Category Archives: Politics

Smithson on The New Monuments

“Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. Instead of being made of natural materials, such as marble, granite, or other kinds of rock, the… Continue reading

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Phillips on the Realities of Landscape Photography

“The intellectual control of the land, our mastery of it, appears to be coming apart at the seams. The idealization of individualism and of corporate enterprise, so vividly optimistic in nineteenth century photographs and so important to the word of… Continue reading

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Adams on Space and Freedom

“Although presumably the photographers who took the early landscapes did not intend such an analysis of our country, since they witnessed no more than the opening events, their pictures do lead us now to reflect on a tragic progression. They… Continue reading

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Betsky on the Jeffersonian Grid

“The Jeffersonian grid converted the continent into territory, in which the scale of the whole country specified itself down to states, communities, neighborhoods, farms, building sites, and finally into the rooms within each balloon frame structure. American became the Descartian… Continue reading

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Solnit on The Visibility Wars

“William James imagined a war against war; if it is being fought today, it is fought in part by making the invisible visible. War is a stain that has sunk so deeply into the fabric of our society that it… Continue reading

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Butler on the State, Representation, War and Perceptibility

“Currently, the state operates on the field of perception and, more generally, the field of representability, in order to control affect, and in anticipation of the way that affect informs and galvanises political opposition to the war. I refer to… Continue reading

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Virilio on Vision and War

“After the Second World War, it became possible to sketch out a strategy of global vision, thanks to spy-satellites, drones and other video-missiles, and above all to the appearance of a new type of headquarter. The central electronic-warfare administration –… Continue reading

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Buck-Morss on Phantasmagoria

“Phantasmagorias are a technoaesthetics. The perceptions they provide are “real” enough – their impact upon the senses and nerves is still “natural” from a neurophysical point of view. But their social function is in each case compensatory. The goal is… Continue reading

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Thrift on Violence

“violence is an expanding series of practices in which objects – many of them of a sophisticated kind – have a more than incidental place (…) increasingly, violence works to an agenda driven by the requirements of these objects, and… Continue reading

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Shinkle on Barnard and the Technological Sublime

“Technology, as Fredric Jameson writes, is a ‘distorted figuration’ of contemporary society’s other: a shorthand for the unimaginably vast global network of power and control that is the present-day system of multinational capital. Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe identifies the contemporary sublime with… Continue reading

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