The Trinity Test

Various start dates for the Anthropocene have been proposed, corresponding with the Holocene calendar and ranging from the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 12,000–15,000 years ago, to as recent as the 1960s. As of June 2019, the ratification process continues and thus a date remains to be decided definitively, but the Trinity test of 1945 has been more favoured than others. In May 2019, the AWG voted for a starting date in the mid 20th century, but the final decision will not be made before 2021.

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About Playing

Heidelberg, September 2020

Naturally, the popular version of formalism, which was already casually formulated by Nietzsche, is indefensible. For the artist, form is supposed to be the real content of the work. Art plays with form for its own sake. Content only does service as an alibi. This type of formalism, which, incidentally, cannot be eradicated, is, in fact, no more than a kind of bourgeois aestheticism. Ostensibly, art would be about playing, as much as possible, on the aesthetic—literally: the sensory—registers contained in a medium.

— Frank Vande Veire on Dirk Braeckmann

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Short Circuit

Aberdeen, Washington. July 2016.

At stake will have always been the murderous power of images, murderers of the real, murderers of their own model, as the Byzantine icons could be those of the divine identity. To this murderous power is opposed that of representations as a dialectical power, the visible and intelligible mediation of the Real. All western faith and good faith became engaged in this wager on representation: that a sign could refer to the depth of meaning, that a sign could be exchanged for meaning and that something could guarantee this exchange – God of course. But what if God himself can be simulated, that is to say, can be reduced to the signs that constitute faith? Then the whole system becomes weightless, it is no longer itself anything but a gigantic simulacrum – not unreal, but a simulacrum, that is to say never exchanged for the realbut exchanged for itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference.

— Jean Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra

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Drift

Bochum, July 2020

 

What holds us back from tipping over the brink of fascism: our distrust in enthusiasm. What Elevey had called „the organization of enthusiasm „ seems to dissipate too fast to build any real momentum. (Make Amerika Great again as one important cornerstone in trumps campaign) but we can’t hold our attention long enough to build any kind of lasting enthusiasm… We don’t drift into fascism, but not of a lack of conviction, it’s merely a dwindling attention-span…

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Jeder Geschlossene Raum ist ein Sarg

In Moskau wohnte ich in einem Hotel, in dem fast alle Zimmer von tibetanischen Lamas belegt waren, die zu einem Kongreß der gesamten buddhistischen Kirchen von Moskau gekommen waren. Es fiel mir auf, wieviele Türen in den Gängen des Hauses stets angelehnt standen. Was erst ein Zufall schien, wurde mir unheimlich. Ich erfuhr: in solchen Zimmern wohnten Angehörige einer Sekte, die gelobt hatten, sich nie in geschlossenen Räumen aufzuhalten.

–walter benjamin

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Seeing An Organ

(001) Slideshow: Carl Einstein, Manuscripts · Courtesy Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Carl-Einstein-Archiv,no. 245.Key terms handwritten by Einstein in red crayon on front sides offolded sheets of paper, in which he collected his notes

Tautology
Primitive
Totality
Proportion
Language
Projection
Irony
Tecton [-ics, -ic]
Space
Immanence
Forgetting
Form
Metamo [-rphosis, -rphotic]
Analogy
Stylization
Seeing An Organ
Repetition Rite Language
Image
Conscious
Discrepancy
SC [subconscious, subconsciousness]
Imaginative
Person I
God
Hallu [-cination, -cinative]
Causality
Turmoil
Poetry
Reality
Crisis
Abstract
Gestalt
Thing
Split
Metaphor

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Fever Pitch

Thyssen II,
Duisburg-Ruhrort, June 2017

The year is 1930—a present wracked by profound crises worldwide. The social order is coming unstuck, but so are traditional categories of knowledge. Europe’s imperialist expansion is at its zenith even as its very legitimacy is being radically called into question. Political and social conflicts quickly assume global dimensions. The First World War, revolutions, the industrialisation of production, the scientization of everyday life, and new images and encounters with alterity distributed by mass culture have shaken the Eurocentric worldview to its core—and all the old certainties that came with it. Both economic and social crises corresponded with an epistemological nervosity that has reached fever pitch. The individual’s place in time and even the concept of history itself have become problematic. In search of new beginnings, a new critical awareness manifests itself in a recourse to all things archaic, to “deep time,” and to notions of humanity’s “childhood.” Ethnologists and prehistorians play a crucial role in the anthropological speculation sparked by origins of all kinds. Disseminated by the media and by the increasingly important field of art journalism, “world art”and the spectacle of cave painting become cultural formulae for a revised view of history and modernism. Taking Carl Einstein’s “Handbuch der Kunst” as its operative center, Section A sheds light on pictorial and textual articulations of the “archaic illusion” of the period from the 1920s to the 1940s.

— from a Catalog on the works of Carl Einstein

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