e-flux journal, 117: trans | fem | aesthetics (2021)

8 April 2021, dusan

“Those who make it possible to really live as a trans woman are rarely those who are our representatives to the other, and still less those who appoint themselves among us as the police of our supposed collective identity. Those who make it possible are artists. Not fine artists necessarily, nor writers of “fine writing.” They might work in minor, vernacular forms. They might just be artists of trans life itself. They might be undetectable outside of our little covens of care. They make up stories or images or gestures that elude the limits of what they, and we, were handed. Making it up as they go.”

Contributors: Isabel Sandoval, Jules Gill-Peterson, Rosza Daniel Lang/Levitsky, Bishakh Som, Sultana Isham, Tamarra and Riksa Afiaty, Kira Xonorika, Maxi Wallenhorst, Eva Hayward, McKenzie Wark, Emily Alison Zhou, Comrade Josephine (embodied by Luce deLire).

Edited by McKenzie Wark
Publisher e-flux, New York, April 2021
ISSN 2164-1625

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Winnie Soon, Geoff Cox: Aesthetic Programming: A Handbook of Software Studies (2020)

14 February 2021, dusan

Aesthetic Programming explores the technical as well as cultural imaginaries of programming from its insides. It follows the principle that the growing importance of software requires a new kind of cultural thinking — and curriculum — that can account for, and with which to better understand the politics and aesthetics of algorithmic procedures, data processing and abstraction. It takes a particular interest in power relations that are relatively under-acknowledged in technical subjects, concerning class and capitalism, gender and sexuality, as well as race and the legacies of colonialism. This is not only related to the politics of representation but also nonrepresentation: how power differentials are implicit in code in terms of binary logic, hierarchies, naming of the attributes, and how particular worldviews are reinforced and perpetuated through computation.

Using p5.js, it introduces and demonstrates the reflexive practice of aesthetic programming, engaging with learning to program as a way to understand and question existing technological objects and paradigms, and to explore the potential for reprogramming wider eco-socio-technical systems. The book itself follows this approach, and is offered as a computational object open to modification and reversioning.”

Publisher Open Humanities Press, 2020
Creative Commons BY-SA License
ISBN 9781785420948
293 pages

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Leigh Claire La Berge: Wages Against Artwork: Decommodified Labor and the Claims of Socially Engaged Art (2019)

7 February 2021, dusan

“The last twenty years have seen a rise in the production, circulation, and criticism of new forms of socially engaged art aimed at achieving social justice and economic equality. In Wages Against Artwork Leigh Claire La Berge shows how socially engaged art responds to and critiques what she calls decommodified labor—the slow diminishment of wages alongside an increase in the demands of work. Outlining the ways in which socially engaged artists relate to work, labor, and wages, La Berge examines how artists and organizers create institutions to address their own and others’ financial precarity; why the increasing role of animals and children in contemporary art points to the turn away from paid labor; and how the expansion of MFA programs and student debt helps create the conditions for decommodified labor. In showing how socially engaged art operates within and against the need to be paid for work, La Berge offers a new theorization of the relationship between art and contemporary capitalism.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, August 2019
ISBN 1478004231, 9781478004233
xiii+261 pages

Review: Noni Brynjolson (Field, 2020).

Interviews with author: Andreas Petrossiants (e-flux, 2018, podcast), Wen Zhuang (LA Review of Books, 2020), Andreas Petrossiants (Brooklyn Rail, 2020), Pierre d’Alancaisez (New Books Network, 2021, podcast).

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