Kaye Cain-Nielsen

Publishere-flux2017
Indentured to the past, we drag our inherited identities through a forest of networks bursting with mysterious intellectual fruit. We’re not sure which concepts are poisonous and which are safe. History is like a mistranslated phrasebook full of old-fashioned illustrations which everyone makes fun of on the internet. Attempts at organization feel fanciful and absurd: eclectic inventories of apocalypse-kitsch. In “A Palace of Unsaids,” Rob Goyanes considers the work of mourning under twenty-first century conditions. Does it matter if we show up to the wrong shift at the memorial-factory as long as we do our time? Those that insist on mourning ...
Publishere-flux2017
The modern arrives when the boundaries dividing old and new become sites of struggle in the way that the divide between the sacred and the profane was previously. These distinctions—old/new, sacred/profane—are strategic: they refer to one embedded position in the life-world relative to another. In the October 2017 issue of e-flux journal, Noemi Smolik shows how, within Russia, the deployment of modernizing iconoclasm against the belief systems of Russia’s rural poor confounded distinctions between old and new, sacred and profane, even before the October Revolution and the Russian avant-garde. Aleksandra Shatskikh diagnoses a contemporary symptom of this misrecognition in the attribution ...
Publishere-flux2017
Imagine a big roll call. Names of nations, creeds, and genders are called out. Everyone is supposed to join their kin. Several hours later the crowd is all divided up into groups and subgroups, all neatly arranged on a large grid. There is just one person left. And this person says, “Sorry guys, I’m with the universe. Where do I go?” The universe? It does not figure on the grid. Today, the most important question is not what belongs to whom but who belongs to what—as in what kind of group. Sameness trumps equality. Similarity beats solidarity. Reality is a battlefield. ...
Publishere-flux2017
Revolutionaries are people who need to run around in circles. Revolution is a cycle of toppling and replacing, of killing God and building a Church, as Camus says. It is nothing if not intense. In “The Intense Life,” Tristan Garcia presents intensity as an ethical ideal peculiar to modernity. The pursuit of intensity moves through stages, from variation, to acceleration, to what Garcia calls “primaverism,” or the obsession with first experiences. In “Notes on Blacceleration,” Aria Dean locates an absence in the text of accelerationism: a decided failure to come to grips with the first experiences of accumulation, and in particular with ...
Publishere-flux2018
Some time around 1882, God was pronounced dead. For certain Russian thinkers of the era, this loss provided a building opportunity: where the place of one god closes, space for another one opens. Unlike most established schools of thought, Russian cosmism does not present a singular vision, a consistent epistemology, or a unified theory. On the contrary: the ideas of its nineteenth- to early-twentieth-century protagonists are often so divergent and contradictory that they appear incoherent, paradoxical, or delirious. Russian cosmism’s known scientists, philosophers, and writers have been understood to include figures ranging from Nikolai Fedorov, the nineteenth-century librarian who aimed to ...
Publishere-flux2018
In Ursula Le Guin’s 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven, a seemingly unassuming young white male begins effective dreaming. Desperate to stop altering realities by night, George Orr borrows other people’s pharmacy cards (the world is overpopulated, resources heavily rationed) to obtain more than his share of dexedrine and barbiturates. Landing himself in the hands of an oneirologist, he becomes a tool—a proxy to make the doctor’s megalomaniacal utilitarian fantasies real. The doctor suggests, and George dreams. “This was the way he had to go; he had no choice. He had never had any choice. He was only a dreamer.” Whose ...
Publishere-flux2018
In opening the book The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty (2015), Aileen Moreton-Robinson leads with an epigraph: “The problem with white people is they think and believe that they own everything.” In terms of a critique of the seven-centuries-long rollout and contestation of European dispossessive power, this citation is the alpha and the omega. It is incredibly hard to add anything that isn’t captured within its succinct analysis. Nevertheless, this special issue of e-flux journal goes to work amid the breadth of this statement—seeking greater insight into its truth and the counter-tactics therein through aesthetic study in particular. The essays, ...
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 ...
Publishere-flux2018
In ten seconds, how many synonyms can you think of for the word “power”? And then, just when you thought that you finally got the hang of how the power structures around you function, they seem to be coming undone. But are they really coming undone, or is the current that’s pushing and pulling at them not much more than a massage, a way to keep them up to date that stays only on the surface and is not able to touch the center. What is feminism, precisely? What are feminisms today? To answer these questions and myriad others, the next two issues ...
Publishere-flux2018
Previously in e-flux journal, we asked: In ten seconds, how many synonyms can you think of for the word “power”? And then, just when you thought that you finally got the hang of how the power structures around you function, they seem to be coming undone … What is feminism, precisely? What are feminisms today? To examine these questions and myriad others, the previous and present issues of e-flux journal have been dedicated to feminism(s). It has been a particular pleasure to embark on an exploration and an unfolding of the many complex realities and iterations that feminisms can accommodate. Not one feminism, ...
Publishere-flux2018
Masaccio painted his fresco of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden (c. 1424–28) just about 600 years before 2030, which is the current cutoff point for humans to curb global temperature rise, or risk quicker extinction. In Masaccio’s rendering, the expelled pair walk together from the green valley crying with open-mouthed agony. Caught in this moment during their walk of shame, their lips, especially Eve’s, surround gaping dark ovals: Where are their teeth?
Publishere-flux2019
As we study the foundations of what we think we know, we might ask: What do we truly know? Mussolini’s regime banned not only words but five entire letters of the alphabet. In 2018, both “immortality” and “migration” were blocked indefinitely in web searches in China. How many letters or words, or even numbers, have been banned in the past? And among those, how many were never remembered again? In this issue of e-flux journal, Nikolay Smirnov examines the historical left-wing, Marxist splinter of Eurasianism and its merits in the face of contemporary neo-Eurasianist figures who have turned it towards nativist ...
Publishere-flux2019
In this issue of e-flux journal, Nikolay Smirnov examines the historical left-wing, Marxist splinter of Eurasianism and its merits in the face of contemporary neo-Eurasianist figures who have turned it towards nativist and right-wing agendas. Also in this issue, Khaled Saghieh, in the first essay of a series guest-edited by Marwa Arsanios, recounts the postwar intellectual debates of the 1990s in Beirut as a war of and on memory. A whole city can shift. The memory of what was, or what wasn’t, becomes an intellectual battlefield.
Publishere-flux2019
Defining the future is not easy. As we at e-flux journal look simultaneously backward and forward over our ten years of publishing, we wonder what lies ahead. This is issue #99 of the journal. Since we started with issue zero, this is actually our hundredth issue, amounting to nearly a thousand essays.1 Thinking ahead can be tricky, because the future always harbors a hidden object. Time does not move in one direction; it is not only the period we think we’re living in. Looking sideways, backward, at multiple shared timelines at once, we plan and we think ahead—but ahead of what? The restoration ...

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