e-flux journal #89

In Ursula Le Guin’s 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven, a seemingly unassuming young white male begins effective dreaming. Desperate to stop altering realities by night, George Orr borrows other people’s pharmacy cards (the world is overpopulated, resources heavily rationed) to obtain more than his share of dexedrine and barbiturates. Landing himself in the hands of an oneirologist, he becomes a tool—a proxy to make the doctor’s megalomaniacal utilitarian fantasies real. The doctor suggests, and George dreams. “This was the way he had to go; he had no choice. He had never had any choice. He was only a dreamer.” Whose ...

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What is Deep Sea Mining? Episode 1: Tools for Ocean Literacy

What is Deep Sea Mining? is a five episode webseries dedicated to the topic of deep sea mining, a new frontier of resource extraction at the bottom of the ocean, set to begin in the next few years. Deep sea mining will occur mainly in areas rich in polymetallic nodules, in seamounts, and in hydrothermal vents. Mining companies are already leasing areas in national and international waters in order to extract minerals and metals such as manganese, cobalt, gold, copper, iron, and other rare earth elements from the seabed. Main sites targeted for future exploration are the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and ...

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Interventions in Digital Cultures: Technology, the Political, Methods

How to intervene? Interventions are in vogue in digital cultures as forms of critique or political actions into public spheres. By engaging in social, political, and economic contexts, interventions attempt to interrupt and change situations—often with artistic means. This volume maps methods of interventions under the specific conditions of the digital. How are interventions shaped by these conditions? And how can they contribute to altering them? In essays and interviews, this book interrogates modes of intervening in and through art, infrastructures, techno-ecological environments, bio-technology, and political protests to highlight their potentials as well as their ambivalences.

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Distribution

Distribution with Ed Halter

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Junior Aspirin Radio Session 21: The United States of President America Election Special

As the Junior Aspirin Records label HQ moves its operations to a remote and heavily-fortified anarcho-syndicalist commune in the Pacific Northwest in anticipation of the total collapse of civic society after the 8 November election, label co-founder, writer and editor Dan Fox has made a rare trip into the city, finding time in his busy urban guerilla warfare training schedule to pop into SoHo, do a little shopping, and rig the US presidential election for this post-pre-post-truth liberal media elite conspiracy-thon. From Dead Kennedys to The Shangri-Las, from ABBA to Jay-Z, a caucus of paranoid political pundits, so desperate to ...

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The Download #4: Technologies of Care

“What are you up to?” asks Worker 7: bot? virtual boyfriend in a computer-generated voice. She replies that she’s busy. As the conversation unfolds, the artist and the online worker, who may or may not be a bot, struggle to understand and connect with each other. Empathy, digital labor, and new ways to serve and care on the network are the subjects explored in Elisa Giardina Papa’s Technologies of Care, commissioned by Rhizome for the Download. Giardina Papa presents portraits of online workers in a 26MB ZIP file; six are identified as women, plus the possible bot. Each portrait is its ...

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Scratching the Surface: Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey

Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey is a designer, writer, editor, and publisher. He co-founded Dot Dot Dot with Peter Bil’ak in 2000 and began working with David Reinfurt, under the name Dexter Sinister, in 2006. Along with Reinfurt and Angie Keefer, he’s the co-founder and publisher of The Serving Library. Late last year, he was appointed Head of Design at the ICA in London. In this conversation, Stuart and I talk about his early design career and working with Richard Hollis, the relationships he sees between design and writing, and how his career is influencing his approach to his new job.

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Droste Effect Bulletin 13: Untitled (in NYC)

James R. Southard has been working with small community groups in the hopes of building collaborative digital photo and video projects. Each series has been catered to the issues and concerns of each region through documenting local habits, patterns, rituals, language, history, and so on. This most recent year, James has started to turn the lens around towards himself. He has started to alter this regional material gathering technique into a biographical survey of his late father’s experiences in the 1970s. The resulting work has been a digital collage of still and moving images along with life action shots, building ...

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The Download #6: A Desktop Lamentation

The latest Download commission, by Sheida Soleimani, laments the death of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was convicted and hanged in Iran on October 25, 2014 for the alleged murder of her rapist. to oblivion.zip, a dirge-like work that eulogizes Jabbari’s untimely death, consists almost entirely of Jabbari’s own written and spoken words. Once expanded, the ZIP file presents a multi-layered work of nested folders that contain execution records, letters, photographs, and voice recordings. Soleimani has been creating photographic and sculptural works focused on human rights violations in Iran since 2015. This is the first time that she has used a digital ...

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Ulrik Heltoft: Kabinet

There is something subtly mysterious about the films and photographs of the Danish artist Ulrik Heltoft. Drawing on literary narratives or scientific sources, his works often explore the conceptual and aesthetic potentials of specific technologies. Despite his experimental use of his media, his photography evinces a uniform clear and brilliant quality. For his exhibition at the Secession, Heltoft has created a new film titled Kabinet. It is based on a piece of social critique that has been adapted for the screen many times: Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol (1843), in which the confrontation with ghosts inspires the old and stingy ...

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A Conversation Around Clothing Politics

This conversation was recorded with Hoda Katebi, the self-defined “sarcastic (& angry) Muslim-Iranian writer, photographer, and activist living in Chicago” behind the political fashion blog JooJoo Azad (“free bird” in Farsi) to be featured in The Funambulist 15 (Jan-Feb. 2018) Clothing Politics #2. In January 2017, a few days after the inauguration of the current U.S. President and the subsequent massive feminist protest, she wrote an article entitled “Please Keep Your American Flags Off My Hijab” about which we discuss in this interview, along with many other facets of her work with regards to clothing in relation to imperialism, capitalism ...

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Site Visit No. 4: Weir Court with Joyce Hsiang & Bimal Mendis

This episode of Site Visit was recorded live in Weir Hall, a Victorian Collegiate Gothic building located within Jonathan Edwards College – one of Yale’s first residential colleges. Opening in 1925, Weir Hall, served as the home to the Department of Architecture from until 1963, when the school moved to its current building, Rudolph Hall. Today Weir Court looks over the Art and Architecture Building designed by Paul Rudolph and Louis Kahn’s Yale Art Gallery. Joyce Hsiang is an Assistant Dean and Critic at Yale University’s School of Architecture. Bimal Mendis is an Assistant Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies at ...

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e-flux journal #88

Some time around 1882, God was pronounced dead. For certain Russian thinkers of the era, this loss provided a building opportunity: where the place of one god closes, space for another one opens. Unlike most established schools of thought, Russian cosmism does not present a singular vision, a consistent epistemology, or a unified theory. On the contrary: the ideas of its nineteenth- to early-twentieth-century protagonists are often so divergent and contradictory that they appear incoherent, paradoxical, or delirious. Russian cosmism’s known scientists, philosophers, and writers have been understood to include figures ranging from Nikolai Fedorov, the nineteenth-century librarian who aimed to ...

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Scratching the Surface: Paul Soulellis

Paul Soulellis is a designer, writer, and educator. After spending twenty years working as a designer, fifteen of those years under his own studio, Soulellis Studios, Paul recently has shifted his work into a more expanded and experimental practice. In 2014, while part of the New Museum’s incubator, he started Counterpractice, his new design studio, and began publishing his now-ongoing project Library of the Printed Web. He also recently joined the faculty at RISD in their graphic design department. In this episode, Paul and I talk about the significance of blogging to his work, building new types of graphic design ...

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Monologue

Contributor Hannes Bajohr
Who am I? Can any one answer ever be definitive enough to define oneself? Monologue is a single, 120 page sentence attempt at answering this question. Culled from letters to Dan Savage’s queer advice column Savage Love, it creates a fraught song of myself, and a probing hyper-identity that contains multitudes.

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