Stephen Squibb

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/

Read More

Publishere-flux2008
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, doctor and New Age guru Deepak Chopra commented on CNN that perhaps the worst thing for terrorist groups would be for someone like President-elect Obama to befriend the Muslim world and turn them against terrorists—simple as that! Such a statement is symptomatic of the idea that power today should, whenever possible, be exercised through attraction and seduction rather than through direct coercion. Joseph Nye, one of the intellectual fathers of neoliberalism, has termed the genteel, salesman-like diplomacy that emerged after the Cold War “soft power”: the ability of a political body such as ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2014
Neoliberalism began as the idea that economic rationality could be applied as a model of governance in place of political ideology. No more authoritarianism. Just the rational calculation of people’s needs and wants. But now we realize that needs and wants are not rational. They are crazy. And they take place on such vastly different scales that, without any political idea to stabilize desires and render them accountable—even simply in the sense of being legible and comprehensible—we are faced with nothing but irrationality as a governing order. Even logistical mechanisms are only the infrastructural bracketing of a rational order that ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2014
Spring is here, so we are naturally thinking about sex all the time. It was a busy winter with many personal calamities and meltdowns, and this only makes now a better time to think about sex. Big beautiful interspecies sex. Instrumentalized sex. Makeup sex and breakup sex. Overman sex and that business with the eunuch. Tender Marvin Gaye sex and also the weird stuff. Sex as the symbolic drainage area for desires that exceed and escape the society, but also as the visceral pelvic thrust behind those desires that glue the whole contraption together when it is actually hopelessly falling apart. ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2015
Architecture remains the most tangible way of constructing the social. Yet, the system we call “architecture” is not reducible to the physical, the tactile, the obvious. In the history of avant-garde architecture, immateriality and intangibility carried a promise of liberation, of escape from the heaviness of building, from completion, from gravity or reality. A new contemporary architecture would be built out of pure knowledge—drafted on paper as an idea to be shared, never bogged down by the technicalities of constructing in dimensional space, or even any spatial paradigm altogether. The history of the avant-garde can’t—as Beatriz Colomina has pointed out—be separated from its engagement with media ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2015
More than ever, architects today are called upon to build gestural landmarks and grandiose signature buildings. But architecture was never only about building. It is also about the flows of people, information, and resources that shape space. Today, the practice of architecture often confronts situations where these flows cannot be reduced to modernist managerial approaches to systematizing, structuring, and mastering the potentials of space. In a two-part “Architecture as Intangible Infrastructure” issue of e-flux journal edited together with Nikolaus Hirsch, the intangible and immaterial flows that today appear to exceed the language of building proper are shown by a number of ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2015
In Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1992 dark comedy Hyènes, an extravagantly wealthy woman returns to her poor village seeking revenge. Her target is the man who humiliated her in her youth by getting her pregnant and abandoning her. It is not only death that she wants, but also justice. She will not murder the man by her own hand, as Charles Tonderai Mudede explains in this issue, but instead asks the village to mete out capital punishment, to murder him for his wrongdoing. In exchange, she will make the town wealthy. As the village reflects upon its principles, the people of ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2015
The texts gathered in this issue of e-flux journal reflect upon the censorship of Cuban artists that has taken place in the shadow of the political negotiations between the island and the United States. They are the words of Cuban intellectuals who have chosen to respond to erasures brought about by overzealous state authority, a politics of complicity among Cuban artists, and the strategic blindness of Cuba’s enthusiasts.

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
The choice of cover image for this issue of e-flux journal came down to two photos: a decrepit military airplane lingering in a remote gray field, evoking long forgotten battles of a distant war; and a picture of a DIY christmas tree, cheerfully constructed from a stack of worn car tires and painted lime green. The airplane was the more haunting of the two images, yet with all that is happening around us, we wanted to resist the sublime spectacle of decimation and consider some modest proposals about how affect, art, humor, and practical resourcefulness can provide solutions to seemingly ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
Art has something to teach Marxism about the reasons for its great historical failure to understand nationalism, because art proceeds with the understanding that the materiality of representation is not the same thing as the materiality of production. If it were, if the value-process were reducible to the labor-process, or vice versa, then both art and inflation would be impossible. .. Editorial Editors A Tank on a Pedestal: Museums in an Age of Planetary Civil War Hito Steyerl A Farewell to Totality Gleb Napreenko From the Anxiety of Participation to the Process of De- Internationalization Carol Yinghua Lu The Eternal Hunt for the Red Man Ilya Budraitskis The Vectoralist Class, Part ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
The freeport method of art storage presents its critics with a problem. Is it something new? Or something old? What could be less surprising than an international aristocracy hiding treasures in a cave someplace? The CEO of the Geneva Freeport might have overcharged his Russian Oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, by one billion dollars for thirty-five paintings, according to Sam Knight’s recent, riveting account. Rybolovlev had himself acquired a large slice of the collective ownership of the means of production in 1992, when he was twenty-nine, in the form of Uralkali, a mining company developed by the State Planning Committee of the USSR ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
The word “data” comes from the Latin dare, which means “give.” This evolves into datum, which signifies something given. Data is what is given; Big Data, many given somethings. Gifts are given, too, but it’s hard to think of data as a gift—and nearly impossible to think of Big Data as a Big Gift, though it certainly appears that way to some… Editorial Editors A Sea of Data: Apophenia and Pattern (Mis-)Recognition Hito Steyerl Drone Form: Word and Image at the End of Empire Nathan K. Hensley Method without Methodology: Data and the Digital Humanities Lindsay Caplan Connoisseurship and Critique Ben Davis Enantiomorphs in Hyperspace: Living and Dying on the ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
All things have borders that make them what they are. Some borders are spatial, like the edge of a painting, and some are chronological, like the end of a play. In this issue, Vivian Ziherl and Maria Iñigo Clavo both attempt to translate modernity from a historical, chronological teleology into a spatial geography. Ziherl does this by drawing our attention to the persistence, within contemporary space, of that supposedly historical borderline, the frontier, while Clavo provides a taxonomy of the various prefixes, like post-, pre-, and anti-, that have been appended to the “modern” in order to conceal its violent ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
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 ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
Businesspeople talk about art like artists talk about money: gratuitously, without compensation. Hired to talk about money, an entrepreneur will speak in terms of art. Put an artist on a panel and you will often get disquisitions on exchange, capital, and commerce. Both constituencies are compelled by what lies outside their professional responsibility, and the response to this compulsion vibrates between veneration and contempt. For every Übermensch crypto-expressionist billionaire patron, there is one who sneers at the foolish valuelessness of art history and its scribes. For every dedicated anticapitalist artist, there is one who happily understands themselves to be making ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
Sven Lütticken, Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Stephen Squibb, and Anton Vidokle Editorial—“The Perfect Storm” Hito Steyerl If You Don’t Have Bread, Eat Art!: Contemporary Art and Derivative Fascisms Ilya Budraitskis What Can We Learn from Vampires and Idiots? Keti Chukhrov In the Nebulous Zone between Class Antagonism and Violence Boris Buden With the Blow of a Paintbrush: Contemporary Fascism and the Limits of Historical Analogy Ewa Majewska and Kuba Szreder So Far, So Good: Contemporary Fascism, Weak Resistance, and Postartistic Practices in Today’s Poland Sven Lütticken Who Makes the Nazis? Ana Teixeira Pinto Male Fantasies: The Sequel(s) Tony Wood Some Theses on “Populism” Jonas Staal Transdemocracy

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
Early in the new century, it is already clear that the vanguards of the last one were less a singular, sequential telos than a symptomatic cycle. Movements like impressionism, abstraction, conceptualism, or symbolism are more like weather patterns that recur under certain circumstances than historical exceptions never to be repeated. There are everyday sprinkles of impressionism which relate to a Monet in the same way that the average rainstorm relates to a hurricane. In “Towards the New Realism,” Boris Groys examines the revival of what is still the most suggestive and polyamorous of these commitments, the pursuit of the real. ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2016
In Poland, the Law and Order Party has fired a curator for promoting Jewish themes. A Catholic Nationalist is chief adviser to American president-elect Donald Trump. Hungary’s right-wing government threatens the Lukács archive with destruction. Modi’s BJP arrests a college student president for insulting “Mother India.” Theresa May replaces paintings in 10 Downing Street with framed pictures of her own quotes. The curtain rises on the second century since the Russian Revolution to reveal a lifeworld beset with problems shocking in their undead familiarity. It is true that the future is unknown and invisible, but not everything invisible and unknown contains ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2017
So this is the plan that we came up with in the huddle, stunned and not so stunned at the storm clouds that have broken, at the deluge that is here: we are putting up alternative facts to the alternative facts that are being deployed in a rightward swerve that has us up against the rails. We are also putting up an alternative common sense to the centrist liberal one that is what ultimately, at the fundamental level, keeps this world from coming undone, preservation being its constitutive mandate. “Let us imagine,” David Marriott begins his essay in this issue, ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2017
Division is the characteristic habit of humanity: ēthos anthropōi daimōn, as Heraclitus had it. Demons for division, we divide and are divided. Taken over by divisions within ourselves, the demonic appears as the divided self. Wherever the self realizes an apparent struggle, whenever one is possessed by another, the demon is present. Possession dramatizes self-production as a fight for local control. Demonology is the science of these heteronomous selves, these others inside us. “From the beginning,” Boris Groys writes in this issue, “the contemporary artist is demonic: he is possessed by himself and cannot be relieved of his demons.”  

Read More

Publishere-flux2017
The critique of bureaucracy slithers like a sewer—hidden, warm, and necessary—beneath the aging towers of the twentieth-century intellectual metropolis. Arising first as one answer to The Question—namely, what happened in the USSR?—bureaucracy eventually came to replace the bourgeoisie as the preferred explanation for why everything was the way it was. To this day, pseudonyms for bureaucracy remain highly fashionable pieces of conceptual hyperbole. Any characterization of instituted sociality as uniform unfreedom—the spectacle, the body without organs, libidinal economics, Empire, Bloom—has its origins in the bureaucratic obsession with control, as distinct from the bourgeois obsession with ownership. In “The Great Accelerator,” Oleksiy ...

Read More

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, ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

Publishere-flux2017
Imagine a big roll call. Names of nations, creeds, and genders are called out. Everyone is supposed to join their kin. Several hours later the crowd is all divided up into groups and subgroups, all neatly arranged on a large grid. There is just one person left. And this person says, “Sorry guys, I’m with the universe. Where do I go?” The universe? It does not figure on the grid. Today, the most important question is not what belongs to whom but who belongs to what—as in what kind of group. Sameness trumps equality. Similarity beats solidarity. Reality is a battlefield. ...

Read More


Join Our Mailing List