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Current Texts

Eric Baudelaire

A for Anomie

A for Anomie

The idea that terrorism and other forms of political violence are directly related to strains caused by strongly held grievances has been one of the most common explanations to date and can be traced to a diverse set of theoretical concepts including relative deprivation, social disorganization, breakdown, tension, and anomie. Merton (1938) identifies anomie as a cultural condition of frustration, in which values regarding goals and how to achieve them conflict with limitations on the means of achievement.

Gary LaFree and Laura Dugan, “Research on Terrorism and Countering Terrorism”, Crime and Justice, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2009.

 

B for Block or Blocked

If terrorism in each of its expressions can be considered an indicator of the existence of a political block (of an impossibility of reacting if one wishes to react differently), this influences its real ability to modify the situation. Terrorism has been historically more successful when it was not...

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The Spy Depicted
The Spy Depicted

Sylvia Sasse

Operative Censorship

Subversive operations don’t necessarily need to be aimed at a state power or ideology; they can also be used effectively by the state to infiltrate the underground.
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  • body
  • gender
  • intelligence sercive
  • identity
The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«
The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«

Pierre Guyotat

The Prison

Our prison was encircled by marshland where birds and sick dogs came to die. At night we could hear their cries and death rattles. We could see nothing of the town except its smoke and its dying animals. Prisoners on the second floor watched those washed-out cats and dogs die, lying down then struggling in the mud like birds caught in lime; famished cats jumped on those with gaping wounds and tore them open. From the cellar where we had been...
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  • war experience
  • war
Fiction

Axel Dielmann

“Can you imagine something like that?”

The curators were probably worried that someone would stumble carelessly up the stairs while looking at the exhibits—could I simply have gone past the first object at the bottom? Number 1, “Formless Veil, curtain” Must have been attached to the wall just between the entrance and exitus … “My dear colleague …!” and staircase. “… curtain, height 310 cm, width 475 cm.” I must already have seen it in the previous section, wall-high thing. What I’m overlooking, it occurs to me, is what’s essential. Which is the simplest form of analysis. I should actually go back down the gently curving stone stairs. But it’s over. Before me the Anatomical Theatre opens up along a last flat landing. Lights …

Set into the rectangular space is the oval of a gleaming brown wooden balustrade. From here you look down. Someone is whispering. The funnel of the auditorium declines in three narrowing...

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  • exhibition
  • contemporary art
  • body
  • museum
Fiction

Ann Cotten

The last philosopher. The zen-queen.

– In what way are you a communist – since we need to define this: someone who is convinced that a totally different form of organization of communal life would be good for the human race, –

 

– Isn’t that equally true of monarchists and leaders of sects?

 

– ...with a focus on justice.

 

– but the people should behave differently, right?

 

– They should be totally different.

 

– Are you not simply a misanthropist?

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

– No, because there are people that I like, very much even. And I understand all the less why most people feel compelled to be so nasty.

 

– Most people don’t seem to be quite as bothered by this as you are.

 

– Oh really? In my perception, most people are pretty bothered by anything that is different than themselves. That is why we need rules that define how to behave toward people we can’t stand.

 

– You have just been suffering in a...

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350 000 000 photographs onto Facebook everyday
350 000 000 photographs onto Facebook everyday

Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

What we don’t see

Almost 30 years ago the promise was given to connect people around the globe through an asysnchronous and decentralized netlike infrastructure. The “inventor” of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, guessed its potential to change the world fundamentally: “This is experimental. However, it could start a revolution in information access.” The internet was supposed to become an emancipatory project of the many. Everything was intended to be able to be linked, commented, supplemented, and discussed. From now on everyone would...
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Discourse

Stephen Barber

An immodest proposal

J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-­alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions.
Although the Ballard ­estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do so can readily visit the British Library and view the notebooks in their entirety in the freely-­accessible manuscripts collection there.

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Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result...
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Humanities

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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Humanities
Humanity is a metahuman concept.

Rolf Bossart, Milo Rau

Humanity is a metahuman concept.

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  • re-enactment
  • transhumanism
  • realism
  • artistic practice
  • art theory
  • postmodernism

 

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