Essay Collection

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Pick up any academic or popular publication that deals with urban life in Africa and be prepared to be overrun by caricature, hyperbole, stereotypes and moralistic hogwash. Urban Africans are either bravely en route to empowering themselves to attain sustainable livelihoods or the debased perpetrators of the most unimaginable acts of misanthropy. Explanations for these one-dimensional distortions vary from historical path dependency perspectives, to the vagaries of the peddlers of neoliberal globalisation agendas, or to the glorious agency of digni ed actors who persist with their backs straight, chin up despite the cruelties bestowed by governmental neglect and economic malice. ...
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The second installment of the Reader is centered on the theme ‘Mobilities and Fixtures’. In this issue Sean O’Toole interviews architect David Adjaye about African cityscapes, snapshot photography and failed utopias; Victor Lavalle uncovers the making of mercenaries in Uganda; Martin Kimani follows the African visa-seeker in the tragi-comedy that is the post 9/11 airport; Sherif El-Azma explores Cairo by foot; MADEYOULOOK and Santu Mofokeng imagine the didactic possibilities of trains; Manu Herbstein documents the ‘car-doctors’ of Accra; Chris Abani discovers the African city of Las Vegas; and Michael Watts examines oil cities.
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The third installment of the Reader explores the unholy trinity of land, property and value – the life force of cities everywhere. In this issue António Andrade Tomás reveals the vice and violence that permeate the act of securing land and home in Luanda; Andile Mngxitama challenges rhetoric that positions land theft in South Africa in the realm of material dispossessions and asks us to plumb deeper; Billy Kahora reflects on the state of the ‘estate’ of his Nairobi childhood; and a transformative vision for the Lagos National Theatre is presented in four conversations and seven performative pamphlets.
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Theorising a World of Video, after.video realizes the world through moving images and reassembles theory after video. Extending the formats of ‘theory,’ it reflects a new situation in which world and video have grown together. This is an edited collection of assembled and annotated video essays living in two instantiations: an online version – located on the web at http://after.video/assemblages, and an offline version – stored on a server inside a VHS (Video Home System) case. This is both a digital and analog object: manifested, in a scholarly gesture, as a ‘video book.’ We hope that different tribes — from DIY hackercamps ...
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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 ...
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Alexander Kluge is best known as a founding member of the New German Cinema. His work, however, spans a diverse range of fields and, over the last fifty years, he has been active as a filmmaker, writer and television producer. This book – the first of its kind in English – comprises a wide selection of texts, including articles and stories by Kluge, television transcripts, critical essays by renowned international scholars, and interviews with Kluge himself. It will be a valuable resource for students and scholars in the fields of film, television, and literary studies, as well as those interested ...
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Over the past decade, a growing number of artists and critical practitioners have become engaged with algorithms. This artistic engagement has resulted in algorithmic theatre, bot art, and algorithmic media and performance art of various kinds that thematise the dissemination and deployment of algorithms in everyday life. Especially striking is the high volume of artistic engagements with facial recognition algorithms, trading algorithms and search engine algorithms over the past few years. The fact that these three types of algorithms have garnered more responses than other types of algorithms suggests that they form a popular subject of artistic critique. This critique addresses ...
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PublisherMeson Press2015
What does thinking mean in the age of Artificial Intelligence? How is big-scale computation transforming the way our brains function? This collection discusses these pressing questions by looking beyond instrumental rationality. Exploring recent developments as well as examples from the history of cybernetics, the book uncovers the positive role played by errors and traumas in the construction of our contemporary technological minds. With texts by Benjamin Bratton, Orit Halpern, Adrian Lahoud, Jon Lindblom, Catherine Malabou, Reza Negarestani, Luciana Parisi, Matteo Pasquinelli, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Michael Wheeler, Charles Wolfe, and Ben Woodard.
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Over 130 million images with the hashtag ‘selfie’ have been uploaded to the social media platform Instagram. In The Allure of the Selfie: Instagram and the New Self-Portrait, Brooke Wendt examines the significant hold that the ‘selfie’, or the digital self-portrait, has over self and society. Media theorist Vilém Flusser observed that society could become programmed to snap pictures for the sole benefit of cameras, as though under a ‘magical spell’, if photographs continued to be undecoded. Wendt examines this magical spell by analyzing users’ self-portraits on Instagram, one of the most popular contemporary platforms for image production. Marshall McLuhan’s reframing of ...
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PublisherTriple Canopy2017
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. ...
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This zine explores anarcho-surrealist imagination in midcentury and current-day USA, with particular emphasis on the Chicagoland scene.
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An ‘object’ is a work of architecture that is expressly cut off from its environment. Objects are not exclusive to any particular architectural style, but objectification has long been central to western architecture. Indeed, it might even be said to be the very strategy by which modernism succeeded in conquering the world. It is all-pervasive because it is consistent with the aim of the prevailing economic system: to transform virtually everything into a commodity. In Anti-Object, Kengo Kuma argues that this mindset prevents us from establishing a healthy relationship with the external world and suggests that an alternative form of architecture ...

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