Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This just in from e-flux:

Released on October 8, the second issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal included an editorial note entitled "No list of demands," responding to the perceived absence of strong messaging offered by the movement. The note specified that:

"The exhausted political machines and their PR slicks are already seeking leaders to elevate, messages to claim, talking points to move on. They, more than anyone, will attempt to seize and shape this moment. They are racing to reach the front of the line.

 But how can they run out in front of something that is in front of them? They cannot.

 For Wall Street and Washington, the demand is not on them to give us something that isn't theirs to give. It's ours. It's on us. We aren't going anywhere. We just got here."

It is a sophisticated defense of a movement deliberately weak in language and growing strong in numbers. While the movement has made declarations, the statement suggests that nothing will be demanded of those who have perpetuated and legitimized a system that has repeatedly worked to consolidate a society's wealth in the hands of 1% of the population. In place of heroic ideology, an ostensible silence evades recuperation and maintains an opening through which collective sentiment can take the time to formulate its own terms without having to acknowledge the current regime as a necessary precedent.

Here it becomes clear that, in place of making demands, the project of the demonstrations will be to gradually reconstitute society itself through its sheer numbers—a claim to both the right and the capacity to project a new world in broad, open-ended terms.

In this issue, Jan Verwoert finds in the work of Stano Filko a means of articulating totality by claiming the world as his medium and mode of address; Jalal Toufic posits the elusiveness of messianic time against the possibility for contemporary events; Antke Engel looks at the chronopolitics of Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz's work No Future / No Past; Sotirios Bahtsetzis considers nihilism, repetition, and notions of taste in a depoliticized and fiscalized society; Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall reveal mobilization in architecture as both an economic imperative and a mannerist response to classical ideals, and Joshua Simon concludes his three-part "Neo-Materialism" series by recognizing how the commodity speaks the language of our world.

—Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

In this issue:

Jan Verwoert—World as Medium: On the Work of Stano Filko
"So, when it articulates a world, a diagrammatic drawing or simple gesture in principle has the same status as a fully designed room installation. Even the smallest thing can show the big picture. These are conditions of autonomy produced within a material practice: Filko creates the freedom to define the value of any artifact or sign according to his own terms, that is, according to the terms of the world systems that he constructs."

Jalal Toufic—The Contemporary Is Still Forthcoming
"There can be no museum of contemporary art since while now we can have museums but not contemporaneity, with the coming of the messiah we are going to have contemporaneity but no museums—there is going to be no need for a museum in the redeemed world, a world where one finds only what is willed to eternally recur."

Sotirios Bahtsetzis—The Time That Remains, Part One: On Contemporary Nihilism
"The perverted, late capitalist version of such an engagement with art—the disinterested attitude, Kant's definition of aesthetic experience—always demands its pre-validation not by the historical Other (for Kant the ahistorical, subjective-universal judgments posed by the genius), but by contemporary society's proper neosovereign rule: that is, the globalized and institutionalized managers of taste, the individuals nurtured by a depoliticized and fiscalized society. It is through this perversion that the contemporary "homo aestheticus" is born."

Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall—Eupalinos and the Duck: Conceptualism in Recent Architecture
"Today, skyscrapers are designed to be viewed not at 120, but at 500 kilometers per hour from an airplane. Whether or not they sing is of little importance, because they are too distant to be heard. Furthermore, they are less products of an architectural culture of late capitalism than they are the products of a few major capitalist players."

Antke Engel—Queer Temporalities and the Chronopolitics of Transtemporal Drag
"This ethics remains bound to violence—the violence of crime and normalcy—and thus confronts the punk archive with the challenge of facing heteronormativity, postcolonialism, and the impossibility of remembering that these produce."

Joshua Simon—Neo-Materialism, Part Three: The Language of Commodities
"The commodity is the form in which things come to be in this world. Beyond any concept of alienation in relation to labor, we can see that the commodity's material is constituted by our very social relations. This composition gives the commodity a subjectivity that is not particular to any one of us, but is rather one in which we all participate in forming."

Letters to the Editors: Responses to Jon Rich's "The Blood of the Victim" by Jessica Kornheisl and Natasha Llorens

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