Michael Andrews

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Launched in 2008, e-flux journal is a monthly art publication featuring essays and contributions by some of the most engaged artists and thinkers working today. The journal is available online, in PDF format, and in print through a network of distributors. – http://www.e-flux.com/journal/
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Publishere-flux2019
Koichiro Osaka’s text for this issue begins at the Sunshine 60 skyscraper in Tokyo. According to myth and a historical reading, the skyscraper is named for the sixty Japanese war criminals executed in 1948 in what was then Sugamo Prison. In 1978, the former prison became the tallest skyscraper in Asia. As Osaka explains, Sunshine 60 may be the largest war monument ever built. The building serves at once as a haunted gravesite and reassurance of the ongoing sunshine of fascism and capitalism. Also in this issue, Françoise Vergès describes a daily ritual in multiple urban centers where thousands of black ...
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Publishere-flux2019
Today one may complain that life has been reduced to points in a matrix of relations—cities, territories, and historical narratives prematurely refined into categories of known and unknown, real and virtual, concrete and abstract space. And yet, when we need to locate a crucial resource (or ourselves, for that matter) who can afford not to search the grid for what everybody knows to be there?—the Italian restaurant, the emergency room, the ancestor, the terrorist. This is not simply about seeing; by definition, navigation organizes timescales and orders of magnitude that cannot be visualized simultaneously. Furthermore, in attempting to map and ...
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Publishere-flux2019
Federica showed up for her appointment with the person who had agreed to purchase her soul. Thus begins Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Massimiliano Geraci’s novel Morte ai Vecchi (Death to the old), in which a device called KapSoul delivers “waves of empathic excitement” to young people before they descend into orgiastic violence against the elderly. The first serial installment of the translated novel is published in this issue of e-flux journal, with further installments coming in the near future. Also in this issue, Jonas Staal illuminates the Martian designs of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, with their unabashedly extractive colonial ambitions. But Staal also reminds ...
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Publishere-flux2019
There is a certain plasticity of meaning inherent in any use of language. If that weren’t the case, poetry and literature would not exist. There would only be contracts, scientific formulas, shopping lists, and so forth. Journalism would be properly factual—there would be no fake news or disinformation. All utterances would document isolated events, never evoking larger patterns or tapping into hidden desires. But then the question arises: Even if language could be cleansed of all ambiguity and spin, what role would images play? If language is the problem, images can only be worse. Against a backdrop where postmodern slippages in ...
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Publishere-flux2019
On November 7, 1929, the Museum of Modern Art “opened in a five-room rented space with an ‘historical’ exhibition of (European) Post-Impressionist art, titled ‘The First Loan Exhibition: Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh.’” MoMA’s founding director, Alfred Barr, had the idea that modern works that passed a test called “Torpedo in Time” would, after some fifty years, be considered historical and transfer to the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the time, Gertrude Stein also famously quipped that the very idea of a museum of the modern was an oxymoron. In short, MoMA was more of a kunsthalle ...
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Publishere-flux2020
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a “global” art world began to form. Sure, there were already a number of world’s fairs and established international biennials, but this would be different. From the 1990s onward, national boundaries would dissolve, centers and peripheries would level out, and the internet would host worldwide cultural exchange. In many ways this really did happen, but some other things also happened. As people and ideas began to move across borders, money did too. Faced with an unmanageable planetary scale, capital became a more efficient regulator of flows than laws or nations. Suddenly, capital rose ...
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Publishere-flux2020
As the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads, we—the people of planet earth—are faced with a dizzying variety of responses: quarantine, containment, vigilant self-quarantine, paranoid self-isolation, and in some cases escape from the above. Suddenly, it is as if circulation itself has turned against us, making healthy freedom of movement in the world a dealer of death. So your flight is cancelled. Your trip is over. We are staying in place for the foreseeable future. Exhibitions, symposia, gatherings of all kinds are postponed. But not sporting events. Those will go on, but without any supporters in the stands. The players will play ...
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Publishere-flux2020
“Today one may complain that life has been reduced to points in a matrix of relations—cities, territories, and historical narratives prematurely refined into categories of known and unknown, real and virtual, concrete and abstract space.” At the time, we could not have imagined the mass migration into abstract space that would soon follow. Today, living through the planetary pandemic, the imperative to navigate the world and our own lives through computational tools has been radicalized to the extreme. The last months of Skyping, Zoom conferencing, and collaborative Google Docs writing make us feel we have no choice but to exhaust ...
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Publishere-flux2020
It’s yet uncertain what the lasting legacy of 2020 will be. “The tradition of the oppressed teaches us,” Walter Benjamin wrote in 1940, “that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.” We already know that in the US, the summer of 2020 will be remembered for its sustained state of emergency, when we emerged from stratified isolation and convened, in the millions, in the streets to affirm that black lives matter, that black breath is stolen at an overwhelmingly higher scale by the pandemic and by the largely extralegal military organization known ...
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Publishere-flux2020
Who remembers the title of last year’s Venice Biennale? One long year and change later, it seems that nobody’s worst enemy could have made a threat, a promise, or a curse that we may live in times quite as … “interesting” as the ones we find ourselves in now. Arguably, anyone paying even the most distant attention to 2019—or to history and the evolving present in general—could have foreseen what we were heading towards. It’s hard to imagine, though, that someone could have envisioned just how deadly fascinating these times would turn out to be. In any case, here we are. ...
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Publishere-flux2020
Hannah Arendt coined a beautiful concept that describes the current situation we dwell in: worldlessness. If the word “world” is used to name the space of sociopolitical life, then to lose the world would mean to lose all the gains that have been made in the sociopolitical sphere, setting off all the dangers that this loss entails. Therefore, it seems mandatory, in this lack-of-world, to attempt to maintain the bonds between people, to preserve the decades of efforts dedicated to extending the social bond to nature. It is in this lack-of-world that we must try to reinvent the most important ...

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