Jalal Toufic

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Catastrophe arrives, traditionally, in the manner of an accident: from the Latin accidens, meaning accident or chance; from accido, to fall out, come to pass, happen, occur. The accident is, in short, that which happens to us: it comes from without, and takes us by surprise.3 “We are passive with respect to the disaster,” writes Blanchot in The Writing of the Disaster, “but the disaster is perhaps passivity.” To experience catastrophe is to enter into the condition of passivity. This passivity is directly linked to the externality of the catastrophe: that it appears to arrive from outside the system. That ...
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She, a dancer, is attuned to my in-sync silence: the concordance between the motionlessness of my lips and the absence of an interior monologue in my head; I, an aphoristic writer, find her occasional out-of- sync silence in the realm of altered body, movement, time, sound, and silence into which dance projects her, as her lips continue briefly to move before the falling silence-over freezes her, arresting. A woman dancing alone is the figure of fidelity—of the music to her. The dancer practices assiduously each movement. These rehearsals to the music are to release a subtle body that moves perfectly without any ...
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Publishere-flux2010
The tension in contemporary culture formulated in terms of a hackneyed clash between premodern tradition and fully modernized enlightened subjects has proven to be a dangerous one—and it has easily given way to patently racist scenarios in which premodern tribal types (such as the EU citizens who happen to be Roma) invade fully modern Western metropolises. It seems much more useful, and interesting, to consider these conditions to be one and the same—two sides of a single, irreconcilable anxiety with regard to cultural tradition, the promises of modernism, and the shortcomings of both. From this singular vantage point, we can ...
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Publishere-flux2011
Released on October 8, the second issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal included an editorial note entitled “No list of demands,” responding to the perceived absence of strong messaging offered by the movement. The note specified that: The exhausted political machines and their PR slicks are already seeking leaders to elevate, messages to claim, talking points to move on. They, more than anyone, will attempt to seize and shape this moment. They are racing to reach the front of the line. But how can they run out in front of something that is in front of them? They cannot. For Wall Street ...
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Publishere-flux2011
Americans against capitalism? Arab nations toppling autocrats through peaceful protests? 2011 has been a year of massive popular uprisings—on a completely unexpected scale and from populations that were thought to have been thoroughly subdued. Commentators have predicted that discontent in the Arab world would soon come to a head for so many years that it was beginning to seem unlikely, just as others had begun to dismiss the political potency of popular demonstrations in fiscalized Western democracies. For those who started to think that large-scale, radical optimism was naïve or nostalgic, the events of the past year should be sufficient ...
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Publishere-flux2012
When Hurricane Sandy tore through the Eastern US on the eve of the presidential elections, it seemed that a certain fatigue had found a strange mirror image in the libidinal force of completely absurd weather patterns, that a tired resignation to a lack of options in the political sphere had actually mutated into an apocalyptic revolution in the atmosphere. It was as if a negative omen had come with the prospect that the next global insurgency could arrive by way of non-human forces altogether—totally external to markets, but also to people… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Emancipation of the Sign: Poetry ...
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Publishere-flux2013
Once there was an idea of a vast human family ready to realize humanistic ideals and internationalist partnerships like the United Nations, and some people called it Globalism. But then the idea got bundled with a way of carrying the sentiment of internationalism over to economics, turning jurisdictional partnerships and trade relations into pretty much the same thing. And its name sounds less like a principle than a process—a making global, a globalization of the earth. And since at least the 1980s it was decided that this is how we would all come together, with the globe as market and the ...
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Publishere-flux2013
Dear Readers, welcome to the fiftieth issue of e-flux journal. It marks our official five-year anniversary. It’s hard to believe. To celebrate this, we invite all of you who happen to be in New York next Tuesday, December 17, to a party we are organizing at China Chalet. Join us for drinks and music, we will be there from 9pm until the night ends… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle From the Blue Planet to Google Earth Ursula K. Heise Entering the Flow: Museum between Archive and Gesamtkunstwerk Boris Groys Towards the Possible Film (A Script with Some Notable Interruptions) Shezad Dawood If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed? No Jalal Toufic Captives ...
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Publishere-flux2014
We are increasingly faced with premodern foundation myths coming from right-wing propaganda and grassroots movements alike. They tell us that some things don’t change and they ask us to think about how original communities are constituted. And we start to wonder whether these original communities are new synthetic fabrications concocted by the limits of communication and exchange, by the failed promises of a liberal democracy or a thriving economy that does not reach people who thought they were entitled to it, and who thus start to look elsewhere. Or do these communities actually contain some real claim to a historical ...
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Publisherse-fluxSternberg Press2014
Jalal Toufic is a thinker whose influence in the Beirut artistic community over the past two decades has been immense—notwithstanding that, as he put it, many, if not all of his books, most of which were published by Forthcoming Books, “continue to be forthcoming even after their publication.” In relation to one of these books, he wondered: “Does not a book titled Forthcoming suggest, ostensibly paradoxically, a second edition?” Here’s the revised edition of Forthcoming, a book first published nearly a decade and a half ago by Atelos press. —Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle
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PublisherHatje Cantz2012
This title will be available soon. A painter arrived in a desperately wounded condition in a network of galleries beneath Chaillot, Paris. Aboveground, in that city as in most of the world, everything was contaminated with radioactivity after the series of nuclear explosions that wiped out much of life during a lightning Third World War. He was promptly operated on. The prognosis of the doctor who examined him following the operation was that he had only weeks, or at best months, to live. As a result, he was selected to participate in a time-travel experiment. He soon learned that another man, ...
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PublisherForthcoming Books2011
Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” — In Your Dreams Dedicated to William S. Burroughs, the author of My Education: A Book of Dreams, who turned into a writer, then a painter with a shotgun,1 to deal with his murder—while possessed—of his wife The narrator of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” arrives in a desperately wounded condition at a deserted chateau with his valet. How was the narrator mortally wounded? Neither Poe nor the narrator tells us about that. Given that we are not provided with a specific reason for the wound, it is appropriate to look for a general, ...

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