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Claire Fontaine

Towards a Theory of Magic Materialism

We call this method “materialist” in reference to the wonder, thaumazein, experienced by the early Greek philosophers, who observed nature with an emotionally scientific approach, looking for resemblances and connection between every form of life but keeping close to the phenomena they studied. We call it “magic” because we believe that this term will help us fight the intellectual and perceptive ravages of a capitalist vision of the world, helping us rediscover the power of the living and the cultural...
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  • political aesthetics
  • materiality
  • contemporary art
  • nature

 

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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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We need more planetary dimensions!
We need more planetary dimensions!

Rosi Braidotti

Nomadic Subjects

My life-long engagement in the project of nomadic subjectivity rests on a specific cartography of our globalised times, marked by large-scale and technologically-mediated transformations of our social, economic and political universes. I start from the assumption that, as a result of these upheavals, traditional forms of self-representation, familiar cultural points of reference and age-old habits of thought are being re-composed, albeit in contradictory ways. Our historical context is marked by the schizoid structure of technology-driven advanced capitalism, as Deleuze and Guattari...
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  • feminism
  • globalization
  • identity
  • Europe
  • capitalism
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Marcus Quent

Belief in the world is what we most lack.

It was Gilles Deleuze who in various contexts underlined that what we most lacked was “belief in the world.” The odd remark appears, for example, in a conversation in 1990 with the Italian Marxist Antonio Negri about revolutionary emergence and the political force of minorities. In this dialogue Negri examines his interlocutor’s thought in the light of the “problem of the political,” which connects the various stages of the philosopher’s intellectual biography. Deleuze’s remark here is the reprise of a motif that would be familiar to readers of his second book on cinema, which appeared in 1985, in which Deleuze contends that the “power of modern cinema” is based on its ability to “give us back” our lost “belief in the world.”

At the end of the conversation Negri asks his dialogue partner about the possibility of present-day processes of subjectivization. After initially emphasizing the “rebellious spontaneity” of such processes, Deleuze...

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Current Texts

Sandra Frimmel

Why should this be art?

I Hate the Avant-Garde. When an artist as self-ironic and self-reflective as Yuri Albert makes such a statement about art, then skepticism is called for. Like his overall series Elitist-Democratic Art, the title deliberately plays with simple affirmations and negations, and at the same time exhibits the inherent receptive dilemma of the series: a (large) part of the artistically trained viewers see these shorthand works as abstract forms, without understanding the text, and only the few who can read (Russian) shorthand perceive a text, which for them doesn’t necessarily have to be art. I Hate the Avant-Garde was created in 2017, after a sketch made in 1987 in reaction to a changed situation in the reception of nonconformist art. With the beginning of perestroika, unofficial art that had hitherto been excluded from the state-run art scene—that is, from the official infrastructure of museums and exhibition spaces, and from art scholarship...

ABO DE
  • avant-garde
  • writing
  • democracy