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Why the Backwards Smile?
Why the Backwards Smile?

Slavs and Tatars

Reverse Joy

Reverse Joy looks at the role of mysticism in the perpetual protest movement at the heart of the Shi’a faith for its radical reconsideration of history and justice. Inserting oneself, flesh and faith, into the events that transpired thirteen centuries ago; the collapse of traditional understandings of time; the reversal of the roles of men and women; and joy through mourning are only some of the topics discussed in this essay. Though each one of them demands an equally elastic...
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Jean-Luc Nancy

غریبه‌ها غریبه‌ها

Etrange (غریب) در زبان فرانسوی از ریشه لاتین extraneus به معنای «خارجی» در برابر داخلی intraneus است. آنچه از خانه نیست unheimlich (امر غریب) از heim (خانه) نیست از منزل نیست در طرف دیگر دروازه fores است foreigner (خارجی)، خارج از ضرب و زیادی است odd (زاید) ناهنجار نامعمول نادر کمیاب تکی است seltsam (عجیب) عجیب و غریب besherat رشید ظریف پراوهام خمیده‌‌ verschroben (بد خو) خمیده شگفت‌ آور خارق‌ العاده حیرت‌ انگیز

غنای زبان امری غریب است در کلماتی که به نحوی حولِ مفهومِ غریبِ خارجی ausländer شکل گرفته اند خارج از کشور «هم‌‌ کشور ما» همانگونه  که پیش‌ تر در فرانسه می‌ گفتیم «این کشور من است» برای اشاره به کسی از روستای من محله‌ ی من استان من ولایت من

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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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Photographs tend to suggest infinity
Photographs tend to suggest infinity

Siegfried Kracauer

The Photographic Approach (1951)

The photographic approach – that is, the effort to utilize the inherent abilities of the camera – is responsible for the particular nature of photographs. In the days of Zola and the Impressionists, the properties of photographs were commonly held to be the hallmarks of art in general; but no sooner did painting and literature break away from realism than these properties assumed an exclusive character. Since they depend upon techniques peculiar to the medium, they have remained stable throughout its evolution....
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  • History of photography
  • film
  • photography
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • media theory
Current Texts

Alexander García Düttmann

What does “emancipatory” mean today?

Pretending one more time that the world can still be saved and asking whether art contains an emancipatory potential can be a meaningful endeavour only if illegitimate attempts at appropriating this emancipatory potential are thwarted. Its usurpation, which amounts to its abolition, must be prevented. Critique that deserves its name must first and foremost struggle against false pretenders, not against those who do not even claim to be pretenders. The efficiency of critique’s propaedeutic character should be sought in this struggle against false pretenders. If one fears that its negativity may entail a dangerous impotence and if for this reason one wishes to supplement it with a justifying and constructive “affirmationism”, mindful of the fact that it was once meant to prepare the outline of a metaphysics purged of precritical dogmatism, then one risks forgetting that critique ceases to hurt and can no longer trigger an impulse the instant that...

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  • contemporary art
  • critical theory
  • political aesthetics
  • morals
  • aesthetics