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From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods
  • communication media
  • utopia
  • communication
  • semiotics and semiology
  • linguistics
  • science fiction
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Diane Williams

How about some string?

I said “Would you like a rope? You know that haul you have is not secured properly.”
“No,” he said, “but I see you have string!”
“If this comes into motion—” I said, “you should use a rope.”
“Any poison ivy on that? ” he asked me, and I told him my rope had been in the barn peacefully for years.
He took a length of it to the bedside table. He had no concept for what wood could endure.
“Table must have broken when I lashed it onto the truck,” he said.
And, when he was moving the sewing machine, he let the cast iron wheels—bang, bang on the stair.
I had settled down to pack up the flamingo cookie jar, the cutlery, and the cookware, but stopped briefly, for how many times do you catch sudden sight of something heartfelt?
I saw our milk cows in their slow...

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»Self-censorship is the worst.«
»Self-censorship is the worst.«

Lars von Trier in Conversation with Mehdi Belhaj Kacem & Raphaëlle Milone

We land in Copenhagen after only an hour’s sleep the previous night. We travel a long way by subway to a residential area on the edge of the city: large houses with gardens and woodland, almost no one around. We finally find the address we’ve been given. We approach the house through the garden, and we’re immediately in a film by Lars von Trier: a black limousine, a small shack that might be an office with a computer and piles...
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  • film d'auteur
  • cinema
  • film
  • contemporary art
  • Evil
Arts
Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

Jelili Atiku, Damian Christinger

Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

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  • body
  • performance
  • colonialism
  • ritual
  • ceremony
  • Africa
  • spiritism
  • feminism
Empty Diagonal
Empty Diagonal

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Antoine d’Agata

Diagonale du vide

“If there is an artist capable of making these vacuums speak, it is d’Agata. To show what is not visible, to make present what can not be represented. There is a visual 'spectralism' about Antoine. It is about recording the spasms of humanity that is committing suicide, which has access to all the information needed to know what it is doing, and yet does nothing to revert the trend. We documented this suicide during a week of shared driving, of...
  • France
  • photography
  • contemporary art
  • revolution
  • community
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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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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Of what can I be truly certain?
Of what can I be truly certain?

Jean Paul Mongin, François Schwoebel

Mister Descartes and his Evil Genius

Can one trust his senses when perceiving the outside world? When my sensations are the basis of my perception of my own existence, what if these sensations are to be doubted – what can the proof of my own existence be? These questions, both simple and profoundly undermining, stand at the beginning of Modernity: the philosophy of René Descartes. This book drags its readers – and musketeer-like Mister Descartes himself – into the adventure of thinking. It gives a lively...
  • epistemology
  • thinking
  • Descartes
  • certainty
  • young readers
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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