film-makers, writers and theorists over the past few decades. It zones in on the crises of representation that have accompanied the enduring crisis of capitalism, foregrounding the production of new visions and artefacts that wrestle with the vastness, invisibility and complexity of the abstractions that rule our lives.

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Global cities (and their designs in particular) have rested on the paradigm of market-driven development, and have been interpreted as strategic spaces of neoliberal restructuring. Whilst they are now hit by the crisis of this ideology, the situation also offers the opportunity and necessity to imagine another, more social city. Yet designers continue to hold back criticism and proposals. It is, however, time to redefine the role of design for a social city and take action. What is the role of design in the production of urban space? Is it merely an element in the commodified colonisation of social spaces? ...

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