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Walter Benjamin: The author as producer

In his groundbreaking essay "The Author as Producer" Walter Benjamin suggests an aesthetics of production. Okwui Enwezor introduced the text as follows: "On April 27, 1934 Walter Benjamin delivered a lecture at the Institute for the Study of Fascism in Paris. In the lecture, "The Author as Producer", Benjamin addressed an important question that, since, has not ceased to pose itself, namely to what degree does political awareness in a work of art becomes a tool for the deracination of the autonomy of the work and that of the author?"

Thomas Y. Levin: Rhetoric of the Temporal Index: Surveillant Narration and the Cinema of “Real Time”

Not least since Orwell’s 1949 vision of an aggressively invasive authoritarian 1984, our sense of the future – and increasingly of the present – has been marked by the fear of being watched, controlled, and robbed of our privacy. Indeed, one could argue that one of the hallmark characteristics of the early twenty-first century is precisely the realization of Orwell’s worst nightmare (and this even where, as in the United States post 11 September, it is being increasingly welcomed with enthusiasm rather than alarm).

John Arquilla, David Ronfeldt: Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy

Netwar-like cyberwar-describes a new spectrum of conflict that is emerging in the wake of the information revolution. Netwar includes conflicts waged, on the one hand, by terrorists, criminals, gangs, and ethnic extremists; and by civil-society activists (such as cyber activists or WTO protestors) on the other. What distinguishes netwar is the networked organizational structure of its practitioners-with many groups actually being leaderless-and their quickness in coming together in swarming attacks.

Walter Benjamin: The Storyteller, Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov

Familiar though his name may be to us, the storyteller in his living immediacy is by no means a present force. He has already become something remote from us and something that is getting even more distant. To present someone like Leskov as a storyteller does not mean bringing him closer to us but, rather, increasing our distance from him.

Catherine Liu: A Brief Genealogy of Privacy CTRL [Space]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

In his eulogy for Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas described Foucault’s rereading of Kant’s essay “What is Enlightenment?” as an act that brought to light Kant’s gesture of mobilizing philosophy “to take aim at the heart of the most actual features of the present.”1Habermas disagreed profoundly with Foucault about the Enlightenment and took issue with the “ironic distance” and stoic asceticism displayed by the latter with regard to Enlightenment values.

The Invention of Failure: An Interview With Scott A. Sandage, by Sina Najafi and David Serlin

Failure, to paraphrase Wordsworth, is too much with us; every day seems to add yet another tale of bankruptcy, romantic loss, or personal tragedy, suggesting that failure, as a concept, is a fundamental part of what used to be called the human experience. But in his forthcoming book Forgotten Men: Failure in American Culture, Scott A. Sandage, a professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that the notion of failure as something that defines one’s identity is a relatively recent invention with its roots in the entrepreneurial capitalism of 19th-century America.

Martin Heidegger: Building Dwelling Thinking

In what follows we shall try to think about dwelling and building. This thinking about building does not presume to discover architectural ideas, let alone to give rules for building. This venture in thought does not view building as an art or as a technique of construction; rather it traces building back into that domain to which everything that is belongs. We ask:
1. What is it to dwell?
2. How does building belong to dwelling?


Juliane Rebentisch: Art-Life-Love, Aesthetic Subjectivity after Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard’s critique of Romantic aesthetics can be read as one of the first and most influential critiques of modern tendencies toward the so-called aestheticization of life. Central to this critique is the subject that does the aestheticizing. In line with this, Kierkegaard reads Romantic aesthetics less as a set of art-philosophical notions than as the agent of an aesthetic zeitgeist new at the time and extending far beyond the sphere of art to all spheres of life.

Juliane Rebentisch: The Hundred-Headed Artwork

Henrik Olesen has changed the exhibition spaces in the basement of the Secession. Although the change is not drastic, it is still enough for the grave atmosphere of these historic white cubes to noticeably intermingle with another: namely that of newly built apartments, where the slightly oppressive stench of a petit bourgeois background is already heralded by the smell of fresh paint. The symmetry of the cross-shaped room is abolished by means of a wall added on the left, such that, together with the corridor constructed behind it, a suite of rooms is created.


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