Mike Pepi

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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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The museum may now be assuming a new function in the network. It is being reformatted as a recording device, a flexible memory machine that can store culture like a bank, artworks like a storefront, politics in the form of data. And each of these can be exchanged with one another as currency: the political movement can be turned into an activist archive, sold as an artwork, then exhibited as data, then sealed off in a vault with cultural artifacts for safe keeping. Museums in China are built without staff or contents to fill them long after they are constructed. ...
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Tech is never simply technology. It never appears in the abstract, any more than the characters “H2O” appear anywhere on water. Tech is always specific. How old should someone be when they first have sex? How old before they get their first cell phone? This sequence unsettles us because it is hard to think about either inevitability. Sex and technology are instruments of desire, the objects and system of adult unfreedom. Children at play are so analog. Young is life before text. We clutched love letters, in the past, when we couldn’t clutch each other. Now our phones get warm ...
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PublisherBlackwood Gallery2021
This eighth SDUK broadsheet takes MEDIATING as its theme, in parallel with the Blackwood’s virtual program Running with Concepts: The Mediatic Edition, to consider sites and practices of mediation in culture, technology, and media. Following SDUK07: TILTING (an urgent 2-part issue in response to the first wave of COVID-19), the series returns in 2021—albeit in a form that continues to be shaped by the effects of the pandemic—and launches simultaneously on the Blackwood website. For those who wonder, how are mediated circumstances changing our ways of relating and predicting?, excerpts from Tommy Pico’s book-length poem Junk (p. 18) offer a riotous ...
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PublisherNew Models2018
NYC-based writer and DSA volunteer Mike Pepi speaks to New Models about the emergence and future of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the shift toward socialist values within the US Democratic base.
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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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