Aaron Schuster

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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 ...
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Publishere-flux2020
In this issue, Alessandra Franetovich and Trevor Paglen discuss Orbital Reflector, Paglen’s reflective sculpture launched into low-earth orbit as a satellite. Housed in a small box-like structure, the lightweight reflective material of the sculpture was meant to deploy and self-inflate like a balloon and reflect sunlight towards earth, making it visible to our eyes as a nearby artificial star. Unfortunately, at the critical moment of the sculpture’s release in 2018, the US government was on shutdown, with all agencies held hostage in order to force Congress to fund Trump’s gigantic border wall between the US and Mexico. There was no ...
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Publishere-flux2012
The films of Adam Curtis—a BBC journalist by vocation, but a filmmaker and information archeologist in practice—appear as conspiracy theories wrapped in historical facts wrapped in social desires. These films remind us that dominant historical narratives are not only subject to rewriting but also sites of intense confusion, ideology, and intrigue. By fusing together narrative and reportage, Curtis’s films enter an ecstatic and playful sphere where themes of power, coercion, technology, morality, and freedom assume a life of their own. This issue of e-flux journal features a rare in-depth interview with Curtis by Hans Ulrich Obrist, coinciding with the filmmaker’s first ...
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Publishere-flux2017
Every December, dictionaries and language societies across the globe identify the “words of the year”—words that resonated widely during the previous twelve months. In the mid-2000s, these lists were populated with words like “contempt” and “quagmire,” “ambivalence” and “conundrum.” A few years later, dominant words included “trepidation” and “precipice” and “fail,” “vitriol” and “insidious” and “bigot.” The OED’s word of the year for 2012 was “omnishambles.” 2016, however, was for OED the year of “post-truth.” Merriam-Webster selected the word “surreal.” In the wake of Brexit and the US elections, Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and Turkey’s disregard for journalistic freedom, ...
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Morality is an invitation to reflect and debate situations in contemporary life that refuse clear distinctions between right and wrong, what is and what ought to be. As a whole, this project has been defined by a desire – inherent to contemporary art – to open spaces for active, engaged forms of spectatorship that are not predetermined by either moral or ideological imperatives. Morality is a provocative theme, especially in a world that is now determined by the experiences of war, displacement, political and economic crises, the rise of religious stereotypes, and the radicalization of seemingly old doctrines and ideologies. ...

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