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Questioning the United Fruit Company archive
 Questioning the United Fruit Company archive

Liliana Gómez

Archive Matter

The United Fruit Company archive is the point of departure for this book’s reflections about the constructions but also the contested meanings of photography and thus about how the camera both depicts and configures the Caribbean as a laboratory of the modern. As archives emerge, they are resurgent, may change over the course of time, mold space anew, or revise history. By their nature archives are Pandora’s box, the outcome of opening them necessarily unknown, bringing the possibility of detournements....
  • archive
  • Caribbean
  • photography
  • capitalism
  • cultural studies
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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Current Texts
About ‘how we treat the others’

Artur Zmijewski

About ‘how we treat the others’

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  • propaganda
  • ethics
  • documenta
  • National Socialism
  • Poland
  • political aesthetics
  • contemporary art
  • migration
  • gift
  • concentration camp

 

“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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  • literature
  • literary studies
  • Modernism
  • conversation
  • fiction