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Discourse

A coffin to bury the statues of the ­ancestors
A coffin to bury the  statues of the ­ancestors

Clémentine Deliss

The Repatriation of the White Cube

I was initially slightly sceptical of the ramifications and undertones of Renzo Martens’ project in central Congo. But as I found out on a recent visit to Lusanga in DRC, it is precisely the complexity and radical ambiguity of the enterprise that provides it with both artistic as well as socio-economic and political relevance. The work operates across several registers, each with its own context and syntax, be it within farming or art. What really convinces me is the equity...
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  • contemporary art
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Current Texts

Dieter Mersch

Digital disrupture

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 in a circularity that leaves the drawing of boundaries and raising of barriers solely to programming, instead of restoring them to our ethical conscience and understanding of what the social could mean today. The machine, by contrast, remains alien to any mechanical limitation—just as its inability to decide lies in the impossibility of self-calculation. The nucleus of digital culture should instead be sought where the cultural of culture is located:...

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“Obsessed with buffering”
“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...
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  • Modernism
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About ‘how we treat the others’

Artur Zmijewski

About ‘how we treat the others’

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