Raqs Media Collective

PublisherOnCurating.org2019
Artistic and curatorial practices can be seen as the prime testimonies of transformative movements—on the one hand situated in a specific site and region, and on the other, transgressing disciplines, classes, norms—proposing new forms and relations of living and establishing these practices (building centres along the way) but at the same time always changing their positions, never staying at the centre, but instead unfolding on the periphery of social life. In this OnCurating Issue, we searched for and researched projects and institutions that hold at their core something between the lines of centres–peripheries with their transversal practices and modus operandi. For ...
PublisherAutonomedia2004
The interaction between culture and economy was famously explored by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer by the term ‘Kulturindustrie’ (The Culture Industry) to describe the production of mass culture and power relations between capitalist producers and mass consumers. Their account is a bleak one, but one that appears to hold continuing relevance, despite being written in 1944. Today, the pervasiveness of network technologies has contributed to the further erosion of the rigid boundaries between high art, mass culture and the economy, resulting in new kinds of cultural production charged with contradictions. On the one hand, the culture industry appears to ...
PublisherAutonomedia2005
Social change does not simply result from resistance to the existing set of conditions but from adapting and transforming the technical apparatus itself. Walter Benjamin in his essay ‘The Author as Producer’, written in 1934, recommends that the ‘cultural producer’ intervene in the production process in the manner of an engineer. The term ‘engineer’ is to be taken broadly to refer to technical and cultural activity, through the application of knowledge for the management, control and use of power. To act as an engineer in this sense, is to use power productively to bring about change and for public utility. ...
Publishere-flux2014
In the summer of 1989, Francis Fukuyama published his infamous essay declaring the global triumph of free-market liberal democracy over communism as the end of ideology as such. Not only that, but he also claimed the world was on the cusp of realizing what Fukuyama’s mentor Alexandre Kojève called the “universal homogenous state,” which would be the climax of a particular Western idealist tradition stretching back to Hegel. It would be the endpoint of a human consciousness based in accumulative historical progress that also grounded the thinking of Marx himself, who pegged his own philosophy to a conception of time ...
Publishere-flux2019
In this issue of e-flux journal, Nikolay Smirnov examines the historical left-wing, Marxist splinter of Eurasianism and its merits in the face of contemporary neo-Eurasianist figures who have turned it towards nativist and right-wing agendas. Also in this issue, Khaled Saghieh, in the first essay of a series guest-edited by Marwa Arsanios, recounts the postwar intellectual debates of the 1990s in Beirut as a war of and on memory. A whole city can shift. The memory of what was, or what wasn’t, becomes an intellectual battlefield.
PublisherOnCurating.org2019
The symposium “Revisiting Black Mountain College: Cross-Disciplinary Experiments and Their Potential for Democratization (in Times of Post-Democracy)” asked questions in relation to anti-democratic tendencies in many countries worldwide. How can education still hold up democratic values, while at the same time presumably measuring its success by careers in the market? This issue brings together contributions from participants of the conference and adds further contributions by Andres Janser, Olga von Schubert, Caroline Adler, Boris Buden, Lucy Bayley, Sascia Bailer, Simon Fleury, Gilly Karjevsky, Asli Uludag, and Mieke Matzke.The interview by Ronald Kolb with Bitten Stetter, Brandon Farnsworth, Dorothee Richter, Jochen Kiefer, Martin ...
PublisherSarai, CSDS2001
A Sarai is an enclosed space in a city, or, beside a highway, where travellers and caravans can find shelter, sustenance and companionship; a tavern, a public house, a meeting place; a destination and a point of departure; a place to rest in the middle of a journey… The Sarai Reader (which is the first of what we hope will be more such collections) can be seen both as a navigation log of actual voyages and a map for possible journeys into a real and imagined territory that we have provisionally called the “Public Domain”. This republic without territory is a ...
PublisherSarai, CSDS2002
This year’s Sarai Reader brings together a range of critical thinking on urban life and the contemporary, marked by spreading media cultures, new social conflict and globalisation. Scholars, media practitioners, critics and activists use a flow of images, memories and hidden realities to create a fascinating array of original interventions in thinking about cities today. In the context of India, where a large part of this reader has been edited, this is significant, given the frugality of writing on city life in this part of the world. With essays, images, analyses, and manifestoes The Cities of Everyday Life reflects on the ...
PublisherSarai, CSDS2003
Sarai Reader 03: Shaping Technologies sets out to ratchet our engagement with the contemporary moment a notch higher, in directions that are sober, exhilarating and discomfiting, all at once… Shaping Technologies brings together a host of original writing and images on these and other themes by a collection of writers, theorists, critics, photographers, philosophers, engineers, activists, artists, media practitioners and programmers from all over the world. It also excavates and connects little known histories with our present reality, finding, for instance, in Rabindranath Tagore’s account of being airborne in 1934, an oblique way of reflecting on the consequences of aerial bombardment, the dehumanising ...
PublisherSarai, CSDS2004
“The book itself has its genesis in the Crisis/Media Workshop that was jointly organized in Delhi by Sarai-CSDS, Delhi and the Waag Society, Amsterdam, a year ago in March 2003. The concept, outlined in the workshop publication by Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Geert Lovink, was a response to 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, the violence in Gujarat and the Kargil war. Over 3 days, participants from many different parts of South Asia and the world gathered to debate and dissect the relationship between the notion of crisis and the media, exactly one year after Gujarat had gone up in flames, and ...
PublisherSarai, CSDS2005
“This year, the Reader looks at ‘Acts’ – at instruments of legislation, at things within and outside the law, and at ‘acts’ – as different ways of ‘doing’ things in society and culture. Several essays echo and complement themes that have emerged in earlier readers. Piracy, borders, surveillance, claims to authority and entitlement, the language of expertise, the legal regulation of sexual behaviour and trespasses of various kinds have featured prominently in previous Readers. This collection foregrounds these issues in a way we hope can make a series of coherent but autonomous and interrelated arguments…”
PublisherSarai, CSDS2010
Modernity’s great promise – the freedom from fear, now lies in ruins. One can argue that this vision was always compromised – modernity (especially in the form that emerged in the West, under Capitalism) always hid its own fears, and hid from its own fears – the fear of epidemics, of urban panic, of the homeless multitude and of criminal activity. This led to a drive for transparency: for separating the civic from the criminal, the civilised and the barbaric peoples, the human from the non human, life from the machine. With the advent of the mass slaughters of the ...

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