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MERRY XENOTISM!
  • contemporary literature
  • film
  • contemporary art
  • contemporary culture
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  • postcolonialism
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Current Texts

Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids
On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids

Damian Christinger, Monica Ursina Jäger

Homeland Fictions

Climate change is fundamentally changing the Swiss forests. We’re sitting here on the train to Zurich, watching the winter landscape going past. The white of the snow contrasts with the basic brown tones of the surrounding forests. Contrasting accents of color are given by ivy and the occasional evergreen conifer. When my son, who’s now in kindergarten, travels this same route with his grandchildren, the winter forests will be green. Such at least is the prognosis of the researchers at...
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"Curriculum Vitae in Pictures“

Maria Zinfert (ed.)

Kracauer. Photographic Archive

Kracauer. Photographic Archive presents  largely unknown material from the estate of the German-American theorist of film and photography, ­Siegfried Kracauer and his wife and assistant Elisabeth, known as Lili. The single and group portraits, still lifes, street scenes and landscapes collected in this book all come from the estate of Siegfried Kracauer. Published here for the first time, they are an extensive and representative selection from the enlargements, contact sheets and rolls of film originally archived by Lili Kracauer. With...
  • biography
  • 1950s
  • archive
  • 1930s
  • 20th century
Fiction

Ann Cotten

The last philosopher. The zen-queen.

– In what way are you a communist – since we need to define this: someone who is convinced that a totally different form of organization of communal life would be good for the human race, –

 

– Isn’t that equally true of monarchists and leaders of sects?

 

– ...with a focus on justice.

 

– but the people should behave differently, right?

 

– They should be totally different.

 

– Are you not simply a misanthropist?

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

– No, because there are people that I like, very much even. And I understand all the less why most people feel compelled to be so nasty.

 

– Most people don’t seem to be quite as bothered by this as you are.

 

– Oh really? In my perception, most people are pretty bothered by anything that is different than themselves. That is why we need rules that define how to behave toward people we can’t stand.

 

– You have just been suffering in a...

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An immodest proposal
An immodest proposal

Stephen Barber

A War of Fragments: World Versus America

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...
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Discourse
From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

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

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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Humanities

Rosi Braidotti

We need more planetary dimensions!

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 lucidly put it. Examples of the non-linear and internally contradictory ways of the working of this system are the vast accumulation of wealth alongside growing disparities in income, well-being and access to the very technologies that sustain our economy. Another example is the paradox of a world economy linked by a thick web of transnational flows of capital and labour, which functions through different forms and speeds of mobility, including...

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  • globalization
  • Europe
  • capitalism
  • feminism
  • identity

 

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