Interface

Lauren Berlant, the brilliant theorist of “cruel optimism” and related issues, died of a rare form of cancer on June 28. The following, devastatingly optimistic quote is from a 2016 essay on the commons as “infrastructures for troubling times,” part of a book that they worked on with the typically double-edged title On the Inconvenience of Other People: “What remains for our pedagogy of unlearning is to build affective infrastructures that admit the work of desire as the work of an aspirational ambivalence. What remains is the potential we have to common infrastructures that absorb the blows of our aggressive need for the world to accommodate us and our resistance to adaptation and that, at the same time, hold out the prospect of a world worth attaching to that’s something other than an old hope’s bitter echo. A failed episode is not evidence that the project was in error. By definition, the common forms of life are always going through a phase, as infrastructures will.”

 

Some basics from the Strike MoMA site: “Campaigns, actions, and letters chip away at the regime’s facade from the outside. Inside, every time workers organize, defy the boss, care for a coworker, disrespect secrecy, or enact other forms of subversion, cracks are created in the core. Cracking and chipping, chipping and cracking. As the walls that artificially separate the museum from the world collapse, we reorient away from the institution and come together to make plans. Let us strike in all the ways possible to exit from the terms of the museum so we can set our own.”

 

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

November 7th, 2020

David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”

September 7th, 2020

T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk:  “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”

August 21st, 2020
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Tag: Tom Holert

Book Launch: Pause. Fervour: Reflections on a Pandemic, September 20, 2021, 7-9 p.m.

An online event organized by Journal of Visual Culture and HaFI.

September 14th, 2021 — Projects / Event
Pause. Fervour. Reflections on a Pandemic – Journal of Visual Culture/HaFI reader out and ready for download!

Equal part powerful and moving, angry and heartbreaking, righteous and desperate, hopeless and demanding of a better future, together this polyphony posits if not an actual antidote then certainly abundant curative reflections to the disease and ways we might navigate this ongoing crisis.

June 15th, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Writings, Vol. 5: Unregelmäßig, nicht regellos

Volume 5, now released, brings together all of the texts published in the years 1986-2000 and offers insights into some of Farocki's seminal cinematic and installation works from this period.

June 8th, 2021 — Projects / Publication
Winter School 2020: SILENT WORKS: The Hidden Labor in AI-Capitalism, November 7-28, 2020, Haus der Statistik, Berlin

Organized by the Berliner Gazette, the Winter School “Silent Works” investigates possibilities for re-inventing ‘the school’ along the lines of ‘the factory.’ 

November 4th, 2020 — Projects / Event
Donation

In autumn 2019 we initiated a crowdfunding project for the publication of volumes 5 and 6 of Farocki’s writings in order to supplement t...

July 1st, 2020 —
Portal-ness. Towards a cosmology of rift

Burdened with a doubtful reputation, the practice and attitude of escapism may eventually prove to hold an adequate response to the dire realities of the present and the time to come.

June 27th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
AMERICA – Films from Elsewhere (ed. Shanay Jhaveri): HaFI Contribution

A dossier consisting of documents and images on the "prison images" complex from the HaFI archive, compiled by HaFI.

May 26th, 2020 — Projects / Publication
Together, in separation. Coming territorialities

Hidden curricula, nudging regimes, governmentalities—they are coming to the fore now, accruing obscene visibility in a big stand-off between liberal individualism and uniformizing state rule.

May 25th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Social distancing and human/animal relations

"Once the bats were trapped, the researchers took blood and saliva samples, as well as fecal swabs."

May 10th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
A Day in the Life of a Consumer (2020)

"[...] a tsunami of derivative, cliche ads all within a week of one another. It's not a conspiracy - but perhaps a sign that it's time for something new" (Microsoft Sam)

April 27th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Driving on sight vs Seeing the light

"In chaos causality is lost, strategy and leadership no longer work as well, and we are left powerless."

April 23rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
The weekend cover: L’Espresso, The Economist, Der Spiegel (February 1 to April 19, 2020)

The choices of headlines and visual artwork reflect the editorial and national context of each magazine.

April 20th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Soothing? Regressing? ASMR and the new normal

"She is wearing a lab coat and a face mask and is saying, in the softest tone possible, that she is about to take a nasal swab to test for the virus. It’s scary and soothing at the same time."

April 19th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Corona literacy, or Inoculating the pandemic

The background and experience from which the new instructional visuals on the coronavirus crisis are being produced, inform the reduction guided by notions of didactic efficiency.

April 16th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Triage: medical necessity or imperialist selectivity?

In the corona triage the temporality of field surgery and the asymmetrical chronopolitics of age cohort, class affiliation and racial predicament meet in a new constellation.

April 13th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Infection of a liberal weekly

Interaction designer Christian Lässer is able to render evident (and visible) how the topic of the epidemic has gradually taken possession of Die Zeit – up to the full blown monopolization of its editorial content.

April 11th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Tele-nausea: losing the presence

There is "a good chance that the large-scale experimentation with telepresence, which has long met with much resistance, will encourage its lasting adoption" (André Gunthert).

April 3rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
The Coronamovie: how the pandemic unfolds (in 36+ frames)

The Coronacrisis cover artwork of the French daily newspaper Libération, starting with the issue of January 23, continuing without interruption from March 9 to ...

April 2nd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
The new ekphrasis of the V-shape

The V-shape recession, a sudden deep trough, followed by a quick surge, for few, and the Germans with their economic strength and infamous intransigence when it comes to economic solidarity most certainly among them, is becoming analogous to the V-ictory-sign (in the wake of the V-irus ...)

April 1st, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
“Masks4ALL” – a Czech campaign, a MIT AI specialist’s support of it, and the new “solitary facelessness”

The retreat into "solitary facelessness," however, may have different faces, depending on local histories and urgencies.

March 30th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Therapeutic nihilism

Beneath the current debates and statements about the "costs" of lockdowns and social distancing, beneath Trumpian disengagement from medical cure (in his attempt to decouple the health catastrophe of the pandemic from the "problem" of ecomomic repression and de-growth), there lurks the most vicious vision/version of "therapeutic nihilism."

March 25th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Medical internationalism

This weekend's news about 65 Cuban doctors, nurses and technicians arriving in Milan to support the Italian health system's struggle against the coronavirus are a forceful reminder of Fidel Castro's medical internationalism.

March 23rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Reconfiguring liveness

Perhaps live streaming should be reduced to the bare minimum: to tutorials around health and medical issues, to tele-meetings of the infected and vulnerable with their loved ones, to non-commercial online courses in the newly decentralized educational systems.

March 21st, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Pandemic vision

What if the irreversible situation in which the "world community" is now being united, forced to reimagine itself, has entailed a sudden leap in visibility regarding the global accumulation of crises - not primarily as a result of tireless research, political organizing, artistic productions etc., but rather as a correction of the collective sensorium on a gigantic scale?

March 20th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Remote relations, cultures of distance

Among the most unsettling attributes that have quickly gained notoriety (and poignancy) due to the the current crisis' new linguistic conventions  and discursive framings can be counted "from a distance" or "remote".

March 19th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Modelling the epidemic

In the current situation (and any comparable state of emergency caused by an epidemic) much of the existing hope hinges on the statistical and epidemiological sciences that model an event like this by means of computational processing.

March 18th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Image of exhaustion

A photograph of nurse Elena Pagliarini, fallen asleep, that was taken last week at the end of one of her shift at 6 a.m. in the emergency room of the hospital of Cremona, a particularly badly affected town in Lombardy.

March 17th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Towards the end of visual capitalism

By now, as to be expected from a news situation as engrossing as this one, the compulsion to reach an (or even the image) of the pandemic (if not the world history of pandemics), is tantamount...

March 16th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Livestock production, agrobusiness, travel, Corona

Marxist biologist Rob Wallace, founder of Structural One Health [...] renders – vividly and frighentingly – the broader context of the coronavirus crisis...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Mutual aid

Pëtr Kropotkin's anarchist-anti-capitalist-commonist-animalist notion of "mutual aid" has been gaining traction for a while already...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Corona ethics

An insightful contribution by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos on the socio-ethical dimensions of the crisis...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
AI and visual ramifications of the crisis

Among the countless troubling aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is the liberating effect it has on AI-based surveillance technologies and policies...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Against quarantine

Angela Mitropoulos' article "Against Quarantine" is an important intervention in the debate around the COVID-19 crisis...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Dashboarding the crisis

As the Coronavirus crisis is evolving, it becomes harder to tell what kind of image the most publicised image of/on the crisis is exactly...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
e-flux journal: Navigation Beyond Vision I

The current issue 101 on “Navigation Beyond Vision” is now online.

June 28th, 2019 — Projects / Publication
e-flux & HaFI Conference: Art After Culture: Navigation Beyond Vision, April 5 & 6, 2019, HKW, Berlin

Navigation begins where the map ends (...).

February 27th, 2019 — Projects / Event
Program: “Farocki Now: A Temporary Academy”, October 18-21, 2017, HKW & silent green, Berlin

A forum for workshops, presentations, and debates which explore the contemporary relevance of Harun Farocki’s work and thought, placing it in new contexts and activating its productive potential

September 18th, 2017 — Projects / Event
Forum Expanded: Think Film No. 5: Archival Constellations, February 16, 2017, silent green

The talk will include the screening of "Ronny und Harun spielen Theater" which is a short documentary of a staged scene from “Etwas wird sichtbar” (“Before Your Eyes Vietnam”), 1982.

February 16th, 2017 — Projects / Event
Exhibition: Learning Laboratories, December 3, 2016 – February 5, 2017, bak Utrecht

Architecture, Instructional Technology, and the Social Production of Pedagogical Space Around 1970

November 30th, 2016 — Projects / Research
HaFI 002: Harun Farocki: What Ought to Be Done

A working paper by Farocki (1975/76), a commentary by Tom Holert, Doreen Mende and Volker Pantenburg followed by a letter by Peter Nestler.

August 17th, 2016 — Projects / Publication
Institute

The Harun Farocki Institut (HaFI) is a charitable foundation trust established in 2015. Its official bodies, in accordance with the Articles of Association, are the Board of ...

January 23rd, 2016 —
Donation 01 (old)

In December 2018 we celebrated the three-year existence of HaFI together with the friends, the Farocki family, and our project partners, who all e...

January 23rd, 2016 —
Imprint

Imprint: Harun Farocki Institut silent green Kulturquartier Plantagenstraße 31 D-13347 Berlin Germany Phone +49 (0)30 46 06 24 70...

January 23rd, 2016 —