Welcome to Monoskop, a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.
This page shows a selection of the latest additions to the website. For more detailed overview see the Recent, Contents, Index and Media library sections. Updates are also being posted on Twitter and Facebook.
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“Performing Algorithms: Automation and Accident investigates how artists might stage encounters with the algorithms driving our post-industrial, big-data-based, automatic society. Several important theories of this contemporary condition are discussed, including control societies, post-industrial societies, the automatic society, the cybernetic hypothesis, and algorithmic governmentality. These concepts are interwoven with histories of labour and automation, recent developments in machine learning and neural networks, and my own past work.
Through a series of expanded lecture performances that describe our algorithmic condition while setting it into motion, this research seeks to discover ways in which to advance new critical positions within a totalizing technical apparatus whose very design preempts it. The included creative works have been performed, exhibited, and published between 2014 and 2018. They are made available online through an artificially intelligent chatbot, a frequent figure in the research, which here extends the concerns of that research through to how the work is framed and presented.
The thesis focuses on both generative art and the lecture performance, which converge in performing algorithms but are generally not discussed in connection with one another. They emerged in parallel as artistic methods, however, at a time when management and computation were taking root in the workplace in the 1960s. Furthermore, as the Internet became widespread from the 1990s, generative art and the lecture performance each found renewed prominence.
With human language and gesture increasingly modelling itself on the language of computation and work constantly reshaped by the innovations of capital, this project identifies “not working” both in terms of the technological breakdown and also as a condition of labour under automation. A discussion of the first fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle illustrates this dual condition. Shifting from glitch art’s preoccupation with provoking errors to a consideration of not working, this research proposes artistic strategies that learn to occupy rather than display the accident.”
Publisher Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, 2019
“3x3x6 is the title of Shu Lea Cheang’s project representing Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale and hosted at the Palazzo delle Prigioni–a Venetian prison from the sixteenth century in operation until 1922. 3x3x6 is also the standardised architecture of industrial imprisonment for ‘sexual criminals’ and ‘terrorists’ in the West: 3×3 meters, monitored by 6 cameras 24 hours a day. Shu Lea Cheang investigates historical reports based on ten cases of subjects incarcerated because of gender or sexual dissent and uses trans-punk fiction, queer, and anti-colonial imaginations to hack the history of sexuality as well as contemporary technologies of surveillance.” (from back cover)
With contributions by Matthew Fuller, Paul B. Preciado, Dean Spade, and Jackie Wang.
Curated and edited by Paul B. Preciado
Publisher Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2019
ISBN 9789860588798, 9860588791
“Living with Ghosts: Legacies of Colonialism and Fascism is a constellation of essays, conversations and images that point to the manner in which the legacies of colonialism and fascism reverberate in our present conjuncture. The impulse for producing this issue was a question of whether it may be possible to trace the connections between the violences of the colonial project through the horrors of fascism to current forms of racism, identitarianism and populism – what we initially called ‘an arc’ of colonialism-nationalism-fascism.
These shifts are palpable in the contemporary political uncertainties expressed in this collection of texts. Each of the contributors reflect on the specificities of their environment through their lived experiences, through their artistic practices, or reflections on the curatorial climate. They seek to maintain a space for critical engagement and political criticism. Furthermore, this issue considers the layers of historical conditions that inform states of ‘belonging’ and ‘sovereignty’ (even ‘citizenry’ as a debatable proposition) in Europe. What becomes evident from these various contributions is that there is no sudden or surprising development towards the right – too often expressed an ‘inexplicable phenomena’ of contemporary society. They instead address it as a slow and steady movement based on historical events and political terms of reference which have remain unresolved and have again returned, this time through the opportunism advanced and fuelled by the structures of capitalism that connect Europe to Russia and America. Each is a case study that recognises the patterns of violence and inequality evident in the political structures of colonialism and fascism.”
With contributions by Nick Aikens, Jyoti Mistry, and Corina Oprea, Gurminder K.Bhambra, Rex Edmunds and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Gloria Wekker, Quinsy Gario, Nkule Mabaso, Jyoti Mistry, Jelena Vesić, and Kuba Szreder.
Publisher L’Internationale Online, 2019
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License
“This catalogue investigates the notion of “really useful knowledge” and its origins. In the 1820s and 1830s, working class organisations in the UK introduced this phrase to describe a body of knowledge that encompassed various “unpractical” disciplines such as politics, economics and philosophy, as opposed to the “useful knowledge” proclaimed by business owners who had previously begun to invest more heavily in their companies’ progress through financing workers’ education in “applicable” disciplines like engineering, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The publication presents texts and conversations that analyse these themes, including philosophy, art, politics and technology.”
With contributions by What, How and for Whom/WHW, Marina Garcés, Raqs Media Collective, Luis Camnitzer, Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, and Gáspár M. Tamás.
Curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW
Publisher Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MACBA), Barcelona, 2014
ISBN 9788480264990, 8480264993
Discussion: Charles Esche, Manuel Borja-Villel (L’Internationale, 2015).
PDF (14 MB)
“Philosopher, Afro-futurist, and jazz legend Sun Ra (1914-1993) constructed much of his complicated public persona during his sojourn in Chicago in the mid-1950s. Working with a still-shadowy underground fraternal organization, Ra amassed a library of books on the occult, Egyptology, race studies, Theosophy, and religion—all in service of drawing elliptical connections between these disparate bodies of knowledge. This work became the foundation of the personal mythology Ra employed in the 1960s when he began fronting his Myth-Science Arkestra and started drawing attention from more mainstream jazz fans.
Pathways to Unknown Worlds presents a kaleidoscopic range of materials from those years, including original record cover designs and production materials, paper ephemera, and photographs. These materials—most previously unseen—dramatically flesh out the story of Sun Ra’s mystical journey of discovery and his lofty goals for the dissemination of his new knowledge; they are certain to fascinate and delight Ra’s legion of fans.”
With essays by Adam Abraham, John Corbett, Glenn Ligon, and Camille Norment.
Edited by Anthony Elms
Publisher WhiteWalls, Chicago, 2007
ISBN 0945323107, 9780945323105
PDF (16 MB)