Holly Herndon

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The blockchain is Janus-faced. On one side its traits of transparency and decentralization promise much in terms of fairness and accountability, but on the other its monetary roots born as a financial payment system, albeit grounded in open-source software, mean its implementations are often stridently capitalistic. Furthermore, those involved in its development seem to oscillate between radical ethical standpoints and reductionist technological determinism. The blockchain engenders what has been called a ‘digital metalism’1 with the ability, like a modern philosopher’s stone, to transmutate life through a distributed ledger. That such a pecuniary minded technology is being touted as a new ...
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How did the internet go from the utopian free-for-all, open source heaven, libertarian last frontier to the current state of permanent surveillance, exhibitionism and paranoia? This duplicity is the underlying thread that links the artists, activists, and researchers in The Black Chamber, an exhibition, a symposium, an urban intervention and a publication. The Black Chamber aims at discussing the delicate and often awkward role of art and imagination in the age of mass surveillance, stressing the multiple connections between post-studio art and independent research, grassroots reverse engineering, and new forms of political activism in the age of networks. Not just an exhibition ...
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PublisherResident Advisor2017
Episode 343 of Resident Advisor magazine’s podcast series The Hour, featuring a discussion on the late writer and theorist Mark Fisher. We begin the latest edition of The Hour by asking Youngstar to tell us the story behind “Pulse X,” which is widely understood to be the first-ever grime track and is still massively influential, 15 years after its release. Next, Angus Finlayson speaks with some of the many people who were influenced by Mark Fisher, the greatly respected writer and theorist who we sadly lost back in January. For this moving tribute, Simon Reynolds, Holly Herndon, Kode9, Tamar Shlaim, Logos, Tim ...
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PublisherSerpentine2021
The ​art world​, as it is known today, can be understood as an enormous ecosystem. Or, more accurately, as a series of ecosystems, incorporating artists, cultural institutions, funders, collectors and many others. This publication series is intended for those with an interest in the development of future art ecosystems. Each issue will provide strategic analysis and recommendations in areas where new actors and processes are emerging. This inaugural issue of FAE focuses on practices that artists are developing in their work with advanced technologies and the new infrastructure being built around these practices. The view presented here is based on the ...
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PublisherGlass Bead2016
The first issue of this journal, as well as Glass Bead’s project at large, is directed towards rethinking art as a mode of rational thought. It starts from the assumption that any claim concerning the efficacy of art—its capacity, beyond either its representational function or its affectivity, to make changes in the way we think of the world and act on it—first demands a renewed understanding of reason itself. The site on which this issue focuses is Castalia, the fictional province imagined by Hermann Hesse in The Glass Bead Game (1943). Set in Central Europe some five hundred years in the future, ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2020
The following conversation between Holly Herndon, Tabea Nixdorff and Jonathan Zong occurred via Zoom on Tuesday, 29 September, 2020, at 16:00 Central European Time. We were in Berlin, Arnhem, Cambridge (MA), and Ghent (NY). This is the second publication of Version Space, a series of pamphlets transcribing conversations among artists and graduate students in visual art regarding Artificial Intelligence and related topics, produced in collaboration with Library Stack and funded by the Artistic Research program of the Sandberg Instituut. This item is publicly available as part of the Library Stack Public Branch at NN Contemporary Art.

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