Nora Khan

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PublisherMomus2018
Two art and technology critics, Nora Khan and Mike Pepi, discuss pushing for a rigorous critical discourse in a creative field that can flatten evaluative distinctions in favor of zealotry for invention. “Criticism of a tool that’s presented as neutral when it really is a piece of social engineering is incredibly hard to do, and there really isn’t a model for criticism in this space,” says Khan. In this far-ranging discussion that touches on the critical distance and yet humanism required of writing on the internet, surveillance, and AI, Khan and Pepi assert that tools aren’t divorced from their makers, ...
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By inserting the work of contemporary artists into global channels, E-State Realisms identifies the absence of critical contemporary art in the viral domain. Here artists are dealing critically with and not about the digital/IRL landscape. They are active players in the systems they critique. The neoliberal deregulation of capital as a state of exception exemplifies how corporations are currently privileged at the expense of citizens. Similar to offshore tax avoidance, the neoliberal art market stages artwork as a temporary home for accumulated wealth. This conflation places the voice of critique in a murky position. In order for Art to theoretically ...
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PublisherValiz2020
Forces of Art investigates the way in which artists, artworks and cultural organizations affect people and their social environments, and explores how cases of creative practice have been operational in empowering people, communities, and societies in their given contexts. It is a dense, multi-layered, polyvocal compendium of current thinking about the impact of art on civil society and social change, and contains a large number of essays and case studies located all over the world, from Central Asia to Meso and Latin America, from Africa to Central Europe, from South and South-East Asia to the Middle East. The driving force ...
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PublisherGlass Bead2017
The first issue of the journal was dedicated to repositioning art in the landscape of reason. This issue is focused on the fabric of reason itself, and to the ways in which it is currently altered by the emergence of artificial intelligence. While the capacities of thought are being externalized in machines that increasingly mirror human intelligence, the question of the technical artifactuality of mind and its political ramifications becomes particularly pressing. For us, far from being limited to the computational instantiation of intelligence, understanding the politics of these developments in artificialintelligence requires acknowledging that mind has always been artifactual. Site 1: Logic ...
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PublisherMomus2021
“A school will change you, and it teaches you as much about how people will interpret you, misunderstand and dismiss you, as it will teach you about a creative life.” Critic, curator, and educator Nora N. Khan reads from “Dark Study: Within, Below, and Alongside,” a feature text published in the inaugural issue of March, which starts with the question: “how to go on?” In discussion with Sky Goodden, Khan describes this question’s implications for a text about the “life and death” of study, especially for first-generation immigrants studying in the US; and the effects of writing this piece in the midst of a ...
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PublisherNew Models2021
In which we speak with writer/critic NORA KHAN and artist/writer JOEL KUENNEN about deep time, rethinking the human in an era of accelerated machine learning, and recognizing the truly experimental in a culture increasingly bound by “aligned incentives.” The conversation took place at La Becque artist residency on the shores of Lake Geneva, where Nora and Joel have been developing two new books and a site specific installation, respectively. We discuss these projects, talking North Stars (plural), climate far-futures, and critical frameworks for Web3 creative production.
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PublisherQueer.Archive.Work2018
QUEER.ARCHIVE.WORK is an urgent act of publishing that’s radical, messy, and future-looking. It’s a signal sent out into muddy waters, the start of a speculative practice emerging from (and moving towards) the undercommons—a collective place for subversive artists and writers who reject normative narratives. THIS PUBLICATION IS A LOOSE ASSEMBLING OF QUEER METHODOLOGIES, WITH A PARTICULAR VIEW TOWARDS NETWORK CULTURE, FAILURE, AND REFUTATION. It’s an attempt to move far beyond the printed web. It’s an experiment in publishing as practice as resistance.
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PublisherNew Models2020
Writer and theorist NORA KHAN speaks with New Models about how institutional power reifies itself online, COVID aesthetics, and the labor pressures of distance working/socializing/learning via platforms such as Zoom. Nora is the author, most recently, of Seeing, Naming, Knowing (Brooklyn Rail Press, 2019) on mass surveillance and ‘machine visual culture.’
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In Detroit, driving at night north up Woodward Avenue, a long, wide boulevard, one’s eye is caught by emerald green lights, perched on the topmost corners of gas station signs, laundromats, corner stores, peep shows, groceries, and churches. They blink quickly, three times in a row. Their green makes for strange beacons, at first eerie, then comforting, not a warning, but an invitation. The green lights are part of Project Green Light Detroit, an initiative undertaken by the Detroit Police Department to create safer businesses through a “public-private community partnership.” Business owners buy real-time cameras which generate feeds that run continuously ...
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PublisherThe Shed2019
Dreams come to us in sleep. They find us while we slumber, and dreams — elusive, fleeting at times, vivid and frenetic at others—have carried our mythologies for millennia. When the body enters into its deepest sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, humans experience accelerated neuron transmissions that mirror patterns displayed during wakefulness. In REM, we humans maintain an occult moment of extreme psychological activity, and dreams are their most present, persistent, forceful. When dreams visit us as hauntings, is this how we learn to name our nightmares? Sleep then, might also be considered a pathway for that which is unwelcome.
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PublisherThe Shed2019
In 1915, Kazimir Malevich painted his famous Red Square painting, more properly called Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions (1915). I think about how incendiary it must have been at the time, how arresting. How it prefigured the general collapse of figuration, of representation, into a single, glowing screen, an ultimate abstraction of life and death that is later taken up by PredPol, a predictive policing software company. How the Red Square is not even a square, but a slightly angled parallelogram. Particularly exciting is the way it, along with its sibling Black Square (1915), references Russian ...
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PublisherThe Shed2019
Why do we have such a difficult time coming up with a reliable definition for “technology”? For one, just when we think we’ve pinned it down, it refuses to stand still. Do we have any real way of maintaining a truth about a category that is constantly updating, innovating, and mutating in relation to every other concept we might use to define it? We frame technology as an other, somehow alien to our humanity. This problem of recognition becomes even more complex when we speak of the relationship between art and technology, two poorly defined terms with deeply intertwined applications. ...

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