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News + Events

Exhibition: Yves Netzhammer: Concave Thoughts

27.01.2017 – 03.03.2017

ESPACE DIAPHANES
Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin
Deutschland

Closing Event »Concave Thoughts« with Film Screening

03.03.2017, 18:00

ESPACE DIAPHANES
Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin
Deutschland

Lawless: Clouds Reprise

Ute Holl

The Moses Complex

The Moses complex derives its actuality from recalling the emergence of cultures as fields of mutually engendering relationships. From the perspective of media studies, which is a science of differential relationships between materialities and immaterialities, noises and messages, channels and signals, apparatuses and perceptions, the relationship to God or gods turns out to be one between people and their systems of thought. So media studies argues against fundamentalism, whether ontological, anthropological, or technicistic. The figure of Moses is a decisive node...
  • exile
  • community
  • Danièle Huillet
  • Jean-Marie Straub
  • Arnold Schönberg
Tom McCarthy

“Obsessed with buffering”

I’ve become obsessed with buffering—or the narrator in my new novel is obsessed with buffering. He’s an anthropologist who has grown up reading Lévi-Strauss but he’s also a corporate anthropologist who is working for the Man. He’s putting culture in the service of capital. Like we all do, he spends most of his life staring at a screen, and he frequently encounters bouts of buffering. And the first thought he has is that this is not ultimately a technological situation, it’s a theological situation. Behind that little circle spinning on your laptop there’s this belief that somewhere in Uzbekistan, Nevada or Finland there are many Über-servers with satellite dishes generating and sending out data. “Data” means gift and these servers are gifting all this data to you in this unconditional act of endless generosity and data angels are dancing on the pinhead of your Wi-Fi. And this places you inside...

  • fiction
  • conversation
  • literary studies
  • literature
  • Modernism
Tom McCarthy

I’m not really sure what is and what isn’t theory.

Elisabeth Bronfen

Tom, our idea here was that you would give us a little insight into how you find your themes, how you use theory for your texts.

 

T.MC.

I’m not really sure what is and what isn’t theory. I don’t really know where theory stops and fiction begins. If you take someone like, for example, Derrida: half of The Post Card is basically an epistolary novel; it’s fiction, there are characters, there is a character speaking to another character—even while he’s conducting a “theoretical” analysis of Heidegger. I think it’s very hard to pin down that border-line between it being theory/fiction or not theory/fiction. So theory wouldn’t just be a reflection on something else which is somehow more integral; it’s more fluid than that.

A figure like Lévi-Strauss is just wonderful in this respect: Tristes Tropiques is one of the most brilliant books and it’s much better as literature than almost all of...

  • fiction
  • literature
  • conversation
  • Modernism
  • literary studies

My language
English

Selected content
English

Weitere Themen
Elisabeth Bronfen

Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

An even more strikingly risky moment, which for Don anticipates both a personal and a professional crisis, occurs at the open door of an elevator in the fifth season. After Megan has confessed to him that she wants to stop working at the agency so as to fully concentrate on her acting career, he accompanies her to the elevator, where he takes leave of her by demonstratively giving her a passionate kiss before the door closes. Then, as though this were an afterthought, he once more presses the button. Although, almost immediately, the doors of the elevator next to the one that Megan just stepped into begin to open, he suspects that something is wrong. Standing on the threshold of the opening, he finds himself looking down into the dark abyss of the empty elevator shaft. More astonished than alarmed, he steps back. Then the doors close again. The concrete...

  • Labor
  • 1960s
  • architecture
  • everyday life
  • America
Maurizio Lazzarato

The endless array of merchandise

In contemporary capitalism, subjectivity is the product of a mass industry organized on a global level. For Félix Guattari this is actually the first and most important of capitalist productions, because it preconditions and is part of production in all other forms of merchandise. Subjectivity is a ‘key merchandise,’ which in its ‘nature’ is put together, developed and manufactured in the same way as a car, electricity, or a washing machine. Capitalism organizes the production and control of subjectivity through two different systems, which weave together the manufacture of the individuated subject (“social subjection”) and what seems to be the opposite, de-subjectification (“machinic enslavement”). Therefore capitalism exercises a twofold hold over subjectivity.

Social subjection involves techniques of government, which pass by way of, and mobilize, representation (political and linguistic), areas of knowledge, discursive visual practices, etc., and produce ‘subjects of rights,’ ‘political subjects,’ in short: ‘subjects’ of ‘I’s,’ of individuals. By...

  • algorithms
  • data
  • Governmentality
  • capitalism
  • identity
Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer

Siegfried Kracauer, Philippe Despoix (ed.), ...

The Past's Threshold

There can be no doubt, however, that in Kracauer’s texts published at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s from his position as an editor of the cultural pages at the daily newspaper Frankfurter ­Zeitung, then in the 1950s during his American period, he sketches out a theorisation of photography that can be described as groundbreaking. But it is also true that most of his works overlap, in more than one way, with this medium of reproduction or that...
  • photography
  • media theory
  • film
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • History of photography
Alexander García Düttmann

What is the Contemporary?

The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces, depending on whether we think of it as a given or an uncertain achievement, as an empty, abstract, deceptive present or a springboard into the past and the untimeliness of creation. But if the contemporary is indeed Janus-faced, even the sadness of an encounter with its emptiness, with the semblance of radicalism, must still relate to the excitement of leaping into “now time” or starting to write. Is the present not necessarily empty and therefore always a cause for sadness, also in the case when, in acquiring the sense, or developing the instinct, that is required to venture into the past’s “now time,” we begin to depart from it? In one of his last letters to a young poet, dating from 1904, Rilke distinguishes between two forms of sadness, or rather...

  • poetry
  • aesthetics
  • art criticism
  • art
  • contemporary art
Alain Badiou

Only art has the power of a form. Mathematics is an exercise for monks.

We all know that the relationship between mathematical activity and artistic creation is a very old one. We know that for a start the Pythagoreans tied the science of number not merely to the movements of the stars but to musical modes. We know that Babylonian and Egyptian architecture presupposed elaborate geometrical knowledge, even if the notion of demonstration had still not been won. Further back still, we find formal, or abstract, outlines mixed in with animal representations, in the great prehistoric decorations, without our knowing precisely to what it is that these mixtures refer. 


For the philosopher that I am, or that I believe I am, the entry into our question, as so many others, passes through the contrasting disposition between Plato and Aristotle. 


For Plato, mathematics is fundamental in the sense that it mediates between, on the one hand, experience, or the relation to the sensory world, and,...

  • aesthetics
  • contemporary art
  • art criticism
  • poetry
  • art
The world is all that is the case

Françoise Armengaud, Annabelle Buxton

Wittgenstein’s Rhinoceros

The two young men meet up at the Cambridge railroad station. While waiting for the train, they browse the shelves of the station bookshop. All of a sudden, Wittgenstein grabs Pinsent’s arm: “Look at the title of this book!” “What a coincidence!” exclaims Pinsent, “It is perfect for you!” Both start to laugh. They purchase the novel of a famous English detective novelist entitled A Rhinoceros in the Library. Wittgenstein is very excited. “David, listen carefully,” he says to Pinsent. “I already have three things...
  • young readers
  • Wittgenstein
  • logics
  • thinking
Reiner Schürmann

“I fled Europe as one flees one’s parents’ house“

I recognize that lobby. The Washington Hilton. Men in business suits are crammed in there by the thousands. American philosophers meeting for a convention. A compact assembly of thinkers. Thirty-five hundred of them, Newsweek published the figure. The eastern division of the American Philosophical Association. I make a tour of the counters. There are those of the airlines, TWA, Delta, Allegheny, and those of the hotel, reservations, information, mail, cashier. A perfume shop. 
A shoe-shine place. An art gallery with pictures painted on ­vel­vet. Crowds everywhere. Thinking crowds. All profs. Looking like insurance agents, more readily imagined talking finances than dialectic. Above a bank branch is written: Christmas, Think of it as Money. A prayer for peace follows, signed Riggs National Bank. Between Christmas and New Year’s is the time for the big conventions. I stop in front of every desk as if to bring to life the scene from...

  • autobiography
  • homosexuality
  • 1968
  • emigration
  • memory
“Obsessed with buffering”

Tom McCarthy

Recessional—Or, the Time of the Hammer

Towards the end of Thomas Pynchon’s mammoth 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the stumbling ingénue of a hero Tyrone Slothrop sets off on a commando raid. The territory he and his cohorts move through is a giant ­metropolis, a “factory-state” in which capital, technology and power, perfectly co-calibrated, send airships drifting through urban canyons, past chrome caryatids and roof-gardens on skyscrapers that themselves shoot up and down on ­elevator-cables: a conurbation ­Pynchon calls the “City of the Future” or “Raketen-Stadt.” The... ABO
  • Modernism
  • fiction
  • literary studies
  • conversation
  • literature
Reiner Schürmann

Why this past? Why is this past mine? A past which I did not even know?


  • trauma
  • past
  • homosexuality
  • autobiography
  • memory
  • emigration
  • migration
  • identity
  • childhood
  • National Socialism
  • post-war generation
  • post-war period
  • youth
  • primal scene
  • 1968
Susanne Witzgall

Can we be too fragile for real contact?

Kerstin Stakemeier: I would love to start by taking up what Claire was saying about the figure of the intruder and about intrusion and asking how you, Okwui and Sarah would respond to that, how you would reflect it back on to both of your contributions.

 

Okwui Enwezor: I think the encapsulation of this discussion in terms of the relationship between the intruder and hospitality is so perfect and apt because it is only in that context that the question of an unsettling disturbance arises. I think that intrusion has a force to it – a force that also provokes recognition and I think it is in that space of recognition that the debates about fragility can really happen. And I am very grateful that you brought this up, Claire. Of course, in my text there is a longer passage about Derrida, about hospitality, which relates precisely to this. I want...

One plus one equals other

Dieter Mersch

Epistemologies of Aesthetics

We  identified ‘showing’—rather than ‘saying’—as the primary self-manifestation of the aesthetic. By ‘showing’ and ‘manifestation’ we do not mean expression, but exhibition and exposition. Wherever works work only with aisthēta and relevance is drawn from perceptions or things and their materiality—from every nuance of coloring, from the way in which objects are framed or combined, from the position of a detail, from the interval between two notes and their microtonal succession or arrhythmic placement, from any hesitation of physical feeling,...
  • aesthetics
  • discourse analysis
  • artistic research
  • epistemology
  • Think Art
Dieter Mersch

For an aesthetic mode of thought beyond the “linguistic turn”

To begin our journey, we must first examine the question of art as beauty and of aesthetics as a branch of philosophy—not simply as a theory of perception, but first and foremost as a science of the ‘beautiful’ and the ‘sublime’. In the early modern period, whenever the arts are mentioned, they are almost always referred to as the ‘fine’ or beautiful arts. As is well-known, aesthetics has two beginnings; in the eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century. Alexander Baumgarten first defined aesthetics as a scientia sensitiva or science of perception. In German Idealism, Georg ­Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, and Friedrich Hölderlin revisited aesthetics, ­defining it as a theory of art. The relationship between the two is not immediately clear. The former was grounded mostly in aisthēsis, a form of cognition classified as belonging to the physical abilities of sensations, and was situated in the lower...

  • aesthetics
  • discourse analysis
  • epistemology
  • artistic research
  • Think Art
Peter Hallward, Jacques Rancière

»I don’t think the place of power is empty«

J.R.: Democracy is first and foremost neither a form of power nor a form of the emptiness of power, that is, a form of symbolising political power. For me, democracy isn’t a form of power but the very existence of the political (in so far as politics is distinct from knowing who has the right to occupy power or how power should be occupied), precisely because it defines a paradoxical power – one that doesn’t allow anyone legitimately to claim a place on the basis of his or her competences. Democracy is, first of all, a practice, which means that the very same institutions of power may or may not be accompanied by a democratic life. The same forms of parliamentary powers, the same institutional frameworks can either give rise to a democratic life, that is, a subjectivation of the gap between two ways of counting or accounting for the...

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