Philip Jan Nagel

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During the last 15 years – when technology has become more natural and habitual, thus causing people to lose control over it – an emerging scene of network practitioners from different fields has been actively involved in building alternative networks of communication and file sharing. Among the practitioners of this DIY networking scene, a growing number of artists have been playing a crucial role as facilitator, mediator, and commoner of knowledge and experience. The artists have been offering tools of understanding based on their will to expose and make accessible opaque systems in an effort to empower people. Daphne Dragona ...
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The 15th century Voynich Manuscript, Kandinsky’s abstract painting with a secret encoded message, militant jihadists using porn images for hidden communication and most recently computer malware embedding virus code into images on infected computers (and perhaps this text too) are examples of steganography, which can be also found in Amy Suo Wu’s works. By using Cardan Grille, substitution ciphers and camouflaged text within text in combination with invisible inks, Wu’s works are more than just highly enjoyable pieces of visual art and calligraphic design. As a combination of exhibition works, toolkit manuals and workshops, they are also pieces of practical ...
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A mysterious and controversial technology is among us: the blockchain. Constructed by unicorns piecing together the necessary building blocks of code, cryptography and incentives, it can lead humankind to Utopia, or to the Final Solution – the End. If it’s true that “It Is Easier To Imagine The End Of The World Than The End Of Capitalism,” as a popular bumper sticker warns, the artist Jaya Klara Brekke, currently pursuing a PhD on the political geographies of blockchain infrastructures, invites us to come back from elsewhere in the future to stay here and now, and not to fear indeterminacy. Written ...
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“What the Internet stood for, for a long time, is something that I’m still nostalgically supporting,” said Constant Dullaart in an interview. The Dutch artist, lecturer and curator grew up in an age of the Internet “designed to be used by everyone”. In its first years, the Internet proved to be the place of warm, authentic relationships, the place where one looked for friends, not followers, and where one engaged in peer-to-peer discussions, not in simply adding a number to a stack. Now we work in corporate backyards and, especially in social network environments, we are very easily and almost ...
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In the summer of 2007 three artists from Slovenia legally changed their names to “Janez Janša,” the name of the right-wing Prime Minister at that time. Since then, the artists have presented their works as performances, exhibitions and a film documentary, and have continued with their investigation of “What’s in a name?” Starting from this famous Shakespearian question, four eminent European philosophers – Austrian Robert Pfaller and Slovenians Mladen Dolar, Jela Krečič and Slavoj Žižek – confront the implications of the Janšas’ name change and its consequences in four essays. Ten years of artistic and real life activity, here illustrated by ...
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The Slovenian philosopher, sociologist and politician Lev Kreft ascribes All About You, the new work by Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša, to the tradition of the Readymade and Self-portrait. But very peculiar ones: the ordinary objects turned into an artwork are IDs and personalized bank cards, the self-portrait is the ID card itself, but also all data about the account and money transfers a given bank card holds. How far can a card owner make his own personal credit card? As well as a citizen has to respect some limitations when changing his name, a bank customer has ...
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Is the idea of society as the totality of individuals the only way of envisioning human sociality, or is it only a historically determined construct? What other dimensions emerge when we shift from thinking in terms of individuals to dividuals and their assembling into condividuals? Which are the political implications of this shift in the contemporary capitalism that already operates on a condividual level? Starting from these questions, the Dutch media theorist Daniel de Zeeuw explored the visions exposed during a two-day event, inspired by Marco Deseriis’s book, Proper and Improper Names – Identity in the Information Society (Ljubljana, 17–18 ...
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This publication offers a broad view on media piracy as well as a variety of comparative perspectives on recent issues and historical facts regarding piracy. It contains a compilation of texts on grass-roots situations whose stories describe strategies developed to share, distribute and experience cultural content outside of the confines of local economies, politics or laws. These stories recount the experiences of individuals from India, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Mali and China. The book is structured in four parts and begins with a collection of stories on piracy dating back to the invention of the printing press and expanding to broader ...
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The American born artist Jennifer Lyn Morone registered herself as a corporation in 2014, founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc. As the founder, CEO, owner, shareholder and product of her own company, she sells, leases, rents or invests her personal data for her own profit. She has commercialised her hormones and diamonds made from her hair, advertising them through satirical videos. In the Netopticon, the panopticon in which we live using platforms such as Facebook and Google, our data are vacuumed up to generate profits in an extreme form of capitalism. Artist and curator Marc Garrett (www.furtherfield.org) says that Jennifer Lyn ...
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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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Molleindustria, the “brand” name of Italian game designer Paolo Pedercini, has been a project of reappropriation of video games and a call for the radicalization of popular culture since 2003. On the occasion of the “All Work, No Play” exhibition at Aksioma Project Space in June 2015, a significant selection of its games was made. The exhibited games deal with the theme of the conflict between life and work, as (video)games can be used to address critically socio-political issues such as flexibility, precariousness and alienation. In this essay, Paolo Ruffino, member of the art group IOCOSE and academic, explores the ...

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