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Humanities

Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck
Marking the passage from misfortune to good luck

Elisabeth Bronfen

The Elevator—A Heteropia

An even more strikingly risky moment, which for Don anticipates both a personal and a professional crisis, occurs at the open door of an elevator in the fifth season. After Megan has confessed to him that she wants to stop working at the agency so as to fully concentrate on her acting career, he accompanies her to the elevator, where he takes leave of her by demonstratively giving her a passionate kiss before the door closes. Then, as though this...
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  • America
  • 1960s
  • everyday life
  • architecture
  • Labor
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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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From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

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  • communication
  • semiotics and semiology
  • science fiction
  • utopia
  • linguistics
  • communication media

 

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Zoran Terzić

Everything new is a pose in the alcoves of capital

In the late nineteenth century Alfred Jarry created a prototype of the modern wannabe in his pot-bellied Père Ubu, a figure that raises entitlement to a high art. Ubu doesn’t want to be king; others urge him to it. But he is also the others. And when he does become king, CEO, or US president, he doesn’t know what it means, or if it means anything at all. He just states his claim. And so he shimmies from statement to power. And having obtained power, Ubu decerebrates the world, exposing the grounds for groundlessness, to paraphrase Ortega y Gasset. Ubu is a tautomaniac, that is, he can be explained in his own terms and is thus always in the right (being in the right is all he is). He needs no proof, but on the contrary wants “to turn the absurd into the highest power of thought” (Deleuze & Guattari)....

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The Moses complex’s place is exile.
The Moses complex’s place is exile.

Ute Holl

Introduction

The unkind and inhuman God of Moses in Exodus reveals himself as a terrifying media agent. This is why the Moses figure insistently returns in the arts and sciences of the twentieth century. It corresponds to the fact that the media initially remain concealed when new laws come in with them. When Moses climbs the mountain, the tablets on which the caesuras of writing will turn out to be there already, while the people are still camping in the desert,...
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  • exile
  • Jean-Marie Straub
  • community
  • Danièle Huillet
  • Arnold Schönberg
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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...

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  • writing
  • democracy
  • avant-garde