Thresholds

The footnotes accompanying this essay could be read as a portrait of our Garden traveler. What could be discerned from them? A physical location? Language proficiency? Musical tastes? Attention to detail? Thought processes? That could be one reading. But these footnotes also are infor- mation, which can be used to gain more knowledge, to access materials. Primary information, secondary sources. In both instances, one would need to care. A curious mind, trained to read entry points, able to navigate thresholds. A threshold is defined as “any place or point of entering or beginning.” Librarians, documentalists, archivists: we are engaged in ...

International Art English

In “International Art English,” Alix Rule and David Levine describe the language of contemporary art by analyzing a corpus of press releases sent by e-flux, which is paid to do so by museums, biennials, publishers, and art fairs in order to reach a subscriber base of more than ninety thousand art professionals. The essay appeared in 2012 and soon surpassed the popularity of every other Triple Canopy publication. “International Art English” generated innumerable conversations about the relationship between language, legibility, and power in the art world: columns in the Guardian, polemics in e-flux’s online journal, debates at conferences for art ...

Thinking through Photographs

This binder is organized around eight topics, each offering a constellation of questions as a way to navigate our image-saturated world. The topics build on one another and shape a multidimensional perspective of photographs as objects and images, as agents of history and instigators of contemporary conversations. As imaging technologies evolve, so does our thinking around what we see—everything from a vintage black-and-white print to an image manipulated on a mobile device—and how we see. Hence, we draw on the work of artists, scholars, and teachers who urge us to look in-depth and with care, and offer myriad ways for ...

A Taste for Work

Fokus Grupa is an artist collective based in Rijeka, Croatia, founded by Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović in 2009. Borrowing their name from a contested research method, used equally for independent research as for PR purposes, they point to the social, economical and political frames of the art field. Their practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and it includes art, design and curating. Artistic strategies they use take political shape, without becoming a representational form of ‘political art’. Fokus Grupa concentrates on the relations between art and its public manifestations, in terms of working culture, aesthetics, and social and economic exchange values. Their work investigates ...

Accessibility in the Arts: A Promise and a Practice

Accessibility in the Arts: A Promise and a Practice is an accessibility guide geared toward small-scale arts nonprofits and the potentially expansive publics these organizations serve. It details specific ways in which disabled people are excluded from cultural spaces and offers possible solutions to those barriers. Moving away from historical and juridical definitions of accessibility, this guide considers the unique capacity of small scale arts organizations to meet the needs of disabled communities. It engages principles of disability justice to think through what can urgently be done to create more equitable and accessible arts spaces…

After the High/Low Debate

Contributor Andreas Huyssen
Andreas Huyssen is the Villard Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he served as founding director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society (1998-2003). He chaired the Department of Germanic Languages from 1986-92 and again as of 2005. He is one of the founding editors of New German Critique, the leading journal of German Studies in the United States (1974-) and he serves on the editorial boards of October, Constellations, Germanic Review, Transit, Key Words(UK), and Critical Space (Tokyo). In 2005, he won Columbia’s coveted Mark van Doren teaching award. His research and teaching focus ...

The Age of Total Images: Disappearance of a Subjective Viewpoint in Post-digital Photography

In The Age of Total Images, art historian Ana Peraica focuses on the belief that the shape of the planet is two-dimensional which has been reawakened in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the ways in which these ‘flat Earth’ conspiracy theories are symptomatic of post-digital image culture. Such theories, proven to be false both in Antiquity and Modernity, but once held to be true in the Medieval Period, have influenced a return to a kind of ‘New Medievalism’. By tracing visual representations of the planet across Western history and culture, Peraica provides support for a media-based explanation behind ...

All the News I Read About Climate Change in 2014

“…And I was like—yes it is! Part of my broader project as an artist is thinking about how the term climate change can be redefined and expanded to enable people to understand its relevance. So climate change is redefined as an issue of inequality, or social justice, and also urban design and planning. So if I go by that broader definition, I don’t see why I should exclude those things here.” Amy Howden-Chapman in conversation with the Newspaper Reading Club, 2015

The Amme Talks

The Amme Talks is a conversation between poet and machine. In 2003, poet Ulf Stolterfoht and a chatbot named Amme (which means “wet nurse” in German) met in Berlin. For one week, Stolterfoht interrogated Amme: not just a chatbot, actually, but a steel-and-glass construction with a computer interface, which is connected to a glass of milk, a robotic arm that tips over the glass, and a tube that releases water, as if urinating. Stolterfoht asked Amme—the creation of artist Peter Dittmer—about the nature of authorship and the agency of language; he intended to turn the answers into an essay on poetics. ...

The Arab Archive: Mediated Memories and Digital Flows

As the revolutions across the Arab world that came to a head in 2011 devolved into civil war and military coup, representation and history acquired a renewed and contested urgency. The capacities of the internet have enabled sharing and archiving in an unprecedented fashion. Yet, at the same time, these facilities institute a globally dispersed reinforcement and recalibration of power, turning memory and knowledge into commodified and copyrighted goods. In The Arab Archive: Mediated Memories and Digital Flows, activists, artists, filmmakers, producers, and scholars examine which images of struggle have been created, bought, sold, repurposed, denounced, and expunged. As a ...

Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique

‘Institutional critique’ is best known through the critical practice that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by artists who presented radical challenges to the museum and gallery system. Since then it has been pushed in new directions by new generations of artists registering and responding to the global transformations of contemporary life. The essays collected in this volume explore this legacy and develop the models of institutional critique in ways that go well beyond the fi eld of art. Interrogating the shifting relations between ‘institutions’ and ‘critique’, the contributors to this volume analyze the past and present of ...

Art Beyond Digital

Digital technology has interfered in all the spheres, private, public and professional, of our society and shaped them. Artists have always used the techniques or technologies of their time to express themselves. To each appropriated innovation thus corresponds a range of works. Yet, it takes time for the art world to integrate new practices and new media. Impatient, the most fervent advocates of digital art have structured themselves into international communities by organizing dedicated events. Their practices have now matured and the public is culturally ready to welcome their creations as it already does in festivals. At the same time, ...

Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain

The blockchain is Janus-faced. On one side its traits of transparency and decentralization promise much in terms of fairness and accountability, but on the other its monetary roots born as a financial payment system, albeit grounded in open-source software, mean its implementations are often stridently capitalistic. Furthermore, those involved in its development seem to oscillate between radical ethical standpoints and reductionist technological determinism. The blockchain engenders what has been called a ‘digital metalism’1 with the ability, like a modern philosopher’s stone, to transmutate life through a distributed ledger. That such a pecuniary minded technology is being touted as a new ...

Åzone Futures Market

Åzone Futures Market is a Guggenheim online exhibition that enables you to take a position on the future of a world increasingly shaped by emerging technologies. New technologies are challenging our social foundations and destabilizing the ethics, practices, institutions, and worldviews that have structured our collective experience for centuries. The accelerating rate of this flood of transformations exceeds the limits of our capacity to understand the consequences and to create the lives we want to live. We need new cultural forms to help make sense of the situation. The Guggenheim is testing a new exhibition architecture in the form of an online ...

Basement Bourgeoisie: The New Rules of Luxury

Contributors Hayley Ard, Shabana Ebrahem
This unspeakable horror was prepared by Stylus, a “global innovation research and advisory firm, which works with businesses to stimulate innovation and growth”. Full of quotes like “Globally, 69% of UHNWIs have become more conscious about displaying their wealth in public over the past decade,” it’s a guide to trends in maintaining wealth and well-being while assuring nobody resents you for it. There are suggestions for how luxury brands can stand out through charity or “meaningful minimalism” and coerce the desired UHNWI’s to their brands. Also included are tips for where and how to hide when society crumbles. In times ...

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