e-flux conversations in April
What is the radical potential of contemporary art? In recent years—years that have been marked by growing income inequality and newly erected billion-dollar high rises—artists, writers, and curators have become increasingly occupied with this question.
This month, discussions at e-flux conversations have focused on fundamental issues relating to the subversive potential of creative practices. Some contributors have written that contemporary art is a useful weapon against capitalism, while others have regarded it as the last refuge of hedge-fund kingpins. ”What does art do?,” asks Maria Lind of Tensta Konsthall, who has organized a dialogue about private aesthetic experiences. In Vienna, e-flux conversations covered a conference on “curatorial ethics” hosted by Kunsthalle Wien, where participants explored issues ranging from waning criticality in contemporary art discourse to the potential of curating biennials in conflict-ridden areas. “Any art project in the public domain should locate conflict and split it open,” said 13th Istanbul Biennale director Fulya Erdemci. “We speak a lot about the function of art, but what about its capacity? What is art responsible for?” asked 6th Moscow Biennale curator Bart de Baere. Oleksiy Radynski penned a dispatch from Ukraine about the turbulent 2nd Kyiv Biennial; when the host institution abruptly withdrew claiming safety concerns, the curators vowed to continue the project in collaboration with the local art community, promising that “one of the roles of the project would be to reclaim the emancipatory potential of the Maidan uprising.” Critic and curator Mohammad Salemy has started two hotly debated threads, “Can Financialization offer art an Exit from Contemporary Art?” and “How can art be freed from the clutches of the contemporary?” Lastly, e-flux conversations editor Karen Archey will head to Venice to report on the 56th Venice Biennale and its associated goings-on.
Do you believe that contemporary art has emancipatory potential, or has it become a bourgeois hobby and liquid asset for the 1%? Join the conversation.
Check out the latest discussions on e-flux conversations:
The School of Kyiv: What is the use of art?
Frida Kahlo love letters to be sold at auction
The perils of generational analysis
Spike Art Quarterly interviews artist about leaving art world
Culture after Google
Architecture, abstraction, and capitalism
What does art do?
The mind-boggling technical architecture behind MoMA’s digital archives
Chelsea Manning has started tweeting
Chris Ware: “Any cartoonist has to constantly walk a tightrope between the ideal and the specific”
New Whitney already under pressure for its proximity to gas line—but why?
Robert Storr rips apart every living art critic (and some dead ones, too)
“Shadow networks” and subversion in postcolonial megacities
“I really liked sleeping with you. Really.”
Architecture and the “smart home”
Crane topples into Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Supreme Court Justice prefers this new “exhibit”
Kunsthalle Wien Curatorial Ethics conference, livestream and coverage
On Horseshit and the eviction of the occupation at University of Amsterdam
Can Financialization offer art an Exit from Contemporary Art?
Cooper Union’s Board Offers Not to Renew President’s Contract
What are the best texts on the politics of refusing “dirty money” in the arts?
Is it Chris Kraus day?
New Historical Materialisms
Many Beds and the Burdens of Feminism
On Claims of Radicality in Contemporary Art
Eyal Weizman on Forensic Architecture in “Violence at the Threshold of Detectability”
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
What Degree Should You Study to Become a Billionaire?
FBI: Hackers Exploiting ISIS Notoriety To Promote WordPress Hacks
Chelsea Manning shares her transition to living as a woman in jail
What is to be done? On Chto Delat
Keller Easterling on “information in real space”
Alain Badiou and Stathis Kouvelakis on Syriza and whether a radical break from the eurozone is possible
Stephen Squibb on Claire Fontaine
Colleague of Russian opposition leader stands trial for stealing street art
Nearly a third of all museum solo shows feature artists represented by 5 megagalleries
Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Andreas Lubitz
The future of loneliness
McKenzie Wark on Hito Steyerl
A poem by Karl Holmqvist
Glenn Beck on Mary Walling Blackburn: “I have not seen something this evil since Nazi propaganda.”
Andres Serrano photographs angora bunnies
Paranoid Subjectivity and the Challenges of Cognitive Mapping – How is Capitalism to be Represented?
“Democratic, ecological, gender-liberated society”
The interval forms of decay
Peak NYFA? “Your whole life will revolve around clients”
The Internet Does Not Exist book launch recap
Art advisor Todd Levin on the growing art market bubble
Johanna Fateman on art, feminism, and social media
A statistical analysis of Bob Ross
NYU professor Andrew Ross banned from United Arab Emirates
Why do we continually lose our shit over celebrity art collaborations?
A MoMA curator and an artist had a baby in the back of an Uber yesterday
Noam Chomsky on the death of American universities
How can art be freed from the clutches of the contemporary?
Who is behind the lampooning Instagram freeze_de?
For an enlightened Luddism
How to die in the Anthropocene
Agnieszka Gratza on Nil Yalter
Much ado about Kenneth Goldsmith
Excerpt from Eugene Thacker’s forthcoming Starry Speculative Corpse
Trisha Low on being hated
MoMA’s “Björk problem” is a MoMA leadership problem