Alexander García Düttmann

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Everything is connected to everything else, says Lenin, as do the finance gurus, and the more it breaks down, the better it works, says Deleuze, as do the winners of the “crisis.” It’s many strokes that make up the big picture, and nets are made up of knots. It’s equations that found exclusions and force us into regimes: it’s small words that make the difference. The form and direction of movement is articulated at the joints; the shared, the collective, any talk of “we,” is upheld or torn apart by bands and bonds. Communism as the “free association of free individuals”? ...
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Art has always been the site of struggle: it’s forms obscure, it’s freedoms pure fiction. And the territory is currently being resurveyed. While identities blur, the terrain is being fractured. Old and new forces are intervening, speculating for various interests, claiming their share in the visible and invisible—the accursed share. What some ignore, others must delete. What mustn’t be shown can be read in a deeper darkness under a stronger light. Blinded, baited, ensnared in finely woven nets, our eyes are like those of tamed animals, first wild, then sore, often dulled: overstimulated, tired, and yet very desirable beasts. But who ...
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DIAPHANES 8/9 looks into curious loops of reproduced present, the integral of circular I-effects, the other side of the social Möbius strip. Is the self nothing but an echo? An effect without cause? The human being a message, an autoreply in the jargon of social-memes? Who or what massages the backchannel so astoundingly self-similarly, like an invisible hand? Tom McCarthy makes a plea for the inauthentic, for an ethics without subjects. Shengze Zhu tells of intimacy and loneliness in the live-streaming communities of China, and Zoran Terzić asks about strategies against grand generalization by generic rationality. Christopher Meerdo consigns Bin Laden’s ...
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Photomediations: A Reader offers a radically different way of understanding photography. The concept of photomediations that unites the twenty scholarly and curatorial essays collected here cuts across the traditional classification of photography as suspended between art and social practice in order to capture the dynamism of the photographic medium today. It also explores photography’s kinship with other media – and with us, humans, as media. The term ‘photomediations’ brings together the hybrid ontology of ‘photomedia’ and the fluid dynamism of ‘mediation’. The framework of photomediations adopts a process- and time-based approach to images by tracing the technological, biological, cultural, social and political ...
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Désoeuvrement! Variously translated as unworking or inoperativity is a notion that haunts contemporary political theory and practice. Unworking overturns the typical valuation of work and action as positive and constructive and opens an avenue to think radical passivity and inactivity as aesthetic and political practices that question the modernist mantra of purposeful production and ceaseless activity. At its most basic, unworking is the critique of work and of everything that we imagine as such. The work of community-building for instance, the work of art, work as wage labour, even psychoanalysis, imagined as ‘working through’. This issue of continent is dedicated ...

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