T. J. DemosAgainst the Anthropocene
Visual Culture and Environment Today
Addressing the current upswing of attention in the sciences, arts, and humanities in relation to the new proposal that we are in a human-driven epoch called the Anthropocene, this book critically surveys that thesis and points to its limitations. Art historian T. J. Demos analyzes contemporary visual culture—popular science websites, remote sensing and SatNav imagery, eco-activist mobilizations, and experimental artistic projects—to consider how the term works ideologically, proposing more than merely a description of objective geological periodization.
Simryn Gill, Michael TaussigBecoming Palm
Becoming Palm is the outcome of a conversation between two friends, artist Simryn Gill and anthropologist Michael Taussig, addressing the complexities of palm oil and “the enormous transformations, human, and ecological, that this crop engenders” (Taussig) in two disparate geographical locations, Southeast Asia and South America.
Quinn LatimerLike a Woman
Essays, Readings, Poems
Quinn Latimer’s arresting writings find expression in literature and theory as well as contemporary art and its history. Her texts record specters and realities of culture, migration, and displacement, compounding the vagaries of rhetoric and poetics with those of personal history and criticism. This collection of Latimer’s recent essays and poems examines issues of genealogy and influence, the poverty and privilege of place, architecture’s relationship to language, and feminist economies of writing, reading, and art making.
Marika Kuźmicz, Łukasz Ronduda (Eds.)Workshop of the Film Form
Workshop of the Film Form provides an in-depth overview of the achievements of Warsztat Formy Filmowej (WWF; Workshop of the Film Form), a group of avant-garde artists who were working at the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Lodz, Poland, between 1970 and 1977. It examines all aspects of WFF’s activity, from their films, photographic experiments, video art, and performative actions to their teaching work, which includes previously unexplored pedagogical contributions to the National Film School.
Andrew Goodhouse (Ed.)When Is the Digital in Architecture?
When is the digital in architecture? What are the conditions that led architects to integrate digital tools into their practices? There are eight million stories of the origins of the digital in architecture, and this book brings together fourteen of them. The arguments address specific changes in ways of thinking about architecture, building, and cities, as well as the shifts in technology that resulted from these changes, marking both a capstone of Archaeology of the Digital and the start of an investigation into other beginnings of the digital in architecture.
Wolfgang ErnstThe Delayed Present
Media-Induced Tempor(e)alities & Techno-traumatic Irritations of “the Contemporary”
In the media theatre of contemporary culture, a drama unfolds: While the human sense of “the present” is challenged by the immediacy of analog signal transmission and the delays of digital data processing, a different (non-)sense of time unfolds within technologies themselves. At that moment, human-related phenomenological analysis clashes with the media-archaeological close reading of the technological event, in an impossible effort to let the temporeal articulate itself.
Raqs Media CollectiveWe Are Here, But Is It Now?
(The Submarine Horizons of Contemporaneity)
It is said that we know more about far-away galaxies than we do about the bottom of the oceans on earth. One could say something similar about our relationship to the future and to the contemporary. Searching for the present is a bit like deep sea diving. How to dive without drowning in the turbulent waters of now? How to find and share sources of illumination in submarine darkness? When to surface and how to ride a strong current? These are some of the questions that Raqs Media Collective address in their account of contemporaneity, guided by a motley collection of figures lost and found in the turbulence of their practice.
Dexter SinisterNotes on the Type, Time, Letters & Spirits
Three interconnected palimpsest essays recount (1) the backstory of a “meta” font recently updated by Dexter Sinister and used to typeset the Contemporary Condition book series, (2) a broad history of the rationalization of letterforms that considers the same typeface from “a higher point of disinterest,” and (3) a pending proposal for a sundial designed to operate in parallel physical and digital realms. Along the way they contemplate the ambiguous nature of our shared idea of *time* itself.
Andrew HerscherDisplacements: Architecture and Refugee
Critical Spatial Practice 9
In architectural history, just as in global politics, refugees have tended to exist as mere human surplus; histories of architecture, then, have usually reproduced the nation-state’s exclusion of refugees as people out of place. Andrew Herscher’s Displacements: Architecture and Refugee, the ninth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series, examines some of the usually disavowed but arguably decisive intersections of mass-population displacement and architecture—an art and technology of population placement—through the twentieth century and into the present.
Julia Grosse, Elke aus dem Moore, Yvette Mutumba (Eds.)I am built inside you
Over the past four years, the art magazine Contemporary And (C&) has called attention to exhibitions, artists, and curators from diverse African perspectives while boosting new areas of debate. I am built inside you, C&’s first book, is a compilation of eighteen pieces published since the magazine was launched in 2013.
Uchroniaduplicate > do not create, infiltrate > do not exhibit, exceed > do not belong, appear > do not claim, delegate > do not restrict
Uchronia is a project initiated by the artists Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (les gens d’Uterpan) in 2014, which emanates from the analysis of individual or collective attitudes and behaviors produced in the public space of a given city. In response to the increasing transformation of public spaces into functional areas toward which individuals are guided to fulfill a given activity, the two artists call upon citizens to become uchronists, to infiltrate public life with physical modules coming from daily behaviors, synchronized and adjusted according to context.
Mai Abu ElDahab, November Paynter, Marnie Slater (Eds.)These are the tools of the present
This publication comprises a series of interviews with contemporary artists, musicians, and writers who are in dialogue with Beirut and Cairo. While not purporting to be an overview of the art scenes in these cities, this book begins to draw a picture of how artists think about what it means to be active in the contexts of these cities. It offers insight into the circumstances that structured these artists’ stories, and the often accidental influences that have shaped how their practices have developed.
Margarida Mendes (Ed.)Matter Fictions
Matter Fictions addresses fiction as a mode of producing reality as well as the significance of matter—animal, vegetable, mineral, hybrid—beyond binaries. Recounting a partial history of our relation with matter, the eponymous exhibition at Museu Coleção Berardo (May 4–August 21, 2016) explored how the crossover between cosmological narratives, spatial revolutions of concrete poetry, and hypertextual and territorial fictions might impact our understanding of human agency in a time that calls for action on climate change and technocratic policies.
Olafur EliassonGreen light
An artistic workshop
Green light is a project initiated by artist Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna. Conceived as a field of production and mutual learning, Green light works with refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and NGOs to fabricate an unlimited edition of fully functional lamps: geometric, stackable modules made from recyclable materials and fitted with a welcoming green light. Providing fundraising and education opportunities, Green light workshops first took place in Vienna in 2016, and have since been hosted at the Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, and the 57th Venice Biennale.
Ethics of Knowledge—Poetics of Existence
The original ideals of the Enlightenment research university and the rise of aesthetics in modernity have been decisive in shaping neoliberal capitalism. How, then, might we endeavor to change the academic status quo? Philosopher and political theorist Armen Avanessian argues that the ethical dimension of knowledge can produce a new reality. Looking beyond aesthetics and its critical imagination, can the speculative poetics of collaborative writing free us from the dominant regime of the academy and, by extension, the art world?
Sven LüttickenCultural Revolution
Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy
In this collection of essays, art historian and critic Sven Lütticken focuses on aesthetic practice in a rapidly expanding cultural sphere. He analyzes its transformation by the capitalist cultural revolution, whose reshaping of art’s autonomy has wrought a field of afters and posts. In a present moment teeming with erosions—where even history and the human are called into question—Cultural Revolution: Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy reconsiders these changing values, for relegating such notions safely to the past betrays their possibilities for potential today.
Thomas Keenan, Suhail Malik, Tirdad Zolghadr (Eds.)The Flood of Rights
It is difficult to imagine making claims for human rights without using images. For better or worse, images of protest, evidence, and assertion are the lingua franca of struggles for justice today. And they seem to come in a flood, more and more, day and night. But through which channels does the torrent pass? The Flood of Rights examines the pathways through which these images and ideas circulate—routes that do not merely enable, but actually shape human-rights claims and their conceptual background.
Marcus VerhagenFlows and Counterflows
Globalisation in Contemporary Art
Over the past quarter century, artists have made powerful interventions in debates around globalisation, addressing various dimensions of cross-border exchange, from mass migration to the dynamics of translation, and devising new ways of conceptualising them. Marcus Verhagen’s Flows and Counterflows: Globalisation in Contemporary Art tells the story of those interventions, dwelling in particular on projects that draw out both the dangers and the tangible or imaginable benefits of global exchange.
Robert Stadler, Alexis Vaillant (Eds.)On Things as Ideas
This collection of more than thirty texts, which were originally published between 1790 and the present day, explores man’s rich relationship with material things. Devised largely in response to the gradual breakdown of the divide between art and design that began over a century ago, this book sheds light on the ways that the concept of the thing as idea has been considered over time.
Joanna Warsza (Ed.)I Can’t Work Like This
A Reader on Recent Boycotts and Contemporary Art
In recent years, artists and curators have often been confronted with the political dilemma of engagement or disengagement. The ideological, economic, or ethically objectionable circumstances of certain biennials and art exhibitions have raised the question of whether to continue and, if so, under what circumstances, with what consequences, and to what ends? From 2013 to 2015, biennials in Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Sydney, and São Paulo demonstrated that curating and art production can’t just carry on as if nothing had happened.
Daniel Birnbaum, Kim WestLife on Sirius
The Situationist International and the Exhibition after Art
How did art escape the deadlock of the Situationists’ anti-art refusal? Did the relational artists, with their repetitions of Situationist slogans and techniques, outline a sustainable, micro-political alternative to Guy Debord’s dream of surpassing art and realizing philosophy? Looking back at some of the Situationists’ confrontations with the museum, this book traces a path beyond the tragedy of negativity and the litany of recuperation.
Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing, Jussi Parikka, Elvia Wilk (Eds.)across & beyond
A transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions
This collection of art and theory analyzes today’s post-digital conditions for critical media practices—across and beyond the analog and the digital, the human and the nonhuman. The contributions also look across and beyond the field of media art, staking out new paths for understanding and working in the transversal territories between theory, technology, and art.
Eva Barois De Caevel, Els Roelandt (Eds.)CATPC
Cercle d’art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise
Congolese Plantation Workers Art League
This book offers a first report on the activities of the Cercle d’art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise (CATPC), an association based in Lusanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. CATPC brings together a unique gathering of individuals—along with its members and partner institutions that are engaged in dialogue with it—and attempts to rethink postcolonial power relations within the global art world.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #12Winter 2016/17
This issue comprises various outlooks on “perspective.” This might be taken to mean something as specific as a particular opinion or as general as an axonometric projection; in short, different ways and means of looking at the world. And so we find Vincenzo Latronico attempting to get in touch with E.T., a collection of Lucy McKenzie’s illusory quodlibets, a conversation between Jumana Manna and Robert Wyatt on art and ethics, along with other points of view from Sarah Demeuse, Mark de Silva, Jocelyn Penny Small, Abigail Reynolds, James Langdon & Mathew Kneebone, Johan Hjerpe, and the inimitable 9mother9horse9eyes9.
Alex Coles (Ed.)EP Vol. 2
The second volume in the EP series identifies the current fascination with fiction across art, design, and architecture. Practitioners and theorists explore this strategy by pushing the debate into both speculative and real-fictitious terrains. Newly commissioned interviews, artist projects, and essays shed light on topics such as parafiction and algorithmic ambiguity. Included in the volume is one of the final interviews to be published with novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco; a conversation with Bruce Sterling, in which the science-fiction author responds to designers who reference his writings; and design theorist Vilém Flusser’s 1966 essay “On Fiction,” in its first English translation.
Beatrice von Bismarck, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer (Eds.)Cultures of the Curatorial 3
Hospitality: Hosting Relations in Exhibitions
A curatorial situation is always one of hospitality. This publication analyzes the curatorial within the current sociopolitical context, through key topics concerning immigration, conditions along borders, and accommodations for refugees. The contributions in this volume, by international curators, artists, critics, and theoreticians, deal with conditions of decontextualization and displacement, encounters between the local and the foreign, as well as the satisfaction of basic human needs.
Spaces of CommoningArtistic Research and the Utopia of the Everyday
Spaces of Commoning: Artistic Research and the Utopia of the Everyday is the outcome of a research project pursued by a group of artists, architects, and social theorists. In the face of an exhilarating politics of accumulation and dispossession, the group explores commoning as the subject as well as the means of its study.
Martin HerbertTell Them I Said No
This collection of essays by Martin Herbert considers various artists who have withdrawn from the art world or adopted an antagonistic position toward its mechanisms. A large part of the artist’s role in today’s professionalized art system is being present. Providing a counterargument to this concept of self-marketing, Herbert examines the nature of retreat, whether in protest, as a deliberate conceptual act, or out of necessity. By illuminating these motives, Tell Them I Said No offers a unique perspective on where and how the needs of the artist and the needs of the art world diverge. Essays on Lutz Bacher, Stanley Brouwn, Christopher D’Arcangelo, Trisha Donnelly, David Hammons, Agnes Martin, Cady Noland, Laurie Parsons, Charlotte Posenenske, and Albert York.
Anthony Downey (Ed.)Future Imperfect
Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the
Future Imperfect critically examines the role played by cultural institutions in producing present-day and future contexts for the production, dissemination, and reception of contemporary art in the Middle East and North Africa. It offers historical contexts for discussions that have become increasingly urgent in recent years—the role of culture in a time of conflict and globalization—and an in-depth critique of the state of cultural institutions in an age of political upheaval, social unrest, exuberant cultural activity, ascendant neoliberal forms of privatization, social activism, and regional uncertainty.
Ute Meta Bauer, Brigitte Oetker (Eds.)SouthEastAsia
Spaces of the Curatorial/Räume des Kuratorischen
This publication focuses on the practice of curating in Southeast Asia, a region experiencing a time of increased global visibility as well as nation and institution building. The diversity of voices in this publication mirrors the complexity of the region itself: its various curatorial spaces, infrastructures, and political systems.
Sophia Yadong Hao, Edgar Schmitz (Eds.)Hubs and Fictions
On Current Art and Imported Remoteness
Hubs and Fictions, originally a touring forum, invited international curators, writers, and producers to probe how fiction plays out in a globally distributed art-world ecology, and how infrastructures are invented against its background. The book functions as a deliberately discontinuous reader; it juxtaposes documents, negotiations, and reflections from and on these conversations.
Monica RossEthical Actions
A Critical Fine Art Practice
British artist Monica Ross (1950–2013) left behind forty years of socially engaged, feminist, and performative artwork, which has had a deep effect on contemporary art and society. This fully illustrated publication documents Ross’s works from 1970 to 2013.
Boris GroysParticular Cases
This collection of essays does not aim to illustrate a prefabricated theory of art, but rather follows the impulses given by artworks themselves. Philosopher and art critic Boris Groys writes about significant artists and artworks of the last century that have pushed his thinking and writing in a new direction. His striking and original arguments do not try to substitute the singular content or message of an artwork. Rather, the writings are inspired by art as a mind-changing practice—as if contemporary artists, completely secularized, can still produce a sort of conversion within the spectator.
Geoff Cox, Jacob LundThe Contemporary Condition
Introductory Thoughts on Contemporaneity and Contemporary Art
What do we mean when we say that something is contemporary? And what should the designator “contemporary art” refer to? An immediate response would be that contemporary art is an art of the present, that it somehow addresses and expresses the present. But what is this present? What constitutes the present present or the contemporary contemporary? This first book in the Contemporary Condition series introduces some of the key issues concerning contemporaneity as a defining condition of our historical present. It thus acts as an extended preface to the series as a whole, calling for a rethinking of the deep structures of temporalization that render our present the way it is.
Jussi ParikkaA Slow, Contemporary Violence
Damaged Environments of Technological Culture
The contemporary moment is comprised of many overlapping speeds, rhythms, and periods of time. A central theme of Jussi Parikka’s book concerns slowness instead of acceleration: a different sort of a temporal horizon in order to understand some of the environmental temporalities that media and technological arts are involved in. This is approached through art and design practices that unfold this multiplicity of time, closely entwined with contemporary concerns in aesthetic theory, to understand and engage with the planetary time scales of slow environmental violence.
Terry SmithThe Contemporary Composition
Can we speak of composition when we are in a state of unfathomable decomposition? Art being made today defies coherent categorization, and the world presents itself, day after day, as spinning into confused chaos, structural disintegration, and violent disorder. Revising his well-known histories of contemporary art, Terry Smith argues that we must respond to the compelling need for coeval composition at a time defined by the contemporaneity of divisive difference. This book traces how—despite many obstacles—visual artists across the globe are rising to this challenge.
Traction argues that contemporary art is defined by a moral economy of indeterminacy that allows curators and artists to imagine themselves on the other side of power. This self-positioning, in turn, leaves us politically bankrupt, intellectually stagnant, and aesthetically predictable. In his memoir-polemic, curator and writer Tirdad Zolghadr candidly reflects on his own experiences and the work of others.
Francis McKeeHow to Know What’s Really Happening
In this post-truth era, how does one navigate the endless information available and choose a viable narrative of reality? In How to Know What’s Really Happening Glasgow-based writer and curator Francis McKee looks at various techniques for determining verity, from those of spy agencies and whistle-blowers to mystics and scientists.
David HarveyAbstract from the Concrete
Marxist geographer David Harvey opened his lecture with a fact: between 2011 and 2013 China consumed 50 percent more cement than the United States had in the entire twentieth century. In Abstract from the Concrete, he asks why. Spiraling outward—geographically and materially—Harvey travels from the building industry in China to the foreclosed housing market in the United States to the automobile industry in São Paolo and back again. The why emerges as a direct result of “anti-value,” of capital in crisis—intrinsic, he contends, to capital and capital cities today.
Michalis Pichler (Ed.)Books and Ideas after Seth Siegelaub
Books and Ideas after Seth Siegelaub spans an arc of tension between the works of Seth Siegelaub and contemporary cultural production. It features an interview with Seth Siegelaub, two essays by Regine Ehleiter and Michalis Pichler, and an extensively illustrated catalogue with bibliographic details.
Sabeth Buchmann, Ilse Lafer, Constanze Ruhm (Eds.)Putting Rehearsals to the Test
Practices of Rehearsal in Fine Arts, Film, Theater, Theory, and Politics
Although the format of the rehearsal is used across a number of disciplines—film and theater as well as fine arts—it has been scarcely considered in historical and contemporary art discourses. With this in mind, Putting Rehearsals to the Test investigates the role and function of the rehearsal as a methodology, modus operandi, medium, site of representation, and reflection on processes of artistic production.
Samuel Bianchini, Emanuele Quinz (Eds.)Behavioral Objects I
A Case Study: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
What exactly is a behavioral object? How can it be analyzed, understood, theorized, experienced, and how can we conceive of works that possess the faculty of action and reaction to their environment and public? Examining three works by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, this book tackles these questions and defines a new field of research and practice.
T. J. DemosDecolonizing Nature
Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology
While ecology has received little systematic attention within art history, its visibility and significance has grown worldwide in relation to the pressing threats of climate change, global warming, and environmental destruction. By engaging artists’ widespread aesthetic and political engagement with environmental conditions and processes around the globe—looking at cutting-edge theoretical, political, and cultural developments in the Global South and North—Decolonizing Nature offers a significant and original contribution to the intersecting fields of art history, ecology, visual culture, geography, and environmental politics.
Barbara Gronau, Matthias von Hartz, Carolin Hochleichter (Eds.)How to Frame
On the Threshold of Performing and Visual Arts
From 2012 to 2016, Foreign Affairs, the international performing arts festival of Berliner Festspiele, and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) have been investigating the relations between the performing and visual arts. The festival has continuously produced projects with international artists that experiment with various institutional frameworks. This book is both a question and a manual, collecting ideas, knowledge and experiences that stem from the theory and practices developed over the past few years.
The Baltic Atlas
“It is impossible, but as you do not know it is impossible, it might be possible.” —Lolita Jablonskiene, Director of the National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, commenting on previous attempts to organize a joint pavilion including all three Baltic States for the Venice Biennale
Bulletins of The Serving Library #11Summer 2016
Released to inaugurate The Serving Library’s new red, gold, and green space in Liverpool, this issue is both printed in and concerned with color. It includes Emily Gephart’s account of the Spectra Poetry Hoax of 1916, a truncated phone call from Dexter Sinister to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the late, great Muhammad Ali discussing skin color in a 1971 TV interview, reflections on the history of Chroma-key green by Lucas Benjamin, a personal history of paint and painting by Amy Sillman, and further contributions by T. E. White, Umberto Eco, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Tamara Shopsin, and James Langdon.
Lívia Páldi, Olav Westphalen (Eds.)Dysfunctional Comedy
Dysfunctional Comedy documents a series of public events, performances, and workshops conceptualized by German-American artist Olav Westphalen and organized with different partners, mainly in Sweden, between 2012 and 2015. An intersection of practices, ideas, and images, this artist’s book/catalogue engages with representatives of different traditions and genres in comedic and cartoonist practices to reflect on the rich history of stand-up comedy and political satire.
Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice
“At the heart of this book is a simple and profound proposition: to ‘do' architecture is to immerse oneself in a conflictual process of material production—participation is not a productive encounter of multiple practitioners and stakeholders, but a set of conflicts, negotiations, maneuvers, and swindles between and within a multiplicity of agents, human and nonhuman alike—equally including architects, clients, financiers, and builders, say, but also silicon, plastic, concrete, each with its conflicting aims and different material means to achieve them.” —Eyal Weizman
Florian Malzacher, Ahmet Öğüt, Pelin Tan (Eds.)The Silent University
Towards a Transversal Pedagogy
The Silent University, initiated by artist Ahmet Öğüt in 2012, is an autonomous platform for academics who cannot share their knowledge due to their status of residence, because their degrees are not recognized or regaining access to academia is blocked for other reasons. It is a solidary school by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who contribute to the program as lecturers, consultants and researchers.
Abraham Adams, Lou Cantor (Eds.)Intersubjectivity Vol. 1
Language and Misunderstanding
Intersubjectivity, a two-volume collection of essays, is concerned with a new account of our ideas of what subjects are, and what it means for them to meet. The first volume, Language and Misunderstanding, addresses concretism and its discontents. The essays and performance texts herein argue for an expanded consideration of concretism in contemporary practices oriented toward the embodiment of language, in works that challenge the privileging of the body of the word over the body of the artist.
James Voorhies (Ed.)What Ever Happened to New Institutionalism?
New Institutionalism, a mode of curating that originated in Europe in the 1990s, evolved from the legacy of international curator Harald Szeemann, the relational art advanced by French critic and theorist Nicolas Bourriaud, and other influential factors of the time. New Institutionalism’s dispersed and varied approaches to curating sought to reconfigure the art institution from within, reshaping it into an active, democratic, open, and egalitarian public sphere. These approaches posed other possibilities and futures for institutions and exhibitions, challenging the consensual conception, production, and distribution of art.
Helge Mooshammer, Peter MörtenböckVisual Cultures as Opportunity
In the fourth volume of the series Visual Cultures as..., Helge Mooshammer and Peter Mörtenböck analyze the networked spaces of global informal markets, the cultural frontiers of speculative investments, and recent urban protests, and discuss crucial shifts in the process of collective articulation within today’s “crowd economy.”
Els Silvrants-Barclay, Pieternel Vermoortel (Eds.)Cave 1—Territories
Cave is a series of publications featuring commissioned and republished explorations, anecdotes, research, documents, case studies, essays, and scenarios on how to think and practice contemporary collecting. The first issue of Cave looks into the territory of the public collection considering it both a semantic ground for institutional collecting as well as political and cultural infrastructure.
John Douglas MillarBrutalist Readings
Essays on Literature
John Douglas Millar’s Brutalist Readings: Essays on Literature is a significant intervention into recent debates on the place of literature and writing in the context of contemporary art. Featuring essays on the highs and lows of the conceptual turn in poetics, avant-garde literary genealogies, and monographic pieces on Paul B. Preciado, Chris Kraus, and Pierre Guyotat, among others, Brutalist Readings explores the radical histories of writing, as well as its potential now.
PresenceA Conversation at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich
Recently, the idea of “presence” has returned to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In February 2013, in Zurich’s historical Cabaret Voltaire, which was central to the Dada movement almost a hundred years ago, an experimental international symposium took place that put presence under the microscope.
Ina BlomThe Autobiography of Video
The Life and Times of a Memory Technology
In her innovative take on early video art, Ina Blom considers the widespread notion that video technology was endowed with lifelike memory and agency. She follows the reflexive unfolding of an analog technology that seemed to deploy artists and artistic frameworks in the creation of new technical and social realities. Blom documents, among other things, video’s emergence through the framework of painting, its identification with biological life, its exploration of the outer limits of technical and mental time control, and its construction of new realms of labor and collaboration.
Markus Miessen, Yann Chateigné (Eds.)The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict
The applied research project and publication The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict deals with archival practice and its spatial repercussions. Inquiring whether any accumulation and organization of knowledge is productive—to the effect that it generates a narrative and/or history—the project focuses specifically on archives becoming productive due to their spatial framework.
Annette Gilbert (Ed.)Publishing as Artistic Practice
What does it mean to publish today? In the face of a changing media landscape, institutional upheavals, and discursive shifts in the legal, artistic, and political fields, concepts of ownership, authorship, work, accessibility, and publicity are being renegotiated. How the traditional publishing framework has been cast adrift, and which opportunities are surfacing in its stead, is discussed here by artists, publishers, and scholars through the examination of recent publishing concepts emerging from the experimental literature and art scene, where publishing is often part of an encompassing artistic practice.
Frederick KieslerFunction Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality
This collection of unpublished or rare texts by Frederick Kiesler written between 1927 and 1957 focuses on Kiesler’s ideas on display, and juxtaposes works of contemporary artists with a number of original drawings by Kiesler.
Isabelle Graw, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Eds.) Painting beyond Itself
The Medium in the Post-medium Condition
In response to recent developments in pictorial practice and critical discourse, Painting beyond Itself: The Medium in the Post-medium Condition seeks new ways to approach and historicize the question of the medium. Reaching back to the earliest theoretical and institutional definitions of painting, this book—based on a conference at Harvard University in 2013—focuses on the changing role of materiality in establishing painting as the privileged practice, discourse, and institution of modernity.
John C. WelchmanPast Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art
XX–XXI, Vol. 1
This volume is a collection of dynamic and engaged writings by art historian John C. Welchman on a range of contemporary European artists: Vasco Araújo, Cosima von Bonin, Jan De Cock, Orshi Drozdik, Susan Hiller, Andy Hope 1930, Michael Kunze, Nathaniel Mellors, Miguel Palma, José Álvaro Perdices, Sascha Pohle, Thomas Raat, Nicola Stäglich, and Xavier Veilhan. Anchored in concerns that emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s, Welchman poses thoughtful and provocative questions about how these artists receive and negotiate the social and aesthetic histories through which they live and work.
Felicity D. ScottDisorientation: Bernard Rudofsky in the Empire of Signs
Critical Spatial Practice 7
In the seventh volume of the Critical Spatial Practice series, architectural historian Felicity D. Scott revisits the Viennese émigré architect’s readings of the vernacular both in the United States and Japan, which resonate with his attempts to imagine architecture and cities that refused to communicate in a normative sense. Rudofsky’s unconventional musings take on a heightened resonance in a contemporary world saturated with visual information.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #10Winter 2015
This tenth volume is a “sampler” issue comprising one choice Bulletin from each of the previous nine. From now on, Bulletins of The Serving Library will proceed in full color and at half its former size (but will be twice as good).
Boris Ondreička, Nadim Samman (Eds.)Rare Earth
Rare Earth is an attempt to define the spirit of an age. Exploring how today’s myths, identities, and cosmologies relate to current advances in technology—through reference to the material basis to our most developed weapons and tools; a class of seventeen rare earth elements from the periodic table—Rare Earth challenges the rhetoric of immateriality associated with our hypermodern condition.
Jesko Fezer & Studio Experimentelles Design (Eds.)Öffentliche Gestaltungsberatung—Public Design Support 2011–2016
An experiment with alternative forms of design, Public Design Support is also an intervention in urban life. It helps local residents and others to shape their lifeworld and explore possibilities for action, instead of the usual experience of powerlessness and marginalization in the face of urban development. Public Design Support offers free practical help in dealing with everyday problems while also helping to develop alternative conceptions of the city. This publication—which includes key project materials, scholarly essays, and significant historical texts—chronicles the aspirations, methods, and projects of the first four years of Public Design Support.
Suzana Milevska (Ed.)On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency
On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency prompts a unique crossdisciplinary inquiry into the productive potential of the affect of shame. This book contests the ontological understanding of shame and the psychoanalytical interpretation of it based on personal traumatic experiences linked to lack, loss, memory repression, and absence.
Tom BurrAnthology: Writings 1991–2015
Since the late 1980s, Tom Burr has been reusing appropriation strategies in his art. Not confined to his photographic and sculptural works, they also lend momentum to many of his writings. The artist creates assemblages of personal writings and sources, differing in nature and style, which he has used as both conceptual and aesthetic materials. Thirty-seven texts—works, poems, autobiographical texts, and portraits—have been compiled for the first time in this publication. Written over a period of twenty-four years, they are presented chronologically, enabling us to fully appreciate the conceptual and visual coherence and richness of Burr’s writings.
Cord Riechelmann, Brigitte Oetker (Eds.)Toward an Aesthetics of Living Beings /
Zu einer Ästhetik des Lebendigen
The question of life has always been one of modernity’s main preoccupations, but it was the advent of the camera—with its ability to record moving creatures—that initiated a new phase in the human investigation of animal behavior. In the world of contemporary art, animals now occupy center stage. Drawing on key texts by Sergei Eisenstein, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Donna Haraway, and analyzing works by Pierre Huyghe, Christoph Keller, and Helen Marten, this volume brings together theory and art, showing how both turned to animals to find new ways of problematizing “life.”
Christiane Erharter, Hans Scheirl, Dietmar Schwärzler, Ruby Sircar (Eds.)Pink Labor on Golden Streets
Queer Art Practices
Pink Labor on Golden Streets: Queer Art Practices builds on an exhibition and conference at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna that explored the contradictory standpoints of queer art practices, conceptions of the body, and ideas of “queer abstraction,” a term coined by Judith Jack Halberstam that raises questions to do with (visual) representations in the context of gender, sexuality, and desire.
The Right to Know in the Age of Mass Surveillance
Black transparency is an involuntary disclosure of secrets against a backdrop of systematic online surveillance, as large parts of contemporary life move into the digital realm. It has brought forward a new sense of unpredictability to international relations, and raises questions about the conscience of the whistleblower, whose personal politics are now instantly geopolitical. In their latest book, Metahaven embark on a journey of subversion while examining transparency’s intersections with design, architecture, and pop culture, as well as its ability to unravel the circuitry of modern state power.
Michel Butor, Dan GrahamConversation
In the fall of 2013, Dan Graham and Mieko Meguro traveled with Donatien Grau to a town in the French Alps to meet Michel Butor, one of the foremost innovators of postwar literature. This is their conversation.
Ingo NiermannSolution 264–274: Drill Nation
Having furnished solutions for Germany and Dubai, Ingo Niermann takes a new look at what nationhood can mean and accomplish today, finding inspiration, of all places, in North Korea. Now that the promise of global prosperity and abundance can technically be fulfilled, the time has come for a minimalist rethink of society. By relying on drills and a principle of reduction, the individual can be granted a freedom for experiences and ideas that are not possible otherwise. The more we simplify, the lighter the ballast we’ll have to carry.
Alhena Katsof, Dana YahalomiSolution 263: Double Agent
The phenomenal performative relationship between the state and its cultural institutions was perhaps best exemplified when the declaration of the State of Israel was staged at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 1948. This relationship has been at the heart of Public Movement’s research. Solution 263: Double Agent, authored by Alhena Katsof and Dana Yahalomi, presents a methodology, manual, and performance offered as a culmination of efforts by the Office of Strategy and Protocol. It contains the necessary tools to activate Debriefing Sessions and in doing so trains future Agents in a series of one-to-one exchanges gathered from work in the field.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #9Summer 2015
Issue number nine tackles all manner of sports and games, providing commentary on their language, politics, and philosophies. It kicks off with a discussion of New England Patriots controversial quarterback Tom Brady in view of ancient Greek ideas of heroism, and ends with seminal Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly’s 1975 radio interview with UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. In between, the issue slaloms around bodybuilding, bridge, ice hockey, tennis, darts, golf, reporting, running, drugs, rock climbing, basketball, and Pong.
Mai Abu ElDahab (Ed.)Final Vocabulary
Five essays that take an intimate look at what language’s role is in moments of dramatic change, and how to find meaning for artistic practices in these transformative conditions. Taking its cue from the aftermath of the events of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, Final Vocabulary doesn’t provide answers as much as it captures the spirit of the moment of searching in which the writers find themselves. The book was developed out of a live conversation at an event called “The Informal Meeting” that took place in Leuven in January 2015.
Anne Lacaton, Jean-Philippe VassalFreedom of Use
Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal are known for an architecture that privileges inhabitants’ freedom and pleasure through generous, open designs. The Paris-based architects opened their 2015 lecture at Harvard University with a manifesto: study and create an inventory of the existing situation; densify without compressing individual space; promote user mobility, access, choice; and most importantly, never demolish. Freedom of Use reflects on these core values to present a fluid narrative of Lacaton and Vassal’s oeuvre, articulated through processes of accumulation, addition, and extension.
Eyal WeizmanThe Roundabout Revolutions
Critical Spatial Practice 6
One common feature of the wave of recent revolutions and revolts around the world is not political but rather architectural: many erupted on inner-city roundabouts. In thinking about the relation between protest and urban form, Eyal Weizman starts with the May 1980 uprising in Gwangju, South Korea, the first of the “roundabout revolutions,” and traces its lineage to the Arab Spring and its hellish aftermath.
Dora GarcíaMad Marginal Cahier #4
I See Words, I Hear Voices
The fourth volume of the Mad Marginal Cahier series brings together essays by international authors that develop different threads pertaining to artist Dora García’s practice. In her research, she explores—through the figures of James Joyce and Robert Walser—deviant literature, exploded language, the unconscious, and the notion of exile as inherent to artistic practice.
Christoph Behnke, Cornelia Kastelan, Valérie Knoll, Ulf Wuggenig (Eds.)Art in the Periphery of the Center
Peripheries are profoundly ambiguous regions. While trying to build a relationship with the center, the periphery often finds itself excluded both on a structural and actor-related level, no matter if the center-periphery model is defined in terms of space or along relations of power. The publication Art in the Periphery of the Center attempts to shift practices of thought toward both critical realism and new materialism. It is neither committed to today’s wishful thinking regarding horizontal networks and deterritorialized structures, nor does it fix itself to determinist approaches.
Two Days after Forever
A Reader on the Choreography of TimeChristodoulos Panayiotou
The Cyprus Pavilion, Biennale Arte 2015
Published on the occasion of the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, Two Days after Forever is not an exhibition catalogue, but rather an alternate temporal manifestation of the themes of the pavilion itself—in 2015, realized by artist Christodoulos Panayiotou and curated by Omar Kholeif. Adopting a variety of modes of address, this book acts as a kind of theater for considering the questions: How does one choreograph a history that is constantly being re-imagined? And, how do we speak of an anthropology of movement?
Christoph Cox, Jenny Jaskey, Suhail Malik (Eds.)Realism Materialism Art
Realism Materialism Art (RMA) introduces a diverse selection of new realist and materialist philosophies and examines their ramifications on the arts. Encompassing neo-materialist theories, object-oriented ontologies, and neo-rationalist philosophies, RMA serves as a primer on “speculative realism,” considering its conceptual innovations as spurs to artistic thinking and practice and beyond.
Jens HoffmannTheater of Exhibitions
Theater of Exhibitions analyzes “art after the end of art,” questioning whether inherited frameworks of making, theorizing, and exhibiting art still apply to contemporary practice. The book also considers the current commodification of the art industry and the distribution of images in the digital age. Drawing from his formation in theater and his own curatorial work, Jens Hoffmann reflects on the spaces of contemporary art—the gallery, the institution, the biennial—and ultimately positions the discipline of curating in the context of a larger cultural sphere shaped by the political, social, and economic conditions of its time, while demanding new attitudes and new thinking.
Eva Grubinger, Jörg Heiser (Eds.)Sculpture Unlimited 2
Materiality in Times of Immateriality
While the first volume Sculpture Unlimited (2011) dealt with the question of how the contemporary field of sculpture can be defined in a useful and stimulating manner against its long history, the second volume looks at the present and future. With sculpture as a leading reference, the contributions address theory, aesthetics, and technology: Do current philosophical movements such as new materialism and object-oriented ontology affect our notion of the art object? Does so-called post-Internet art have a future? And how does the Internet of Things relate to objects and things in art?
Pierre HerméThe Architecture of Taste
On November 27, 2012, world-renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé arrived at Harvard University from Paris. He brought five chefs, two assistants, 600 sheets of gelatin, 150 eggs, 68 pounds of caster sugar, 40 pounds of unsalted butter, 32 pounds of cream, 25 pounds of milk chocolate couverture, 11 pounds of grated wasabi, and the alchemic techniques to transform these ingredients into an elaborate “lecture de pâtisserie.” Together with Savinien Caracostea and Sanford Kwinter, he methodically deconstructed four conceptual desserts for 400 spectator-diners. The Architecture of Taste recaptures this night and the physiological effects of Hermé’s pastry visions.
e-flux journalThe Internet Does Not Exist
Today we live in a world that can be described as an “internet of things,” one that embraces digital technologies, and fulfills the dream worlds envisioned by twentieth-century writers, architects, and artists, such as Jack Burnham, Cedric Price, and Archigram. The internet is an ever-growing storage space of information that we have come to rely on—but what does this thing called the internet really mean? And does it still exist?
Inke Arns (Ed.)World of Matter
World of Matter is an international research project investigating primary materials and the complex ecologies of which they are a part. In addition to the project’s online platform and exhibitions, the book contains essays and visual contributions that present aesthetic and ethical approaches to the handling of resources, while challenging the assumption of late capitalism that the planet’s materials are primarily for human consumption.
First published in German in 1987, this is artist and writer Jutta Koether’s meditation on painting. In novella form, f. follows several disembodied female characters as they consider velvet, coral, the curtain, money, color, red.
Taiping Tianguo: A History of Possible EncountersAi Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong in New York
“Taiping Tianguo,” a touring exhibition organized by Para Site, Hong Kong, began as a series of questions, including: How did Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong—four artists of Chinese heritage hailing from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and San Francisco, respectively— all end up in New York in the heady 1980s? With glimpses of the artists’ overlapping experiences, networks, and friendships, this catalogue makes a unique contribution to a critical reading not only of art of that time and place, but also of nascent contemporary Chinese art in the advent of the globalization of the art world.
Christiane Kruse, Antje Majewski (Eds.)Ziran/Nature
Art, Nature, and Ethics
This book is the result of intellectual and physical journeys that artists, scholars, teachers, and students from China and Germany have undertaken together, in order to gain a better understanding of the connections between old Chinese philosophy (with an emphasis on Daoist writings), traditional Chinese painting, and contemporary art practices. The texts collected here give an introduction into concepts that are more than 2000 years old, yet still raise relevant questions about our current relationship to nature—both to nature in the sense of environment and ecology, and to our inner nature and its connection to the world we live in.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #8Winter 2014
This issue is smaller than large and larger than small: *medium*. Produced under the auspices of the exhibition “Transmitting Andy Warhol” at Tate Liverpool, it includes a history of the relations between drugs and groups by Ian Svenonius, an e-mail exchange between Paul Elliman and pioneer of voice synthesis Richard T. Gagnon, and a collage of voices that conjure Warhol’s aura by Michael Bracewell. With further contributions by Elie Apache, Stuart Bailey, Eli Diner, Emily Gephart, Lucy Mulroney, Larissa Harris, and Joe Scanlan.
Lou Cantor, Clemens Jahn (Eds.)Turning Inward
Turning Inward comprises a selection of texts by international artists, critics, and curators, which aims to renegotiate the relationship between centers and peripheries in contemporary art worlds. In the context of advanced globalization, the distributed agency of networked power structures can hardly be localized any longer in geographical terms. Yet, if we are to turn our attention away from geographical—that is, horizontal—relations, we can conceive of the central and peripheral as vertical phenomena that can coexist spatially in the shapes of social constructions, genealogies, or epistemic formations.
Nicole Brenez“We Support Everything since the Dawn of Time That Has Struggled and Still Struggles”
Introduction to Lettrist Cinema
The Lettrist movement is unique in the history of avant-garde formations. Founded by Isidore Isou in Paris immediately after World War II, it remains active to this day, having lost none of its radicalism, either aesthetic or ethical. In this book, Nicole Brenez presents the key figures and the basic concepts of Lettrist cinema, the art form within which their formal innovations proved the most far-reaching, prefiguring the breakthroughs of the nouvelle vague and the experiments of expanded cinema.
Mikkel Bolt RasmussenPlaymates and Playboys at a Higher Level
J. V. Martin and the Situationist International
After the infamous split in the Situationist International in 1962, the Danish artist J. V. Martin was unexpectedly put in charge of the group’s Scandinavian section. This book is the first presentation of Martin’s strange trajectory within the SI, in which he would remain a member until the group’s dissolution in 1972.
On the Table F. T. Marinetti and Fillìa
The Futurist Cookbook
In 1932, F. T. Marinetti and his collaborator Fillìa published The Futurist Cookbook, a manifesto-as-culinary-innovation. Replete with experimental recipes (the founder of Futurism, Marinetti, is known to have ranted about the social dangers of pasta eating), the book is a multilayered exploration of cultural metabolisms, with the dining table as its centerpiece, of course!
Axel Wieder, Florian Zeyfang (Eds.)Open Form
Space, Interaction, and the Tradition of Oskar Hansen
This publication examines the impact of Oskar Hansen within contemporary visual culture and the redefined role of the viewer since the 1960s. The book includes in-depth interviews with some of the most important protagonists of experimental art in Poland, who investigate the historical impact of the open form.
Renate Lorenz (Ed.)Not Now! Now!
Chronopolitics, Art & Research
Not Now! Now! engages with the politics of time in art: historical narratives and memory, the unforeseen rhythms of time, and the challenge of visualizing time. The book connects the postcolonial and queer debate around chronopolitics with artistic strategies that introduce breaks, stutter time, use citations and anachronisms, and introduce deferrals and collapses between time and meaning.
Felix Ensslin, Charlotte Klink (Eds.)Aesthetics of the Flesh
Word becomes flesh, God becomes pigment, beauty becomes empirical form, power negotiates itself in matter—and vice versa: these are some of the connotations carried by the aesthetics of the flesh. This reader traces the aesthetic concept of flesh in four sections: “Cut Power Matter,” “Form Cannibalism,” “Flesh Skin Surface,” and “Word Flesh Thought.” From perspectives as diverse as art history, religion, psychoanalysis, psychology, materialist philosophy, phenomenology, surgery, film studies, and literary studies, the articles present this concept, while at the same time showing how it surpasses the attempts to systematize or define it.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s fourteen-part Berlin Alexanderplatz, broadcast on German television in 1980, is a pivotal work in the artist’s oeuvre. In this work, along with others from the same period, Fassbinder established a Jewish-German mirror rotating on the axis of the Holocaust. In Hystericizing Germany, Manfred Hermes provides an excursive analysis of the potential of narration within the paradoxes of cinematic representation, with Fassbinder’s miniseries forming both beginning and end point.
The Jahresring series is one of the longest continually published annual journals for contemporary art in Germany. The 61st edition is a reader and visual sampler with contributions from visual artists, writers, poets, musicians, choreographers, and designers. Bringing together a discursive array of forms and timbres, it takes an intertextual and interdisciplinary approach to exploring some contemporary cultural resonances with respect to gender and sexuality.
Mark von SchlegellIckles, Etc.
Critical Spatial Practice 5
Helming Los Angeles’s most misunderstood info-architecture practice is Henries Ickles, “the man without self-concept.” Time and again Ickles offers practical solutions to the most impenetrable theoretical entanglements of art, architecture, and science in the 2090s. In the fifth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series, Mark von Schlegell’s fusion of theory and fiction puts the SF back in notions of “speculative aesthetics.” A collection of interconnected comical sci-fi stories written for various exhibitions, Ickles, Etc. explores the future of architectural practice in light of developments in climatology, quasicrystalography, hyper-contemporary art, time travel, and the EGONET.
Maria Lind, What, How & for Whom/WHW (Eds.)Art and the F Word
Reflections on the Browning of Europe
From 2012 to 2014 a series of contemporary art exhibitions, events, and participatory forums organized by Galerija Nova, Tensta konsthall, and Grazer Kunstverein comprised the project “Beginning as Well as We Can (How Do We Talk about Fascism?).” Focusing on the startling increase of nationalism across Europe—made palpable in manifestations of fascist tendencies and the cult of heritage—the project points to the possibility and power of art to imagine futures that are not irrevocably determined by the present, but are invested with struggles fought here and now.
Maren Butte, Kirsten Maar, Fiona McGovern, Marie-France Rafael, Jörn Schafaff (Eds.)Assign & Arrange
Methodologies of Presentation in Art and Dance
Assign & Arrange: Methodologies of Presentation in Art and Dance aims to map the exchanges and transgressions between art and dance that characterize the manifold variety of relations between art and dance that can be observed today: dance performances taking place in art galleries or public spaces, for example, or visual artists developing specific presentational formats or exhibition displays that generate dimensions of dramaturgy and choreography for their visitors.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #7Summer 2014
This issue concerns itself with “numbers,” ranging from a brief note on “The Psychology of Number” by John Dewey and John McLellan, to Vincenzo Latronico’s historical overview of the ongoing attempt to conjure “truths from thin air” (such as proof of the existence of god).
This publication is a work of both art and theory, and aligns itself with a socially activated, political understanding of aesthetics. A concept of production emerges—in the words of Krüger & Pardeller, “concrete openness.” The artist duo offers the readers and authors the precise aesthetic space of experience that constitutes their artistic practice.
Elke Gaugele (Ed.)Aesthetic Politics in Fashion
Aesthetic Politics in Fashion outlines critical studies in the present cross-sections of fashion, art, politics, and global capitalism. Critically examining contemporary collaborations of artists, media, and fashion labels, this groundbreaking anthology locates fashion within ecological and ethical discourses, postcolonial styles, and critical reflections on whiteness.
Beatrice von Bismarck, Rike Frank, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Jörn Schafaff, Thomas Weski (Eds.)Cultures of the Curatorial 2
Timing: On the Temporal Dimension of Exhibiting
Focusing on time instead of the typically predominant category of space, this publication—the second volume in the Cultures of the Curatorial series—takes up the key aesthetic, social, political, and economic issues of the early twenty-first century running through the field and framed by the axes of exhibiting and the temporal.
Binna Choi, Maria Lind, Emily Pethick, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (Eds.)Cluster: Dialectionary
Cluster is a network of eight contemporary visual arts organizations each located in on the peripheries of European cities. Each organization is focused on commissioning, producing, and presenting contemporary art, and the nature of the work is often experimental, process-driven, involves research, is based on working with international and local artists, and often engages with diverse publics on a local level. Compiled over a period of two years, Cluster: Dialectionary aims to find new ways to position this work and the work of contemporary visual arts organizations more broadly, particularly in relation to wider social, political, and cultural concerns.
Tone Hansen, Lars Bang Larsen (Eds.)The Phantom of Liberty
Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox
One of the few things we have in common in contemporary society is the future of our children. But it seems that even the “we” of childhood, of learning and free play, has turned into a common ground for instrumentalization and competition. What happened to the reform pedagogy of the twentieth century? What is the status of childhood in the era of the consuming child and the playing adult? These are some of the questions addressed by The Phantom of Liberty, which sets out to reestablish a social and aesthetic dialogue between visual art and psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and critical journalism.
Carola Dertnig, Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein (Eds.)Performing the Sentence
Research and Teaching in Performative Fine Arts
Performing the Sentence brings into dialogue the ways that “performative thinking” has developed in different national and institutional contexts, within different disciplines in the arts, and the conditions under which it has developed in experimental art schools. This anthology is a collection of twenty-one essays and conversations that weave in and out of the two key areas of research and teaching within performative fine arts.
Carola Dertnig, Diedrich Diederichsen, Tom Holert, et al. (Eds.)Troubling Research
Performing Knowledge in the Arts
In 2010/11, a group of Vienna-based art practitioners (artists, art historians, and cultural theorists) embarked on a journey of experimental research, exploring the genealogical and political implications of the ways in which research rhetorics and policies are currently incorporated into the fields of contemporary art and art education. This collection of “books” of essays and conversations is the quirky and exhilarating outcome of the collaborative endeavor to interrogate the very conditions of the current upsurge of the art/research articulation.
steirischer herbst, Florian Malzacher (Eds.)Truth Is Concrete
A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics
Truth Is Concrete: A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics takes the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis and looks for direct action and concrete knowledge: for an art that not only represents and documents, but engages in specific political and social situations—and for an activism that not only acts for the sake of acting but searches for intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment.
Critical Spatial Practice 4
Keller Easterling’s volume in the Critical Spatial Practice series analyzes the urgency of building subtraction. Often treated as failure or loss, subtraction—when accepted as part of an exchange—can be growth. All over the world, sprawl and overdevelopment have attracted distended or failed markets. However, when failing, buildings can create their own alternative markets of durable spatial variables that can be managed and traded by citizens and cities rather than the global financial industry.
“Although sometimes couched in what looks like the language of critical theory, Toufic’s formal hybridity and poetic methods sharply distinguish Forthcoming from most other titles on those shelves labeled Cultural, Poststructuralist, or Postcolonial Studies.… In his insistence upon treating the dead as a great part of the potential force of this world, Toufic plumbs the poetics of disaster and recuperation in ways that remain both incredibly suggestive and relentlessly radical.” —Village Voice Literary Supplement, April 2001
Hito SteyerlToo Much World
The Films of Hito Steyerl
Hito Steyerl is rightly considered one of the most exciting artists working today who speculates on the impact of the Internet and digitization on the fabric of our everyday lives. Her films and writings offer an astute, provocative, and often funny analysis of the dizzying speed with which images and data are reconfigured, altered, and dispersed, many times over, accelerating into infinity or crashing into oblivion.
Armen Avanessian, Andreas TöpferSpeculative Drawing: 2011–2014
Speculative Drawing presents fifteen books—from monographs and translations to collections of essays—that emerged from the research platform Speculative Poetics, conceived by Armen Avanessian in 2011. This book gives a somewhat different introduction to contemporary speculative philosophy, raising questions on how thinking works and how thinking occurs in drawings or illustrations. How does a poetic thinking work that's not about but with art?
ForensisThe Architecture of Public Truth
This book excavates the notion of forensis (Latin for “pertaining to the forum”) to designate the role of material forensics in articulating new notions of public truth. The condition of forensis is one in which aesthetic practices, new technologies, and architectural research methodologies bear upon the legal implications of political struggle, violent conflict, and climate change.
Beatriz ColominaManifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies
Critical Spatial Practice 3
In the third book in the Critical Spatial Practice series, Beatriz Colomina traces the history of the modern architecture manifesto, with particular focus on Mies van der Rohe, and the play between the written and built work. This essay propels the manifesto form into the future, into an age where electronic media are the primary sites of debate, suggesting that new forms of manifesto are surely emerging along with new kinds of authorship, statement, exhibition, and debate.
Georg Schöllhammer, Ruben Arevshatyan (Eds.)Sweet Sixties
Specters and Spirits of a Parallel Avant-Garde
Sweet Sixties is a long-term trans-regional research initiative working between art, research, media, and educational contexts in Europe, the Middle East, western and central Asia, Latin America, and northern Africa. Involving a particular group of experimentally oriented arts and research groups as well as individual artists, researchers, and media, Sweet Sixties investigates hidden histories or underexposed cultural junctions and exchange channels in the revolutionary period of the 1960s.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #6 Winter 2013
This issue poses as a retroactive non-catalog for the group exhibition “White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart” at the Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania curated by Anthony Elms. As such, its nominal theme is Fashion.
Hans Ulrich ObristSharp Tongues, Loose Lips, Open Eyes, Ears to the Ground
The collected essays presented here form the compartments of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s curatorial toolbox, along with elucidating his views on stewardship, patronage, and art itself. Influences and interlocutors cited and discussed here include, among others, Alexander Dorner, Édouard Glissant, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jean-François Lyotard, Dominique de Menil, Josef Ortner, Cedric Price, Sir John Soane, and Harald Szeemann.
Brian DillonObjects in This Mirror
Objects in This Mirror posits a polemical defense of intellectual and cultural generalism and curiosity. The collection of essays rewardingly navigates such diverse subjects as the writings of W. G. Sebald and Roland Barthes to the history of cravat-tying manuals and the search for a cure to the common cold. Staying true to the idea of the essay as a self-aware but generous literary and critical form, this book explores the variety of topics it has been possible in recent years to corral within the rubric of art writing or criticism.
Kim GordonIs It My Body?
Throughout the 1980s and early ’90s, Kim Gordon—widely known as a founding member of the influential band Sonic Youth—produced a series of writings on art and music. Ranging from neo-Conceptual artworks to broader forms of cultural criticism, these rare texts are brought together in this volume for the first time, placing Gordon’s writing within the context of the artist-critics of her generation, including Mike Kelley, John Miller, and Dan Graham.
Martin HerbertThe Uncertainty Principle
Martin Herbert’s The Uncertainty Principle is a collection of essays that reveals layers of unknowing and open-endedness within a diversity of contemporary art practices since the 1970s.
This new volume brings together a selection of Jan Verwoert's most recent writings. COOKIE! is a sequel to Verwoert’s Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want (edited by Vanessa Ohlraun, 2010), and third in a series of books published with the Piet Zwart Institute.
Model House Research Group (Ed.)Transcultural Modernisms
Based on the findings of an interdisciplinary research project, Transcultural Modernisms maps out the network of encounters, transnational influences, and local appropriations of an architectural modernity manifested in various ways in housing projects in India, Israel, Morocco, and China.
Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, Eyal WeizmanArchitecture after Revolution
The work presented in this book is an invitation to undertake an urgent architectural and political thought experiment: to rethink today’s struggles for justice and equality not only from the historical perspective of revolution, but also from that of a continued struggle for decolonization; consequently, to rethink the problem of political subjectivity not from the point of view of a Western conception of a liberal citizen but rather from that of the displaced and extraterritorial refugee.
Petra Reichensperger (Ed.)Terms of Exhibiting (from A to Z) /
Begriffe des Ausstellens (von A bis Z)
This publication explores themes of the exhibition through its terms—not, however, to confine into isolated conceptual categories, but to interconnect. These terms characterize exhibiting, and emphasize a “between-ness.” Examining a term lays bare its ruptures, shifts, or recreations, as well as social, societal, and cultural changes that have the power to structure through historical conjecture.
Rémy ZauggThe Art Museum of My Dreams
or A Place for the Work and the Human Being
In his influential 1986 text, now translated into English for the first time, Swiss artist Rémy Zaugg (1943–2005) laid out fundamental ideas on the art museum. For him, the museum is an everyday tool that enables the encounter between viewer and work—raising the question of the kind of architecture appropriate for such a space.
Chantal PontbriandThe Contemporary, the Common
Art in a Globalizing World
The essays in this collection were written in the first decade of the new millennium by the critic, editor, and curator Chantal Pontbriand. Pontbriand examines themes of being-in-common in today’s world and their relation to the development of art practices.
Kirsty BellThe Artist’s House
From Workplace to Artwork
The artist’s house is a prism through which to view not only the artistic practice of its inhabitant, but also to apprehend broader developments in sculpture and contemporary art in relation to domestic architecture and interior space. Based on a series of interviews and site visits with living artists about the role of their home in relation to their work, Kirsty Bell looks at the house as receptacle, vehicle, model, theater, or dream space.
Attention EconomyJahresring 60: Jahrbuch für moderne Kunst
The 60th Jahresring takes the form of a compilation of artist interviews and offers a snapshot of a highly active art scene that stretches from Berlin, as a new international center for art. Nicolaus Schafhausen put a series of questions to thirty-one art practitioners, less geared toward the artists’ respective praxis and more toward the conditions under which it arises.
Nina Möntmann (Ed.)Scandalous
A Reader on Art and Ethics
Recent encounters between art and real life, the ubiquity of images of violence and humiliation in visual culture and the media, and the persistence of controversial debates on public and participatory art projects are raising fundamental questions about the importance of ethical decisions in art and curating. How far can provocation in art go, before it becomes cynical and abusive? Does “good censorship” exist? Are ethical decisions seen as more urgent in participatory art?
Gavin Butt, Irit RogoffVisual Cultures as Seriousness
The contemporary art world has become more inhospitable to “serious” intellectual activity in recent years. Set against this context, Gavin Butt and Irit Rogoff raise the question of “seriousness” in art and culture. What is seriousness exactly, and where does it reside? Is it a desirable value in contemporary culture?
Astrid Schmetterling, Lynn TurnerVisual Cultures as Recollection
Memory has become a major preoccupation in the humanities in recent decades, be it individual and collective memory, cultural and national memory, or traumatic memory and the ethics of its representation. Drawing on these complex concerns, Astrid Schmetterling and Lynn Turner focus on distinct films—a series of short meditations on the September 11, 2001, attacks commissioned by Alain Brigand and collectively titled 11’09”01 – September 11 (2002), and Richard Linklater’s Tape (2001).
Jorella Andrews, Simon O'SullivanVisual Cultures as Objects and Affects
Largely due to the “linguistic turn” that has dominated the humanities since the mid-twentieth century, many contemporary scholars and artists habitually equate works of art with highly coded texts to be deciphered, deconstructed, or otherwise interpreted. Within this quest to consider art differently, Jorella Andrews and Simon O’Sullivan pay attention to the asignifying character of art, or simply its affective qualities.
Barry SchwabskyWords for Art
Criticism, History, Theory, Practice
Walter Benjamin’s views on color, E. H. Gombrich’s theory of perception, Mel Bochner’s and Liz Kotz’s narratives of Conceptualism, and Sarah Thornton’s peregrinations in the “art world” are but a few of the topics explored in this volume of essays. In an era of hyper-specialization and rigid academic protocols, Barry Schwabsky revives a form of criticism one imagined barely existed—a criticism of varied interests and passionate opinions.
Martha RoslerCulture Class
In this collection of essays Martha Rosler embarks on a broad inquiry into the economic and historical precedents for today’s soft ideology of creativity, with special focus on its elaborate retooling of class distinctions.
Karen van den Berg, Ursula Pasero (Eds.)Art Production beyond the Art Market?
A fundamental reordering of artistic production and a transformation of the art field are about to take place. Heated debates have been sparked over new forms of work, public subsidies, and the expanding impact of the creative industries. Independent education programs, self-organized urban planning, and artistic practices in the field of scientific research, among other initiatives, have unfolded over the last few years. This publication addresses this wide field, focusing on theoretical reflections and insights into alternative artistic working models.
Douglas CouplandShopping in Jail
Ideas, Essays, and Stories for the Increasingly Real Twenty-First Century
In Douglas Coupland's writing, the doldrums of a world afflicted by the pains of dotcom booms and busts, the ascendency of subcultures to pop cultures, and the subsequent struggle for identity are counterbalanced by droll, personal, and incisive analyses. This collection of nonfiction essays provides an illuminating meander through what we call culture today.
Anaël Lejeune, Olivier Mignon, Raphaël Pirenne (Eds.)French Theory and American Art
Many postwar American artists were influenced by French philosophy, literary studies, and social sciences. French Theory in American Art examines some of the main historical conditions of this reception.
Sven LüttickenHistory in Motion
Time in the Age of the Moving Image
The moving image has irrevocably redefined our experience and construction of history. In the contemporary economy of time, history has become an image in motion, a series of events animated and performed through various media. Analyzing a variety of films, video pieces, and performances, Sven Lütticken evaluates the impact that our changing experience of time has had on the actualization of history in the present.
Milena Hoegsberg, Cora Fisher (Eds.)Living Labor
Living Labor considers the increasing subordination of life to work. In response to the eroding boundaries between work and life, and against the historic backdrop of the Scandinavian labor movement, the writers gathered in Living Labor propose viable forms of refusal and imagine prospects for a post-work future.
Undoing Property? examines complex relationships inside art, culture, political economy, immaterial production, and the public realm today. In its pages artists and theorists address aspects of computing, curating, economy, ecology, gentrification, music, publishing, piracy, and much more.
Alex Coles, Catharine Rossi (Eds.)EP Vol. 1
The Italian Avant-Garde, 1968–1976
EPis the first critically underpinned series of publications that fluidly move between art, design, and architecture. The first volume is devoted to the activities of the Italian avant-garde between 1968 and 1976. While emphasizing the multiple correspondences between collectives and groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, The Italian Avant-Garde, 1968–1976 also highlights previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart.
Joanna Warsza (Ed.)Ministry of Highways
A Guide to the Performative Architecture of Tbilisi
Once described as “Italy gone Marxist,” Georgia, located in both an advantageous and vulnerable geopolitical position between the Black Sea, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, enjoys a Mediterranean climate and viniculture in combination with a community-oriented and self-determined spirit. Taking the exhibition “Frozen Moments: Architecture Speaks Back”(2010) as its starting point, this guidebook maps the social, urban, and art discourses of the country’s post-Soviet years as seen from its hilly capital of Tbilisi.
Since the so-called dematerialization of currencies and art practices in the late 1960s and early 1970, we have witnessed a move into what Joshua Simon calls an economy of neomaterialism. With this, several shifts have occurred: the focus of labor has moved from production to consumption, the commodity has become the historical subject, and symbols now behave like materials.
Mara Ambrožič, Angela Vettese (Eds.)Art as a Thinking Process
Visual Forms of Knowledge Production
The work of art has often been a battleground—its decorative and formal aspects positioned against its nature as an embodiment of cognitive acts. Leonardo da Vinci’s claim that art be a “cosa mentale” is winning at last: recent debates around art schools and their methods, of which this book is a vast survey, demonstrate that, now more than ever, art is considered the result of a thinking process.
Thomas Keenan, Tirdad Zolghadr (Eds.)The Human Snapshot
The Human Snapshot draws upon a conference of the same name organized by the LUMA Foundation and Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. The conference contributions and subsequent essays examine contemporary forms of humanism and universalism as they circulate and are produced in art and photography.
T. J. DemosReturn to the Postcolony
Specters of Colonialism in Contemporary Art
In the wake of failed states, growing economic and political inequality, and the ongoing US- and NATO-led wars for resources, security, and economic dominance worldwide, contemporary artists are revisiting former European colonies, considering past injustices as they haunt the living yet remain repressed in European consciousness.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #4Winter 2012
Devised by Stuart Bailey, Lars Bang Larsen, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, this bulletin is based on Larsen’s just-completed PhD dissertation at the University of Copenhagen, A History of Irritated Material: Psychedelic Concepts in Neo-Avantgarde Art. The idea was to contrive a popular version of his academic thesis by editing it psychedelically.
Markus Miessen, Chantal MouffeThe Space of Agonism
Critical Spatial Practice 2
The second volume in the Critical Spatial Practice series presents a selection of conversations between Markus Miessen and political philosopher Chantal Mouffe. The dialogues attempt to unpack current dilemmas and popular mobilizations in terms of consensus-driven formats of political decision making.
Steve RushtonMasters of Reality
Masters of Reality brings together the first collection of texts by Steve Rushton exploring the interrelations between art, anthropology, social sciences, psychology, media, politics, and economy. Central to Rushton’s research is an investigation into the conception of feedback, social control, and the culture of “self-performance.”
Tom McCarthy, Simon Critchley, et al.The Mattering of Matter
Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society
On August 7, 1999, Tom McCarthy founded the International Necronautical Society (INS) with a public presentation of the "Founding Manifesto," a touchstone that would inform the organization’s proceedings for years to come. Composed of official committee members and illicit “agents,” the INS harks back to early twentieth-century avant-gardes, producing declarations, reports, public hearings, broadcasts, and research documents, as well as orchestrating more covert media infiltrations, all governed by the objective, set out in the "Founding Manifesto," of mapping, entering, and occupying the space of death through literature, philosophy, culture, and technology.
Nikolaus Hirsch, Markus Miessen (Eds.)What Is Critical Spatial Practice?
Critical Spatial Practice 1
In September 2011, Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen invited protagonists from the fields of architecture, art, philosophy, and literature to reflect on the single question of what, today, can be understood as a critical modality of spatial practice.
Triple Canopy (Ed.)Invalid Format
An Anthology of Triple Canopy, Vol. 2
Invalid Format is an archive of the widespread publishing activities of Triple Canopy, the editorial collective and online magazine based in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin. The book explores how works produced for the screen might be transposed to the codex in a way that recalls that former context while also fully inhabiting the page.
Beatrice von Bismarck, Jörn Schafaff, Thomas Weski (Eds.)Cultures of the Curatorial
Cultures of the Curatorial assumes a curatorial turn in contemporary cultural practice and discourse. Coming from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds, the contributors exemplify the entanglement of theory and practice, consider recent developments within the curatorial field, allow self-reflexive analysis, and explore the conditions—disciplinary, institutional, economic, political, and regional—under which art and culture become public.
Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Annika Enqvist, Michele Masucci, Lisa Rosendahl, Cecilia Widenheim (Eds.)Work, Work, Work
A Reader on Art and Labour
What is “work” today and what is its relation to art? What is the position of the artist if “creativity” has become a commodity? How can the artist’s conditions of production be described, and what role can art and architecture play in societal change?
Erik Niedling with Ingo NiermannThe Future of Art: A Diary
The Future of Art: A Diary is the sequel to The Future of Art: A Manual (2011), in which Niedling joined Niermann on his search for a new, epic artwork. The book is published on the occasion of the exhibition “18.10.1973–29.02.2012” at the Neues Museum Weimar.
Johanna Burton, Lynne Cooke, Josiah McElheny (Eds.)CCS Readers: Perspectives on Art and Culture
Encounters with art engage various conditions of interiority—whether through psychic spaces or specific physical environments, such as museums and private residences. Through diverse discursive modes—commissioned essays, conversations and talks, historical writings, and artistic projects—this anthology, the first CCS Readers volume, examines the poetics and politics of interior experience within the frame of contemporary art.
Juliane RebentischAesthetics of Installation Art
In recent years, debates surrounding the concept of art have focused in particular on installation art, as its diverse manifestations have proven to be incompatible with the modern idea of aesthetic autonomy. Here, Juliane Rebentisch asserts that installation art does not, as is often assumed, dispute aesthetic autonomy per se, and rather should be understood as calling for a fundamental revision of this very concept.
Maria Lind (Ed.)Performing the Curatorial
Within and Beyond Art
Because the curatorial has clear performative sides, ones that seek to challenge the status quo, it also includes elements of choreography, orchestration, and administrative logistics—like all practices working with defining, preserving, and mediating cultural heritage in a wider sense. Is curating therefore essentially an act of translation? If so, with what purpose, and can it be performed elsewhere?
Actors, Agents and AttendantsSocial Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice
Social Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice is the second volume in the Actors, Agents and Attendants series of publications and symposia initiated by SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain to investigate the role of cultural practice in the organization of the public domain.
Cybermohalla Hub, a hybrid of studio, school, archive, community center, library, and gallery is a structure that moves between Delhi and diverse art contexts. The Cybermohalla project, which takes on the meaning of the Hindi word mohalla (neighborhood), has been engaged in rethinking urban life, and reimagining and reanimating the infrastructure of cultural and intellectual life in contemporary cities.
Martin BeckThe Aspen Complex
Martin Beck’s exhibition “Panel 2—‘Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes…’” draws on the events of the 1970 International Design Conference in Aspen and the development of the Aspen Movie Map to form a visual environment that reflects the interrelations between art, architecture, design, ecology, and social movements. The Aspen Complex documents two versions of Beck’s exhibition, and brings together yet unpublished archival material and new research on the 1970 IDCA and the Aspen Movie Map.
Matthias Ulrich (Ed.)Playing the City: Interviews
In Playing the City: Interviews, Matthias Ulrich, curator of the Schirn project, asks fifty-one of the involved artists ten central questions about the participatory and collaborative art context. Their answers and comments provide a telling picture of the multiple forms of interactive, cooperative, and interdisciplinary practices in contemporary art.
Alex ColesThe Transdisciplinary Studio
We have entered a post-post-studio age, and find ourselves with a new studio model: the transdisciplinary. This volume delves into four pioneering transdisciplinary studios—Jorge Pardo Sculpture, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Studio Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke—by observing and interviewing the practitioners and their assistants.
Raimundas MalašauskasPaper Exhibition
Selected Writings by Raimundas Malašauskas
Paper Exhibition is an anthology of writings by curator and writer Raimundas Malašauskas.
Thomas Keenan, Eyal WeizmanMengele's Skull: The Advent of a Forensic Aesthetics
In 1985, the body of Josef Mengele, one of the last Nazi war criminals still at large, was unearthed in Brazil. The ensuing process of identifying the bones in question opened up what can now be seen as a third narrative in war crime investigations—not that of the document or the witness but rather the birth of a forensic approach to understanding war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Bulletins of The Serving Library #2Winter 2011
The second issue of Bulletins of The Serving Library includes contributions by Dimmi Davidoff, Július Koller, David Fischli & Peter Weiss, Rob Giampietro, Anthony Huberman, Junior Aspirin Records, Perri MacKenzie, David Senior, and Jan Verwoert.
Maria Lind, Olav Velthuis (Eds.)Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets
A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios
Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets maps and analyzes the complex and contested entanglements of contemporary art and its commercial markets.
Tariq RamadanOn Super-Diversity
Invited to reflect on the notion of “super-diversity,” the acclaimed scholar Tariq Ramadan sets out an argument that foregrounds universalism as a necessary, if devalued, horizon, and offers a critique of the uses and limits of dialogue and discourse within the day-to-day practice of diversity.
Eva Grubinger, Jörg Heiser (Eds.)Sculpture Unlimited
Against the historical backdrop of expansions of the notion of sculpture—from Auguste Rodin to Rosalind Krauss and beyond—one could think that the sculptural discipline has become defined by its near arbitrary malleability, since practically anything can be construed as sculpture. Yet interest in the history of sculpture seems to be experiencing a revival, including traditional techniques and production methods, which often appear appealing, even radical, in the age of the Internet and social media.
Design ActSocially and Politically Engaged Design Today—Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics
Design Act: Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today—Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics is a project that presents and discusses contemporary design practices that engage with political and societal issues.
Markus Miessen, Andrea Phillips (Eds.)Actors, Agents and Attendants
Caring Culture: Art, Architecture and the Politics of Health
Caring Culture: Art, Architecture and the Politics of Public Health examines changing political uses of the concept of care in neoliberal democracies and asks how artists, architects, and designers both contribute to and attempt to critique its social manifestations.
Synne Bull, Marit Paasche (Eds.)Urban Images
Unruly Desires in Film and Architecture
Cinema was the single medium capable of capturing what Alexander Kluge describes as the “the impossible moment”—a moment we couldn’t think of beforehand, and which cannot be repeated later. Thus cinema leads the way to what later becomes reality: to cities, bridges, ideas, gestures, skyscrapers, literature, and art. This anthology traces some of the paths of this “becoming.”
Binna Choi, Axel Wieder (Eds.)Casco Issues XII: Generous Structures
Casco Issues is a magazine published by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, which explores recurring issues that emerge from Casco’s program. The twelfth edition of Casco Issues, Generous Structures, is a playful enquiry into "playfulness" as a value in critical cultural practice. It positions alternative notions of playing against the grain of neoliberal ideologies of "lifelong learning" and "work as play."
Juan A. Gaitán, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Monika Szewczyk (Eds.)Cornerstones
This publication compiles a series of essays on contemporary art written by leading art historians and experts. First presented in lecture format at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, these essays reflect the wealth of the exchange that exists between theoretical writing and artistic thinking, sharing the fascination that each of these authors has with both the work of an artist and how this work functions in relation to larger contexts and broader ideas.
Ingo Niermann with Erik NiedlingThe Future of Art: A Manual
In 1831 Honoré de Balzac wrote a short story, “The Unknown Masterpiece,” in which he invented the abstract painting. Almost 200 years later, writer Ingo Niermann tries to follow in his footsteps to imagine a new epoch-making artwork. Together with the artist Erik Niedling he starts searching for the future of art and, seeking advice, meets key figures of the art world.
Marit Paasche, Judy Radul (Eds.)A Thousand Eyes
Media Technology, Law, and Aesthetics
Through the contribution of internationally renowned artists and scholars, this anthology explores how the aesthetics of new media technology and its spatial implementations affect the judicial system in relation to fundamental concepts such as truth and representation.
Charlotte Birnbaum (Ed.)On the Table
Three Banquets for a Queen
In 1668, Queen Christina of Sweden was greeted in Rome with three spectacular banquets that surpass all historical precedents and successors in the register of extravagant gastronomy. As the first publication of her series, On the Table, Charlotte Birnbaum presents Antonio degli Effetti’s newly translated seventeenth-century text, which elaborately describes the three feasts in all their sumptuous and performative glory.
tranzit.hu (Ed.)Art Always Has Its Consequences
Artists’ Texts from Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, 1947–2009
Art Always Has Its Consequences is a collection of manifestos, critical texts, and writings addressing public issues written by artists and artist groups from Eastern Europe between 1947 and 2009.
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle (Eds.)e-flux journal
Are You Working Too Much?
Post-Fordism, Precarity, and the Labor of Art
When the flexibility, certainty, and freedom promised by being part of a critical outside are considered as extensions of recent advances in economic exploitation, does the field of art then become the uncritical, complicit inside of something far more compelling?
Ewa Lajer-BurcharthChardin Material
Adapted from the lecture she delivered at the Institut für Kunstkritik, Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth’s essay explores the dimension of self-reflexivity in the work of eighteenth-century French painter, Jean-Siméon Chardin.
Armen Avanessian, Luke Skrebowski (Eds.)Aesthetics and Contemporary Art
This inter- and transdisciplinary collection of essays by philosophers, artists, critics, and art historians, reconsiders the place of the aesthetic in contemporary art, with reference to four main themes: aesthetics as “sensate thinking”; the dissolution of artistic limits; post-autonomous practices; and exhibition-values in a global artworld.
The Book of Japans
As part of Ingo Niermann’s Solution Series, Solution Japan, or The Book of Japans, makes a case for the rehabilitation of the idea of the “far.” The Book of Japans restores a sense of wonder—along with a plethora of imagination-triggering inaccuracies—by taking the reader on a trip not just through space but also time.
Anton VidokleNew York Conversations
New York Conversations is a text film. Shot in a Chinatown storefront converted for this occasion into an improvised kitchen/restaurant, the film documents three days of public conversations between artists, critics, curators, and a free floating public.
Hans Dickel and Lisa Puyplat (Eds.)Reading Susanne Kriemann
The book is comprised of texts on Susanne Kriemann’s practice and its relation to the concept of Reading in a wider sense: reading photographs, archives, and texts and transforming these into new compositions with photography, urban space, and historiography.
April Lamm (Ed.)Hans Ulrich Obrist
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating*
*But Were Afraid to Ask
Everything you ever wanted to know about Hans Ulrich Obrist but were afraid to ask has been asked by the sixteen practitioners in this book.
Joshua Simon (Ed.)Solution 196–213
United States of Palestine-Israel
Solution 196–213: United States of Palestine-Israel is an anthology of texts proposing a doable solution for the region. With contributors based in Ramallah and Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beirut and Jerusalem, New York and Bethlehem, Nazareth and Warsaw, the book offers solutions that will make life better, and proposes ways to do it.
Alexis Vaillant (Ed.)Options with Nostrils
Options with Nostrils brings together a collection of previously unpublished essays, both theoretical and visual, by artists, curators, a writer, a scholar, and a group of postgraduates from the Piet Zwart Institute’s Fine Art programme in Rotterdam, who together founded the “Office for the Unknown.”
Boris GroysGoing Public
As the first in the series of e-flux journal readers to be written by a single author, Going Public brings together a collection of influential essays by Boris Groys.
Maria LindSelected Maria Lind Writing
Selected Maria Lind Writing brings together twenty-two essays selected by Beatrice von Bismarck, Ana Paula Cohen, Liam Gillick, Brian Kuan Wood, and Tirdad Zolghadr.
John KelseyRich Texts
Selected Writing for Art
Compiled for the first time here, the critic, artist, gallerist, dealer, translator John Kelsey’s selected essays gamesomely convey some of the most poignant challenges in the art world and in the many social roles it creates.
Jan VerwoertTell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want brings together a selection of recent writings by art critic Jan Verwoert for the first time. The book galvanizes central themes Verwoert has been developing in pursuit of a language to describe art’s transformative potential in conceptual, performative, and emotional terms.
Ingo NiermannSolution 186–195
Solution 186–195: Dubai Democracy is the fifth book in the Solution series. Using Dubai as a sort of modernist blank slate for urban and social renewal, author Ingo Niermann confronts today’s most relevant cultural and technological developments with analytical elixirs that are as pertinent as they are unbelievable.
Internal NecessityA Reader Tracing the Inner Logics of the Contemporary Art Field
Internal Necessity was the topic of the Sommerakademie 2009, curated by Tirdad Zolghadr. The result is an independent reader that does not aim to merely document the academy 2009, but reflects and develops its topics in a rich diversity of visual and textual forms.
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle (Eds.)e-flux journal
What Is Contemporary Art?
E-flux journal: What Is Contemporary Art? puts the apparent simplicity and self-evident term into doubt, asking critics, curators, artists, and writers to contemplate the nature of this catchall or default category.
Daniel Birnbaum, Isabelle Graw (Eds.)The Power of Judgment
A Debate on Aesthetic Critique
Comprised of a lecture by Christoph Menke and two respective responses to it by Daniel Loick and Isabelle Graw, The Power of Judgment both attests to the importance of judgment in art criticism and argues against its determining verdicts.
Nav Haq, Tirdad Zolghadr (Eds.)Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie
Class Hegemony in Contemporary Art
Class inevitably raises awkward questions for the protagonists of contemporary art—about their backgrounds, patrons, and ideological partialities. Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie investigates this latent yet easily overlooked issue, which has been historically eclipsed by gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality.
Jean-Yves LeloupDigital Magma
Writer, DJ, and French sound artist, Jean-Yves Leloup has followed the evolution of electronic music from its first appearance in Europe at the end of the eighties. A fortunate witness to the electronic scene, he is also interested in all questions relative to contemporary art and digital technologies.
Tirdad ZolghadrSolution 168–185
Solution 168-185: America is the fourth book in the Solution series. Opting for the United States of America—which the author says is “still the most proficiently colonial place” [he knows]—Tirdad Zolghadr provides a compilation of highly entertaining “solutions” for a nation suspicious of progressive politics yet rich in its history of harboring and cultivating the avant-garde.
Peter FriedlSecret Modernity
Selected Writings and Interviews 1981–2009
Since the early 1980s, Friedl has written on a variety of subjects. The book Secret Modernity: Selected Writings and Interviews 1981–2009 compiles for the first time a representative selection of his (partly unpublished) texts, along with a series of interviews.
Peter FriedlDie heimliche Moderne
Ausgewählte Texte und Interviews 1981–2009
Die heimliche Moderne brings together a collection of Friedl’s writings and interviews from 1981–2009. It is available in both English and German editions.
Dieter Daniels, Gunther Reisinger (Eds.)Net Pioneers 1.0
Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art
Net Pioneers 1.0 discusses media art history with a new, interdisciplinary look at the historical, social, and economic dynamics of our contemporary, networked society.
Isabelle GrawHigh Price
Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture
Today, the art world is not dominated by a small group of insiders. According to Graw, the art economy has been transformed from a retail business into an industry that produces visuality and meaning. Written during both the height of the most recent art boom in early 2008 and its sudden collapse thereafter, High Price upholds a unique position towards the art world's inner contradictions between symbolic meaning and monetary value.
Joseph GrigelyExhibition Prosthetics
Exhibition Prosthetics by Joseph Grigely is the first in the Bedford Press Editions series of artists’ books edited by Zak Kyes. The series will engage with publications as a primary medium of practice, enabling artists to explore the inherent constraints and possibilities of the printed document.
Bettina FunckePop or Populus
Art Between High and Low
The alienation between modern high culture and its public is a fundamental conflict of art. This book develops a theory of contemporary art in response to our moment, when artists and critics must respond to art’s unprecedented popularity.
Magnus Ericson, Martin Frostner, Zak Kyes, Sara Teleman, Jonas Williamsson (Eds.)Iaspis Forum on Design and Critical Practice
What happens when you look at design as some thing more than a service-based relationship between client and designer? What new strategies and models help to question and challenge the limits of design? What outer circumstances influence this kind of practice?
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle (Eds.)e-flux journal reader 2009
The selection of essays included in this book seeks to highlight an ongoing topical thread that ran throughout the first eight issues of e-flux journal. It aims at providing a fresh approach to the function of an art journal as something that situates the multitude of what is currently available, and makes that available back to the multitude.
Céline CondorelliSupport Structures
Support Structures is a manual for what bears, sustains, and props, for those things that encourage, care for, and assist; for that which advocates, articulates; for what stands behind, frames, and maintains: it is a manual for those things that give support.
Sylvère Lotringer (Ed.)The German Issue
I like to stand with one leg on each side of the wall. Maybe this is a schizophrenic position, but none other seems to me real enough. —Heiner Müller, The German Issue
Nikolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Lorch, Andrea Wandel (Eds.)Gleis 17/Track 17
“Crimes against humanity,” especially genocide, have been excluded from amnesty since the Nuremburg Trials. On a cultural level, oblivion by decree becomes an obligation to remember. This reversal is well-intended, but it opens up critical questions: Can memory be permanently established? Is it possible to maintain it in a monument?
Nikolaus Hirsch, Philipp Misselwitz, Markus Miessen, Matthias Görlich (Eds.)Institution Building
Artists, Curators, Architects in the Struggle for Institutional Space
This book presents a study that conceptualizes, tests, and practically applies the spatial strategy for the European Kunsthalle. The investigation is the result of the activities incorporated into a two-year work practice from 2005 to 2007, an iterative “applied research” informed by resonances between theory and practice.
Cecilia Widenheim (Ed.)Voice Over
On Staging and Performative Strategies in Contemporary Art
Voice Over examines staging, theatricality, and performative strategies in contemporary art practices. With contributions by the artists Miriam Bäckström, Goldin+Senneby, Saskia Holmkvist, Fia-Stina Sandlund, and Geist magazine, an essay by curator and writer Anselm Franke, and an introduction by Cecilia Widenheim.
Sven LüttickenIdols of the Market
Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle
This book reexamines the legacies of modern theoretical and artistic iconoclasm in the context of the current religious-political image wars.
Ingo NiermannSolution 1–10
In Solution 1-10: Umbauland, Ingo Niermann devises ten provokingly simple ideas which would see Germany work it out after all, including a new grammar, a new political party, assigning allotment gardens to unemployed people and retirees, and the Great Pyramid, the tallest building of the world which would serve as a democratic tomb for millions of people.
Nicolas BourriaudThe Radicant
In his most recent essay, Nicolas Bourriaud claims that the time is ripe to reconstruct the modern for the specific context in which we are living. If modernism was a return to the origin of art or of society, to their purification with the aim of rediscovering their essence, then our own century’s modernity will be invented, precisely, in opposition to all radicalism, dismissing both the bad solution of re-enrooting in identities as well as the standardization of imaginations decreed by economic globalization.
The Book of Scotlands
At a time when functional independence seems to be a real possibility for Scotland—and yet no one is quite sure what that means—a delirium of visions, realistic and absurd, is necessary.
Daniel Birnbaum, Anders OlssonAs a Weasel Sucks Eggs
An Essay on Melancholy and Cannibalism
As a Weasel Sucks Eggs examines the enigmatic relation of melancholia to an early kind of cannibalism, which psychoanalysis, in particular, stressed. It contains readings of, amongst others, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Sigmund Freud, G. W. F. Hegel, and the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf.
Markus Miessen (Ed.)East Coast Europe
“East Coast Europe,” which took place during Spring 2008, is a project about the perceptions of contemporary European identity and its relation to spatial practices and international politics.
Diedrich DiederichsenOn (Surplus) Value in Art
Drawing on fresh readings of Marxist and postmodern thought, renowned German cultural critic Diedrich Diederichsen compares the abstract and climbing values of artworks with the plunging value of music—a traditionally immaterial art—in order to formulate a broad reflection on the current “crisis of value in the arts.”
Maria Lind, Hito Steyerl (Eds.)The Greenroom
Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art #1
Documentary practices make up one of the most significant and complex tendencies within art during the last two decades. This anthology seeks to overcome the existing dispersion of texts on these practices and offer new perspectives on this crucial theme.
Daniel Birnbaum, Isabelle Graw (Eds.)Canvases and Careers Today
Criticism and Its Markets
Canvases and Careers Today brings together contributions from the eponymous conference organized by the Institut für Kunstkritik, Frankfurt am Main. Its goal is to provide deeper insights and more complexity to current debates on the relationship between criticism, art, and the market.
Ingo Niermann, Jens Thiel (Eds.)Solution 9
The Great Pyramid
German entrepreneurs are planning to outstrip the ancient Egyptians by building the world’s largest pyramid on a derelict site in eastern Germany – which they claim will eventually contain the remains of millions of people in concrete burial blocks. The Independent
Jörg HeiserAll of a Sudden
Things that Matter in Contemporary Art
Since the mid-1990s, contemporary art has been booming like never before. There is more of everything—more artists, more collectors, more galleries, more art fairs, more museums, more biennials … with one exception: criteria with which the art of the moment can be understood, judged, praised and, if need be, damned.
Daniel BirnbaumThe Hospitality of Presence
Daniel Birnbaum’s The Hospitality of Presence is a study of the concept of otherness in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. In the late 1990s it gained international attention in academic circles. It was reviewed favorably in specialized philosophy journals such as Review of Metaphysics and quoted extensively, most notably by Paul Ricoeur in one of the legendary French thinker’s last books.
Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Sven-Olov Wallenstein (Eds.)Thinking Worlds
The Moscow Conference on Philosophy, Politics, and Art
Thinking Worlds brings together contributions from a two-stage symposium organized in connection with the 2nd Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art. These essays address questions of the sense and purpose of the “event” in contemporary artistic culture, of the current status of philosophy and aesthetic theory, and of the political significance of artistic interventions.
Daniel Birnbaum, Isabelle Graw (Eds.)Under Pressure
Pictures, Subjects, and the New Spirit of Capitalism
Under Pressure gathers together the contributions to the same-titled conference held at the Institut für Kunstkritik from 2006–07.
Markus Miessen (Ed.)The Violence of Participation
Europe, as a political space, is as conflictual as its constitution. It needs to be designed and negotiated. It is longing for an architecture of strategic encounters. Based on the curation of a space at the 2007 Lyon Biennial, London-based architect and writer Markus Miessen has drawn together a group of people to lead conversations around alternative notions of participation, the clash of democratic heterogeneities, and what it means to live in Europe today.
Julia Moritz, Nicolaus Schafhausen (Eds.)Die Frage des Tages / The Question of the Day
With its 100 questions and answers from major practitioners of the art world and beyond, this book helps to examine the various parameters for a new institutional model.
Nikolaus HirschOn Boundaries
In several theoretical essays, dialogues on collaborative projects and reflections on his own work, the architect Nikolaus Hirsch explores the critical transformations of contemporary space and its effects on spatial practice.
Ina BlomOn the Style Site
Art, Sociality, and Media Culture
While style has all but disappeared from art historical and art critical discourse, artistic practice since the 1960’s onwards has seemed increasingly focused on the stylistics of the life-environment, the way in which everyday life itself is formed, designed or stylized. This development calls for a new reading of the relationship between art and the question of style, one that approaches the question of style itself not just as an art historical “tool” or method of explanation but as a social site in which relations between appearance, recognition and social identity is negotiated.
With a Special Project by Paul Chan
In these multiple excursions through recent artist film-installations, Daniel Birnbaum pursues a problem that preoccupied Deleuze in post-war cinema: what is the logic of this peculiar time “after finitude”, based neither in God nor Man, salvation nor destiny; and what does it mean for our brains and our lives to invent new ways to make it visible? With a light wry wit, he thus renews a question, at once aesthetic and philosophical, still very much with us. John Rajchman, Philosopher, Columbia University
Łukasz Ronduda, Florian Zeyfang (Eds.)1,2,3… Avant-Gardes
Film/Art between Experiment and Archive
1,2,3… Avant-Gardes is dedicated to the ongoing history of the experiment in ﬁlm and art. This book describes and analyses the works of ﬁlmmakers and artists, deﬁning two decades of experiments in Polish avant-garde ﬁlm, and juxtaposes their work with contributions by international artists, who started to work during the last fifteen years.
Noah Horowitz, Brian Sholis (Eds.)The Uncertain States of America Reader
The Uncertain States of America Reader constitutes a unique compilation of writing around art and cultural politics in America since 2000.
Tanya Leighton (Ed.)In The Poem About Love You Don't Write The Word Love
This book provides a theoretical and critical framework for examining how contemporary art and cinema can still hold out against an experience of vision and of the “visual.”
Will Bradley, Mika Hannula, Cristina Ricupero, Superflex (Eds.)Self-Organisation / counter-economic strategies
This book is about the many approaches to the creation, dissemination and maintenance of alternative, “bottom-up” models for social or economic organisation, and the practical and theoretical implications, consequences and possibilities of these self-organised structures.
Hans Ulrich Obrist...dontstopdontstopdontstopdontstop
On closer inspection ... the book covers a dizzying range of subjects, many of them spinning outwards from salient Obristian themes such as artistic collaboration, visionary architecture ("Cedric Price; Curating with Light Luggage"), ecology and waste ("Cloaca Maxima"), and economic development in the Far East ("Cities on the Move") and yet, as if the synthesis of some kind of intellectual centrifuge or particle accelerator experiment, always crystallizes around issues concerning museology and the display reception and discussion of art. Dan Fox, frieze
A philosophical essay on time, phenomenology and beyond, Daniel Birnbaum’s Chronology was presented in frieze as a “compelling and sophisticated take on the common theme of Deleuzian immanence."
Contributions by Cecil Balmond, Gilles Clément, Beatriz Colomina, Tacita Dean, Richard Drayton, David Elbaz, Patricia Falguières, Medard Gabel, André Gaudreault, Paul Gilroy, Edouard Glissant, Anna Halprin, David Held, Pekka Himanen, Bruno Latour, Charles Musser, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jane Poynter, Jean-Christophe Royoux, Saskia Sassen, Peter Sloterdijk, John Tresch, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, and Robert Whitman
Postproduction. Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World is the most recent essay by French writer and curator Nicolas Bourriaud.
Cristina Ricupero, Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolaus Schafhausen (Eds.)The Populism Reader
The Populism Reader accompanies Populism, an exhibition project in four European cities (Vilnius, Oslo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt am Main) exploring the relationships between contemporary art and current populist cultural and political trends.
Charlotte Brandt, Lars Bang Larsen, Jean-Charles Massera, Cristina Ricupero (Eds.)Fundamentalisms of the New Order
Conceived as a textbook with images rather than an exhibition catalogue, the book reflects on the diversity of fundamentalisms, a phenomenon that is not confined to particular cultures or modes of thought; its intention is to explore the concept in its many forms and multiple origins.
Gerard ByrneBooks, Magazines, and Newspapers
In his seminal essay, author George Baker links Gerard Byrne’s work to theater and notes that the presence of avant-garde dramatist Bertolt Brecht has never been less discussed, but more widely explored, than in the last decade of artistic practice.
AdornoThe Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. I)
Adorno. The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. I) comprises theoretical essays which investigate the relevance of Adorno’s critical theory for the present.
AdornoThe Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. II)
Adorno. The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. II) documents the Adorno exhibition which looks at the connection between contemporary art and Adorno’s writings, with the visual arts becoming a central platform for comparison to Adorno’s main subjects.
Jean-Charles MasseraSex, Art, and the Dow Jones
How can the events in which we are supposed to participate be translated into experience? How can we represent ourselves in a History that is being written in terms of the economy and the stock market? Along these questions, French author Jean-Charles Massera discusses the works of various artists (Vito Acconci, Stan Douglas, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pierre Huyghe, et al.) and film-makers (Jean-Luc Godard, Wong Kar-wai, Nanni Moretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, et al.).
Über das Unbehagen in der modernen Architektur
Anthony Vidler interprets contemporary buildings and projects in light of the uncanny as a metaphor for a fundamentally “unhomely” modern condition.
Nicolaus Schafhausen (Ed.)Neue Kunstkritik
Neue Kunstkritik (New Art Criticism) documents a symposium held at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in September 1999.
Harun FarockiNachdruck / Imprint
Texte / Writings
“Nachdruck / Imprint” brings together a selection of writings produced by Harun Farocki over the past three decades. They provide an insight into Farocki’s filmic work and its underlying querying of the status, production, and perception of images conveyed technically and through media.
Eva Grubinger group.sex
The texts in group.sex discuss political groups and languages, abstract radicalism and art, feminism and bohemianism, social hierarchies, and telematic friendship.