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Ornamentation is the body of our thought
Ornamentation is the body of our thought

Elena Vogman

Dynamography, or Andrei Bely’s Rhythmic Gesture

The experience of the Russian Revolution transformed both the perception and the epistemic notion of time. It challenged artistic and scientific modes of production with the invention of new models of temporality. Nonlinear, morphological, and materialist models of time seemed to correspond more precisely to the irruptive event of the revolution. These echoed more the new political constellation than a historicist or purely philosophical notion of a homogeneous time as a condition a priori to any experience. New theories in...
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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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  • critical theory
  • aesthetics
  • political aesthetics
  • morals
  • contemporary art
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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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Between Segregation, Cooperation, and Craziness
Between Segregation, Cooperation, and Craziness

Sebastian Vehlken

Ghetto Blasts

Even if it became popular in the context of the algorithmitization of the behavior of social insects, the birthplace of the term Swarm Intelligence is in robotics. Even engineers are subject to discourse dynamics: When Gerardo Beni and Jing Wang gave a short presentation on Cellular Robots at a NATO robotics workshop in 1988, that is, on “groups of robots that could work like cells of an organism to assemble more complex parts,” commentators allegedly demanded a buzzword “to describe...
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  • interdisciplinarity
  • swarm intelligence
  • robot
  • interface
  • Computer graphics
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Andreas L. Hofbauer

The yoke of being, noteworthy dis-position

It wasn’t nature and its dangers that forced domestication and enabled the economic shrine. Temple and funerary cult, sacrifice and distribution of the meat—for Homer all sacrificial animals were still hieria, holy creatures—and the containment of wildness led to symbolic and socio-cultural change, which became the vector and motor of sedentary, food-producing communities. It wasn’t sheep, goats, or cattle that were domesticated first; it was the zoon logon echon itself that bowed to the self-created yoke of the cult. Why, we don’t know. Beyond this it’s important that unlike plants only very few species of animal can be domesticated, and that this shouldn’t be confused with taming. Economic significance develops as an epiphenomenon. It transforms from possible human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to the distribution of meat in early “Greek” antiquity, then to the obeloi (skewers with varying amounts of meat, as tokens for the priests’ or judges’ portion; even...

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  • anthropology
  • economization
  • money
  • ethnology