Jeff Ramsey

PublishersSternberg Presse-flux2017
Today, many of us can remember the disappeared indigenous cosmologies as parts of ourselves, lost to colonialism, industrialization, communist revolutions, and capitalist wars. Many names have been given to ideological or historical grand narratives to soothe the pain of loss, to register those losses and render them searchable, but these memorializing mechanisms still fail to register the pain of losing something much larger that cannot be named—a deep relation to the world, to the cosmos, and to ourselves that gives us strength and sovereignty without need for any other earthly power of right or dominion. What if another kind of ...
PublishersSternberg Presse-flux2015
Equal parts Borges, Burroughs, Baudrillard, and Black Ops, Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution charts a treacherous landscape filled with paranoid master plans, failed schemes, and dubious histories. Benjamin H. Bratton’s kaleidoscopic theory-fiction links the utopian fantasies of political violence with the equally utopian programs of security and control. Both rely on all manner of doubles, models, gimmicks, ruses, prototypes, and shockandawe campaigns to realize their propagandas of the deed, threat, and image. Blurring reality and delusion, they collaborate on a literally psychotic politics of architecture. The cast of characters in this ensemble drama of righteous desperation and tactical trickery shuttle ...
Launched in 2008, e-flux journal is a monthly art publication featuring essays and contributions by some of the most engaged artists and thinkers working today. The journal is available online, in PDF format, and in print through a network of distributors. – http://www.e-flux.com/journal/
Publishere-flux2019
Koichiro Osaka’s text for this issue begins at the Sunshine 60 skyscraper in Tokyo. According to myth and a historical reading, the skyscraper is named for the sixty Japanese war criminals executed in 1948 in what was then Sugamo Prison. In 1978, the former prison became the tallest skyscraper in Asia. As Osaka explains, Sunshine 60 may be the largest war monument ever built. The building serves at once as a haunted gravesite and reassurance of the ongoing sunshine of fascism and capitalism. Also in this issue, Françoise Vergès describes a daily ritual in multiple urban centers where thousands of black ...
Publishere-flux2019
Today one may complain that life has been reduced to points in a matrix of relations—cities, territories, and historical narratives prematurely refined into categories of known and unknown, real and virtual, concrete and abstract space. And yet, when we need to locate a crucial resource (or ourselves, for that matter) who can afford not to search the grid for what everybody knows to be there?—the Italian restaurant, the emergency room, the ancestor, the terrorist. This is not simply about seeing; by definition, navigation organizes timescales and orders of magnitude that cannot be visualized simultaneously. Furthermore, in attempting to map and ...
Publishere-flux2019
Federica showed up for her appointment with the person who had agreed to purchase her soul. Thus begins Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Massimiliano Geraci’s novel Morte ai Vecchi (Death to the old), in which a device called KapSoul delivers “waves of empathic excitement” to young people before they descend into orgiastic violence against the elderly. The first serial installment of the translated novel is published in this issue of e-flux journal, with further installments coming in the near future. Also in this issue, Jonas Staal illuminates the Martian designs of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, with their unabashedly extractive colonial ambitions. But Staal also reminds ...
Publishere-flux2019
There is a certain plasticity of meaning inherent in any use of language. If that weren’t the case, poetry and literature would not exist. There would only be contracts, scientific formulas, shopping lists, and so forth. Journalism would be properly factual—there would be no fake news or disinformation. All utterances would document isolated events, never evoking larger patterns or tapping into hidden desires. But then the question arises: Even if language could be cleansed of all ambiguity and spin, what role would images play? If language is the problem, images can only be worse. Against a backdrop where postmodern slippages in ...
Publishere-flux2019
On November 7, 1929, the Museum of Modern Art “opened in a five-room rented space with an ‘historical’ exhibition of (European) Post-Impressionist art, titled ‘The First Loan Exhibition: Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh.’” MoMA’s founding director, Alfred Barr, had the idea that modern works that passed a test called “Torpedo in Time” would, after some fifty years, be considered historical and transfer to the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the time, Gertrude Stein also famously quipped that the very idea of a museum of the modern was an oxymoron. In short, MoMA was more of a kunsthalle ...
Publishere-flux2020
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a “global” art world began to form. Sure, there were already a number of world’s fairs and established international biennials, but this would be different. From the 1990s onward, national boundaries would dissolve, centers and peripheries would level out, and the internet would host worldwide cultural exchange. In many ways this really did happen, but some other things also happened. As people and ideas began to move across borders, money did too. Faced with an unmanageable planetary scale, capital became a more efficient regulator of flows than laws or nations. Suddenly, capital rose ...
Publishere-flux2020
As the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads, we—the people of planet earth—are faced with a dizzying variety of responses: quarantine, containment, vigilant self-quarantine, paranoid self-isolation, and in some cases escape from the above. Suddenly, it is as if circulation itself has turned against us, making healthy freedom of movement in the world a dealer of death. So your flight is cancelled. Your trip is over. We are staying in place for the foreseeable future. Exhibitions, symposia, gatherings of all kinds are postponed. But not sporting events. Those will go on, but without any supporters in the stands. The players will play ...
Publishere-flux2017
Indentured to the past, we drag our inherited identities through a forest of networks bursting with mysterious intellectual fruit. We’re not sure which concepts are poisonous and which are safe. History is like a mistranslated phrasebook full of old-fashioned illustrations which everyone makes fun of on the internet. Attempts at organization feel fanciful and absurd: eclectic inventories of apocalypse-kitsch. In “A Palace of Unsaids,” Rob Goyanes considers the work of mourning under twenty-first century conditions. Does it matter if we show up to the wrong shift at the memorial-factory as long as we do our time? Those that insist on mourning ...
Publishere-flux2017
The modern arrives when the boundaries dividing old and new become sites of struggle in the way that the divide between the sacred and the profane was previously. These distinctions—old/new, sacred/profane—are strategic: they refer to one embedded position in the life-world relative to another. In the October 2017 issue of e-flux journal, Noemi Smolik shows how, within Russia, the deployment of modernizing iconoclasm against the belief systems of Russia’s rural poor confounded distinctions between old and new, sacred and profane, even before the October Revolution and the Russian avant-garde. Aleksandra Shatskikh diagnoses a contemporary symptom of this misrecognition in the attribution ...

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