Michael Baers

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Publishere-flux2011
In the February 2009 issue of e-flux journal, Luis Camnitzer suggested in his essay “Art and Literacy” that a core problem in education (particularly for artists) can be traced back to an early stage when one is taught to read and write, in that order.1 On one level, it is simple common sense to suppose that one can only begin to write after learning how to read. But, at the same time, this ordering also takes for granted that consumption must necessarily come before production—only after you consume knowledge will you then be capable of producing it. It is a fundamental ...
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Publishere-flux2012
On some days it is more apparent than others that the ground is shifting below our feet. On a clear day, we can see the horizon that tells us we are in the midst of a global regime change, yet we do not yet know the face of the new power just beyond it. But what we can see is the limit of an economic regime that has dangled vast advances in symbolic spheres of information and communication, in capital flows and even human movement across the globe. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before we realized the ...
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Publishere-flux2012
Beyond performative resistance and melancholic complicity with the existing order, a crucial strategy emerged in the 1980s from a collective of artists in Yugoslavia who used complicity as its most lethal weapon. Inke Arns and Slavoj Žižek have respectively described the activities of NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst) and its sub-groupings (the band Laibach and the artist collective IRWIN, and Scipion Našice Sisters Theatre, among others) variously in terms of over-identification or subversive affirmation, as performing the “hidden reverse” of state ideology. From Laibach’s nationalism in drag to the issuing of a passport for an imagined “NSK state,” NSK is perhaps ...
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Publishere-flux2012
When Hurricane Sandy tore through the Eastern US on the eve of the presidential elections, it seemed that a certain fatigue had found a strange mirror image in the libidinal force of completely absurd weather patterns, that a tired resignation to a lack of options in the political sphere had actually mutated into an apocalyptic revolution in the atmosphere. It was as if a negative omen had come with the prospect that the next global insurgency could arrive by way of non-human forces altogether—totally external to markets, but also to people… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Emancipation of the Sign: Poetry ...
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Publishere-flux2009
Much of the tension within the sphere of contemporary art is generated by the insularity of the art context, which often prompts artists to be on the lookout for other situations. The museum is too exclusive, the artwork overly framed, the discourse too removed from everyday life. And yet, attempts to liberate artworks from their conditioning often finds them still connected to the art context by a rigid tether. Boris Groys has suggested that in order for art to be shown in public spaces and still maintain its status as art, it must by necessity be more conservative than art ...
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Publishere-flux2009
It’s worthwhile to question the field of art from time to time, to demand to know its basic motives and intentions. Where is all this production actually heading? How do we locate the work of the work, as it were?.. Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Concerning Matters to be Left for a Later Date, Part 2 of 4 (Guest-Starring Pia Rönicke) Michael Baers Sleepwalking in a Dialectical Picture Puzzle, Part 2: A Conversation with Thomas Keenan Natascha Sadr Haghighian Don’t Stop: Doing Art Potluck Style Carol Yinghua Lu Europe Sans: History, Politics, and Protocol in the EU Image Metahaven Positively Counter-Publics Revisited Simon Sheikh Disobedience in Byelorussia: Self-Interrogation on “Research-Based ...
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Publishere-flux2009
Projections of the future that were made in the past are often striking in their bold naïvete—didn’t people understand then that future projections always end up looking like caricatures of past concerns? But whereas these projections do little to actually activate the future they foresaw, they do function as expressions of pure intention, and in this sense they are probably not so naïve. Rather, they indicate a certain bold willingness on the part of people of a certain time to define in explicit terms exactly how the future should function, and indeed, most of these projected futures never come to pass—they remain ...
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Publishere-flux2009
The processes of the factory have entered the museum in ways that Warhol and Duchamp could never have dreamed: the amount of art production now by far exceeds what can be processed or understood, and this often creates a degree of mistrust and an absence of common points of reference with which to not only discuss, but also to gain anything from the sheer volume of artworks placed on display today. The time to engage and digest work is often replaced by additional work—it just keeps coming down the line… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Concerning Matters to be Left ...
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Publishere-flux2018
A riddle: One night, an arresting officer enters a holding cell full of people. He asks the group what they were doing congregating on the public thoroughfare that morning. Why bring their bodies out from home to stand together on the sidewalk, walk together on the street? The officer seeks connection. Somewhere in the cell’s radius a commercial window had been smashed. Somewhere in the cell’s radius was a changing of the guards. Thinking for a moment that they can see each other, one of the arrested persons asks in return, “Well, don’t you think another world is possible?” What ...

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