Anton Vidokle

PublishersSternberg Presse-flux2016
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 shock-and-awe 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 ...

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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/

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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 ...

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Publishere-flux2009
What does the democratization of image production really accomplish beyond opening channels of communication? Ironically, the liberation of the voice as a means of announcing oneself and one’s views can be seen as a way of absorbing the brunt of more pressing questions concerning the distribution of actual material resources, as an escape from the pursuit of more equitable relationships with regard not just to representation, but also to the distribution of property and knowledge—the power to determine one’s own circumstances. At stake is really a way of liberating the means to decide one’s own way of living, of being ...

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Publishere-flux2009
About a year ago, while trying to develop a wiki archive for contemporary art at e-flux, we encountered a small technical problem in deciding how to implement a simple menu structure to allow readers to navigate such an archive. We thought first to organize it according to movement. Yet there have been no significant movements in the past twenty years, and artists have not been interested in organizing themselves around any. By medium? But contemporary artists work with their materials in a variety of different, and more often hybrid, ways. By geographic region? Well, that approach is probably better suited ...

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Publishere-flux2010
What is contemporary art? First, and most obviously: why is this question not asked? That is to say, why do we simply leave it to hover in the shadow of attempts at critical summation in the grand tradition of twentieth-century artistic movements? The contemporary delineates its border invisibly: no one is proud to be “contemporary,” and no one is ashamed. Indeed, the question of where artistic movements have gone seems embedded in this question, if only because “the contemporary” has become a single hegemonic “ism” that absorbs all proposals for others. When there are no longer any artistic movements, it ...

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Publishere-flux2010
Repeated attempts to dismantle the aura of value and rarity surrounding art objects have been, for the most part, unsuccessful. Why is that? The majority of these attempts throughout the twentieth century have consisted of infiltrating the economy of care, custodianship, conservation, and considered attention granted to art objects upon entry into the art establishment. While the introduction of impostors into this ecosystem in the form of real-world doubles (such as Duchampian readymades) served to short-circuit the aura of authenticity within spaces of art, over time these impostors nevertheless began to perform the function of ritualizing a general sense of disbelief with ...

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Publishere-flux2010
In a recent BBC documentary on “objectum sexuals”—people who have loving relationships with inanimate objects—Erika Naisho Eiffel spoke about her love affair with an archer’s bow: “We were just such a great team because we had that connection on every single level. I’d almost swear that my blood flowed from my arm and went right into him. And it felt like the molecules in him were flowing right back into my arm.”1 It’s no surprise that, before their love waned, Naisho Eiffel was a record-breaking world champion archer—a love story indeed. But more importantly, Naisho Eiffel’s example seems to suggest ...

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Publishere-flux2010
Things would be much simpler if there existed a consistent means of evaluating art’s capacity to provide a concrete value for people. It’s a problem to which capital provides the most immediate solution—beyond the mundane routine of the art market, Brandeis University’s (ongoing) attempt to close their Rose Art Museum and liquidate its entire collection stands as a particularly unfortunate example of how a priceless collection of art, given the right circumstances (total financial meltdown), still finds its price. One is also reminded of the tragic decision by Middlesex University to close its renowned philosophy department in order to cut ...

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Publishere-flux2010
Issue 18 of e-flux journal marks the beginning of our third year of publishing, and the start of a “Letters to the Editors” feature, with reader responses to issues or individual essays published in the journal. To offer your own response, write to journal@e-flux.com… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle History in the Making Peter Friedl Concepts Are Mental Images: The Work as Ruin Marta Jecu In Defense of the Corrupt Intellectual Hassan Khan Generic Objects Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza In Conversation with Antonio Negri Hans Ulrich Obrist Letters to the Editors: Eleven Responses to Anton Vidokle’s “Art Without Artists?”

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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-flux2009
The nature of artistic speculation is, in part, to create new spaces and defer their use to others. While the pioneer gets first dibs in deciding the ideologies and governing principles of the spaces he creates, he is seldom present to see his planning in practice—he is off to new adventures while the subject must find ways of translating this vision into something inhabitable. Beyond the issue of governance, these circumstances beg the deeper question of the potential for simply inhabiting existing spaces, for properly addressing important questions that have already been asked before seeking the questions of the future. ...

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Publishere-flux2010
Should everything be seen as raw material? It is a promise at the very heart of the language, the experience, the reception, the production of art. Hardened systems full of authority should be beaten back down to a point where their basic components become malleable, where as raw material they can play host to potentials, to promises of other ethics, of other forms completely. This can be done using literal, formal, figurative, poetical, or contextual means, and over the past century, just as now, this process of reduction and reconstitution has most often centered on the relationship between human labor and the ...

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Publishere-flux2010
Could it be that contemporary art is neoliberalism in its most purified form? At the center of our December issue is a constellation of unusually frank essays mounting an indictment of contemporary art’s complicity with gentrification and capital accumulation, with processes of divestiture and exploitation… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Exhaustion and Senile Utopia of the Coming European Insurrection Franco Berardi Bifo A Letter from Donetsk: Art Amidst the Roses Ekaterina Degot Contemporary art does not account for that which is taking place Liam Gillick In Conversation with Hakim Bey Hans Ulrich Obrist Culture Class: Art, Creativity, Urbanism, Part I Martha Rosler Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to ...

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Publishere-flux2011
The Gulf War did not take place, as Baudrillard notoriously put it. But now something else has taken place, and it did not happen in the doldrums of virtuality, but in the streets and squares of Tunis, Cairo, Benghazi, and elsewhere. It seems that the prospect of an all-encompassing condition of techno-saturated anorexia, perhaps appropriate for a time when communications networks and the tools for producing reality were situated in the hands of governments and telecommunications tycoons, has been inverted. No one could have foreseen the perseverance of reality over mass-deception, the weaponization of communications networks in the hands of ...

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Publishere-flux2011
Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike that of art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. And compensation—which is money—is not only for feeding lavish lifestyles or taking spontaneous beach vacations. Ask anyone who has children or sick relatives in a country without good health care—which could by now be almost any country, as the administration of life is deferred more and more to the private sphere of personal finance. This only makes the question of ...

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Publishere-flux2011
Surprisingly few people have flinched at the way Osama bin Laden was disposed of. Even for the most wanted man in the world, one imagines that it would have been both ethically and politically more expedient to stage a trial before his execution, similar to the way it was done in the case of Saddam Hussein. But such an expectation would risk overlooking the degree to which, for states and individuals alike, much political activity now takes place outside of official channels and beyond the jurisdiction of formal legal bodies… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Radicalism as Ego Ideal: Oedipus ...

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Publishere-flux2011
In the February 2009 issue of e-flux journal, Luis Camnitzer suggested in his essay “Art and Literacy” that a core problem in education (particularly for artists) can be traced back to an early stage when one is taught to read and write, in that order.1 On one level, it is simple common sense to suppose that one can only begin to write after learning how to read. But, at the same time, this ordering also takes for granted that consumption must necessarily come before production—only after you consume knowledge will you then be capable of producing it. It is a fundamental ...

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Publishere-flux2011
We can now say with some certainty that one advantage of the Cold War was that it placed many of the complexities and contradictions of economic problems within a clear and singular binary between capitalism and communism. On top of that, arguments in favor of one or the other had massive geopolitical blocs backing them, and the sheer scale alone was enough to draw any economic argument into the tide of one side or the other. This made it only natural for dominant narratives following the dismantling of communism to profess the triumph of capitalism. However, it is only now ...

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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:.. Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle The Time That Remains, Part I: On Contemporary Nihilism Sotirios Bahtsetzis The Contemporary Is Still Forthcoming Jalal Toufic World as Medium: On the Work of Stano Filko Jan Verwoert Queer Temporalities and the Chronopolitics of Transtemporal Drag Antke Engel Neo-Materialism, Part Three: The Language of Commodities Joshua Simon Eupalinos and the Duck: Conceptualism in Recent Architecture Mona Mahall Letters to the Editors: Responses to Jon Rich’s “The Blood ...

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Publishere-flux2011
This month in e-flux journal, we are pleased to present a special issue focusing on Moscow Conceptualism, guest-edited by Boris Groys in conjunction with an exhibition of the work of Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions, curated by Groys and on view at e-flux until January 6, 2012… Preface Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Introduction—Global Conceptualism Revisited Boris Groys Performing Objects, Narrating Installations: Moscow Conceptualism and the Rediscovery of the Art Object Ekaterina Degot One and Three Ideas: Conceptualism Before, During, and After Conceptual Art Terry Smith Soviet Material Culture and Socialist Ethics in Moscow Conceptualism Keti Chukhrov Art without Work? Anton Vidokle Moscow Romantic Exceptionalism: The Suspension of Disbelief Sarah Wilson Zones of ...

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Publishere-flux2009
These days, it is fairly clear that we consider art to be a trans-disciplinary field in a position to nurture other disciplines, and to be nurtured by these other disciplines in turn. As promising as this might sound, the terms for this exchange become significant, because it remains unclear what exactly we presume art to offer to the world. When hard pressed, we usually prefer not to prequalify the nature of artistic contribution at all, because in fact artists reserve the right to offer nothing other than doing work on their own terms. This requires a delicate balance, and it ...

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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
As we continue to reflect upon the chain of political upheavals of 2011, it may be interesting to consider a particular shift in the status of information technology, now that it has been deployed as such a powerful force in facilitating the rise of a new popular voice… Editorial Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle An Internet of Things Keller Easterling Notes on the Inorganic, Part I: Accelerations Gean Moreno After OWS: Social Practice Art, Abstraction, and the Limits of the Social Gregory Sholette General Performance Sven Lütticken The Sound of Breaking Glass, Part II: Agonism and the Taming of Dissent Grant Kester

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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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