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Wong Ping: Still from ”Who is the Daddy" – courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery and the artist
Language can never be private
  • theatre / drama
  • gender
  • Shakespeare
  • feminism
  • subjectification
  • language

Exhibition: Haus am Gern – Closing Time

07.12.2018 – 18.01.2019

ESPACE DIAPHANES
Dresdener Str. 118
10999 Berlin
Deutschland

In the Uncanny Valley / The Origin of the New World

15.12.2018 – 21.12.2018

ZHdK – Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8005 Zürich
Schweiz

Other Topics
Current Texts

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
  • money
  • economization
  • ethnology
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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  • morals
  • contemporary art
  • aesthetics
  • political aesthetics
  • critical theory
On the boundaries of what is permissible to show
On the boundaries of what is permissible to show

Christian Beetz, Hendrik Rohlf

Catalysts of Radicalization

On the way to a digital society, we’re probably at one of the great crossroads in human civilization. The problem is that people have no images for what’s coming their way, and therefore can’t imaging a digital society. For me this is one of the most important and exciting issues around. I once tried without success to make a film about Apple—among other things I was interested in how the most successful corporation in the world was able to maintain...
Of what can I be truly certain?
Of what can I be truly certain?

Jean Paul Mongin, François Schwoebel

Mister Descartes and his Evil Genius

Can one trust his senses when perceiving the outside world? When my sensations are the basis of my perception of my own existence, what if these sensations are to be doubted – what can the proof of my own existence be? These questions, both simple and profoundly undermining, stand at the beginning of Modernity: the philosophy of René Descartes. This book drags its readers – and musketeer-like Mister Descartes himself – into the adventure of thinking. It gives a lively...
  • epistemology
  • thinking
  • Descartes
  • young readers
  • certainty
Fiction

Stephen Barber

Twenty-four hours in state of unconsciousness

Now the dead will no longer be buried, now this spectral city will become the site for execrations and lamentations, now time itself will disintegrate and void itself, now human bodies will expectorate fury and envision their own transformation or negation, now infinite and untold catastrophes are imminently on their way —ready to cross the bridge over the river Aire and engulf us all — in this winter of discontent, just beginning at this dead-of-night ­instant before midnight, North-Sea ice-particles already crackling in the air and the last summer long-over, the final moment of my seventeenth birthday, so we have to go, the devil is at our heels… And now we’re running at full-tilt through the centre of the city, across the square beneath the Purbeck-marble edifice of the Queen’s ­Hotel, down towards the dark arches under the railway tracks, the illuminated sky shaking, the air fissured with beating cacophony,...

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Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

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...
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Discourse

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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Blood!
Blood!

Ines Kleesattel

Art, Girls, and Aesthetic Freedom Down Below

In Riehen, Basel, as part of a Balthus retrospective, Thérèse rêvant is being shown with an expectedly large media echo. And I’m going to take a look at her, because the Diaphanes publishers have suggested launching the “Collisions” section with a text about Balthus. Of all people. I’d rather not—on the one hand. After all, with his questionable preference for adolescent girls, Balthus has already received more than enough attention. Attention that until his death in 2008 he provoked with...
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  • art history
  • gender
  • body
  • feminism
  • gaze
Humanities

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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