Alexander Nagel

The Controversy of Renaissance Art (Chicago, 2011), p. 198

For Joseph Leo Koerner, a paradox of self-defacement was built into Christian image-making itself. Acts of outright iconoclasm, like those seen in northern Europe during the Reformation, exacerbat-ed routines of negation that were already at work in the devotion to Christ’s broken and humiliated body. Italian art would seem to offer a muted version of this internal conflict: the images were nev-er quite as bloody and the iconoclasm never as fierce.

Christopher Wood and Alexander Nagel

Anachronic Renaissance” (Zone Books, 2010), p. 178-9

The physical recontextualization of an artifact, whether a painting or a building, is conceptually con-tinuous with the practice of citation, or the transfer of parcels of coded meaning from one text to another. In the one case, the reused element is material; in the other case, the transferred element is only a representation, a virtual relic. Virtual reuse repeats a form or combination of forms; or brings to life again a fictional character. An original shaping labor is valued and preserved.

Dan Richards

Simon Starling SHEDBOATSHED from Outpost, a Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth

All that way on rails and water to see a man about a shed. It might sound like a shaggy dog story but it was actually something of a pilgrimage. Shedboatshed is an artwork which I like lot. I liked it the moment I saw it as a shed at Tate Britain and took an even greater pleasure in it once I’d learnt its backstory.

Dave Beech

Notes on Naive Art, Critique and Nationalism

Naive art is a prototype of Romantic anti-capitalism, contemporary postcapitalism and the politics of the aesthetic withdrawal from politics. It is also at the root of the convergence of art and the nation state, nationalism and national identity.

David Foster Wallace

Tense Present, Democracy, English and the Wars over Usage for Harper’s suggested by Stuart Bailey

The term I was raised with is SNOOT. The word might be slightly self-mocking, but those other terms are dysphemisms. A SNOOT can be defined as somebody who knows what dysphemism means and doesn’t mind letting you know it. I submit that we SNOOTs are just about the last re-maining kind of truly elitist nerd.

Dieter Roelstraete

Trois Machines à Penser

There exists a long history of thinkers’ abodes built on the literal and /or metaphorical outskirts of civilization and /or society — for that is of course precisely where much philosophy has either long been, or, more pointedly, imagined itself to be most productive.

Dominic Perini

On Algorithm

As we advance into the unknown and uncharted territory that is the modelling of an algorithmic correspondent to the conscious part of our mind, we have a number of observations to make. So far we have proceeded mainly with a rigid logical model which requires that the production of algo-rithms follows some schemas defined within the context of a variety of programming languages.

Ève Chabanon

The Surplus

Eyes closed. “You don’t talk; you write” I painfully decipher on the purple notebook she is holding near my leg. On stage Dua Saleh is playing Warm Pants. Eyes closed. I loved her handwriting. In this moment I can’t stop smiling. Answer: “DEAL” the letters appear on my screen.

Federico Capitoni

Phantom, musica

La musica è l’arte fantasmatica per eccellenza, poiché non si vede.
È proprio la questione del vedere che più comunemente, nel campo del sensibile, sembra inerire alla dimensione del fantasma.

Geert Lovink

“Please approach me, astonish me.” Notes on Distraction in the Social Media Age

“There are days that I’m so bored, I can’t even concentrate.” Swiping fingers assist to move the mind elsewhere. Checking the smart phone is the present way of day dreaming. Unaware of our brief absence, we enjoy the feeling of being remotely present. Briefly you remember what it’s like to feel. While checking status updates we’re wandering off in our mind, the movement is reversed and, without notice, the Other enters our world.

Ingo Niermann

How the World Makes Itself Up

When my foot hits a rock, I feel the foot and the rock. I am conscious of both. But only the foot feels like it is mine. My senses extend into it (even if I might only be assuming that this foot is an appendage that belongs to me). I can also feel one with my thinking about my foot and even my unitary sense of myself. I am conscious of my own consciousness. A thought represents something. I think about something. It can be anything—if I short-circuit the process it is the thought itself. On the opposite extreme, the thing I’m thinking about can itself be merely a further reference to some-thing else, a sign.

Jalal Toufic

(Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film

All the mirages he saw in the desert were of ruins. I along with my two siblings and my mother de-serted the family apartment during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Did this make the apart-ment a ruin? Yes, but not because it was severely damaged and burned during the last days of the offensive: even after it was restored, it remained a ruin.

Jessica Ullrich

Animal Artistic Agency in Performative Interspecies Art in the Twenty-First Century

Traditional aesthetic places non-human animals in nature and not in culture. Non-human animals are generally considered to be artless beings without any urge or capacity to create aesthetic objects. Nevertheless, in the last decades more and more contemporary artists involve living non-human an-imals in artistic productions.

Joshua Simon

Sovereign Artificial Soul / Control Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a metaphor and a machine. As a metaphor, its origins can be found in Hobbes's notion of the Artificial Soul - a construct he devises to describe the sovereign of the state as an amalgamation of natural persons.

Kathleen Bryson

Falstaff Among the Machines

It was a black-and-white binarised weekend at the SETI transmission reception room. When the searched-for radiowaves pulsed into life, the only consciousness observing was a fluffy isolated en-tity once programmed to watch rich people’s houses, but now re-configured to survey and report on any major advancements in the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life.

Killian O' Dochartaigh

Extreme Citizenship; Reconceptualising dwelling within the Landscapes of Rwanda

In 2013 I was invited by an international NGO to assess the ‘modern’ settlement and housing designed for forest communities near the Volcano National Park in Rwanda. This article describes these encounters, exploring how the government's uniform housing project, that followed the 1994 Genocide, defines what is modern or who is a citizen in Rwanda today by eradicating differences of ethnic identities and place.

Killian O’ Dochartaigh


‘Mountains of the Moon’ revisualizes the Volcano National Park as based on indigenous narratives and understandings of the dynamic forests ecologies. This new visualization challenges the cartographic representations of the forests as a static environmental objects - representations that correspond with equally reductive definitions of what is a modern dwelling or who is a modern citizen in Rwanda today. This new visualisation supports indigenous communities claims as the custodians of these forests landscapes, employing extreme citizen science, that has been developed by the anthropologist Dr Jerome Lewis at UCL. This visualisation was made possible with the help of Jason's men.

Video here

Mara Mills

Cochlear Implants After Fifty Years: A History and An Interview Charles Graser from The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music

Although Air Force surgeon Jack Steele had coined the “bionics” in 1958 to describe the engineer-ing of machines based on biologies principles, the term soon connoted super human, cybernetic pros-thesis. With remarkable circularity between fact and fiction, early cochlear implants were marketed as “bionic ears” (Blume 1997).

Markus Miessen

The Fall of Bilbao

Stoicism is founded on the interconnection of a universe that is administered by absolute laws. From these laws, humans are to develop their reason and moral code by which they are to live by. The practical ethics of Stoicism emphasise self-control, assuming a context of political uncertainty that suggests the need for permanence and stability propelled by commitment and virtue, which is to be achieved by living in moderation.

Mitra Azar


Anarcho-Animism is a meme-like digital object that aims at opening the question concerning the relation between animism and anarchism. In fact, the expression is inspired by another one, coined by Ben Morea, one of the fathers of contemporary American Anarchism...

Mustafa Kizilcay

On Control and Control Systems

Control is an expression with connotations that are derogatory about the subject in general. Control systems however are essential in our lives that contribute to the conveniences and to the technological improvement. Nowadays, we can find control systems almost everywhere, from the highly sophisticated systems to keep a spacecraft on the right route, to simple ones such as charging a battery without overloading it.

Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz

Escape From Reality

There where plenty of realities I wanted to escape from as a teenager, there was the question of be-longing and identity as an Anatolian German Alevi. There was the question of which bodies I felt sexually attracted to. There was the question of coming from a working class family and growing up in a White upper class neighbourhood.

Neal Stephenson

In the Beginning was the Command Line suggested by Stuart Bailey

In retrospect, this was telling me two things about people’s relationship to technology. One was that romance and image go a long way towards shaping their opinions. If you doubt it (and if you have a lot of spare time on your hands) just ask anyone who owns a Macintosh and who, on those grounds, imagines him or herself to be a member of an oppressed minority group.

Paolo Carrière

The Italian Regulatory Approach to Crypto- Assets and the Utility Tokens’ ICOs

The Italian Stock Exchange Commission (Consob) recently launched a “public consultation” con-cerning “initial offers and exchanges of crypto-assets”, which outlines an early domestic regulatory approach to ICOs. The intent is to “facilitate” this new phenomenon with the aim of avoiding the usual restrictions and hindrances that characterize Italian legislation today and design a “safe har-bour” based on an “opt-in” regime.

Patrice Riemens

A Coming Chaos Scenario

This 'un-essay' sprang out from reading the Guardian article "Terrifying for democracy: is Trump planning for a 2024 coup?" (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/14/trump-president-2024-ele...) I share the author's fear that an end-2024 Trump comeback is a very real possibility, one which is largely, and dangerously, under-estimated - even after discounting for the fact that three years is a geological length of time in politics. And it inspired me to reflect about not improbable, if worst-case, post-2024 scenarios.

Peder Anker

The Earth as a Giant Enclosed Space Cabin

The outer space has for centuries been a place in which heavenly utopias and religious figures were thought to exist. The ideals evoked by appealing to things existing in outer space have had a pro-found impact on ethical standards for people living on Earth. The philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), for example, saw a parallel between ‘the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me’.

Peter Kohlgraf


The absentee becomes an illusion – but therefore even more powerful.

Primavera De Filippi

Blockchain technology: a new (r)evolution in the digital economy

After the initial success of Bitcoin, many alternative cryptocurrencies have emerged (e.g. Peercoin, Primecoin, Dogecoin, etc.), for the most part replicating the same model as Bitcoin, albeit with some minor differences in the protocol. But it soon became obvious to people that the technology under-pinning Bitcoin —the blockchain— had much greater potential.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam

The Story

In the worst village in the country, from which no good will ever come, certainly not now, a young woman was suffering from a terrible sadness. It was the worst kind of sadness, filling her with ha-tred, killing everything it touched. The woman’s name is unknown.

Sergio Benvenuto

Il Clown Senza Padre

Mi sono soffermato su questo film (Joker) perché mi pare che esso esprima a suo modo il passaggio dal padre edipico freudiano a quello che chiamerei il nuovo Edipo, dove alla figura del padre si so-stituisce una nuova figura pervasiva: quella del “potere”. O, come si dice in America, “the system”. Paolo Sorrentino, in un film recente, lo ha chiamato Loro. Chi sono Loro? Loro sono tutti coloro che hanno potere: i politici soprattutto, i ricchi, i grandi imprenditori, le star...

Stefan Lorenz Sorger

Transhuman Memory

The works of Johann Sebastian Bach were not performed for many decades after his death in 1750. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion was performed again on the 11th of March 1829 at the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, 102 years after its first performance in 1727. The establishment of an important culture of remembrance with public concert halls only took place 200 years ago. Since then, this culture of re-membrance has been continuously expanded and refined.

Stéphane Duguin

Une distraction, A distraction.

For half of my life have I been defending peace and justice in cyberspace. This piece for DISTRACTION reflects on what I have learned, and what I know I still don’t understand. I continue to wonder what it is in the cables, flowing with electricity and consciousness, at the frontier of both the mind and technology. I still reflect on how deeply it changes who we are, and how we build society. This DISTRACTION piece echoes an old poem of mine, written for the play “le Prochain Train”.
“I would like to tell you about what’s between us. You cannot see it, feel it, touch it, or hear it. It doesn't taste or smell. But it is therebetween us, it enlightens us and binds us all. And until today, it still belonged to us.”
Translated from “Je te parle de ce lien qu’il y a entre nous. Tu ne le vois pas, tu ne peux le sentir, le toucher, ou l’entendre. Il n’apporte aucun goût dans ta bouche. Mais il est là, entre l’autre et toi, il vous éclaire et il vous lie. Et jusqu’à aujourd’hui, il nous appartenait encore.”

Stuart Bailey

Hardy Perennials

Some years ago, I was invited to write a paragraph about my favorite magazine designs. After drawing a total blank, I concluded that this came down to something I’ve been repeating for so long that it’s become a kind of mantra (or maybe a prayer): DESIGN IS A VERB NOT A NOUN.

Sven Biscop

EU strategy: Resolutely moderate

The challenge for international politics in the 21st century is to keep things together. That is, to ensure that all states, including the great powers, respect the same set of core rules and cooperate on global challenges such as the climate crisis, instead of seeing the world fall apart in rival blocs as happened during the Cold War. That certainly is the objective that Europeans, through the EU, should pursue. That is a moderate objective – unlike, say, achieving great power status, grabbing land from a neighbour, or overturning the world order. But even a moderate objective requires power, so that the EU can resolutely pursue it.

Terje Nicolaisen

Selected Proposals 1995 - 2005

The proposal display the artist's fantasies or ideas with the most intimate relation to his or hers daily activity. Often there is very little distance from mind and heart to the paper. And due to the sugges-tive attitude of these notes, many practical, economical and ethical reflections that could lead to ob-struction of output, is not present in these kind of artwork.

Vid Simoniti

Low Blows: Marin Krpan, Top Lista Nadrelista, and Equalizing Satire

Historically, satire has been a form of humiliation, propelled by humour and redeemed by self-righteousness. In today’s fraught atmosphere, one is more wary of causing offense, and more sus-pecting of others’ motives for causing it too. Perhaps, then, if a case is to be made for satirical modes of speech today, this is easier done at some historical remove from the present.