e-flux Journal

brumaria distribuye como socio colaborador la versión impresa de e-flux journal

E-flux Enero 2015



Tom Holert, Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

Editorial—“Politics of Shine”


Tom Holert

The Sunshine State

How much sun is needed to maintain or improve psychic and physical health? What are the repercussions of ripples in global energy markets on local labor politics? To what extent is the distribution of wealth related to the distribution of light? Questions of this order are placed in the folds of the narrative and the imagery of Dardenne’s film, and they keep haunting the western-style tale of the heroine searching for a reason among her coworkers and within herself to stay alive in the desert of the solar-industrial real.


Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Disco Parallax

The English word “pig” refers to the animal raised and sold by farmers, while the French-derived word “pork” refers to the edible meat from the pig. The gap between these two words relays the class dimensions of the animal, its producers and its consumers. The dual use of wording marks the distance between those who produce and those who consume: the prosperous Norman conquerors who could afford to eat porque from the pig raised by the underprivileged Saxon farmers. Japanese philosopher and literary critic Kojin Karatani refers to this very gap as the parallax dimension—a phenomenon that appears when we are confronted with irreducible antimonies and the opposed positions they produce.


Tavi Meraud

Iridescence, Intimacies

When speaking of intimates, there is an emphasis on the proximal, in the emphatic, spatial sense of the word—those who are close to one another, those who are close to me. It describes—in a phrase—the logics of proximity. This superficial closeness, literally proximity understood through the metrics of how much of my private sphere comes into contact with that of another, is rather a foil for an even deeper sense of spatiality, that of interiority.


Timotheus Vermeulen

The New “Depthiness”

But what the line from Girls hints at is that, just maybe, we are seeing the first stage in another history of another kind of deepening, one whose empirical reality lies above the surface even if its performative register floats just below it: depthiness.


Adrian Rifkin

Yes, That’s What I Think …

Stricken almost speechless, my friend managed to say only, “Hello, big, isn’t it?” To which the tutor replied, “Yes, and shiny too,” and passed on without more than a glance at the supposed masterpiece. Was it a judgment on my friend’s simplemindedness, or maybe on his incapacity even to have registered the shine? Or on the painting that was thus relegated to some storeroom of Adornian kitsch, even disqualified and misattributed, precisely on account of its shine, its over-varnish? A Caravaggio, even?


Sven Lütticken

Shine and Schein

In his early essay on Wagner, written during the Nazi period, Adorno characterized Wagner’s music theatre as “phantasmagoric” precisely because of its basis in commodity fetishism. In trying to create a seamless illusion and a dream-like atmosphere, Wagner prefigured later, more technologically advanced manifestations of the culture industry, while his tableaux on stage recalled contemporaneous displays of consumer goods. In the phantasmagoria, “wird der ästhetische Schein vom Charakter der Ware ergriffen.” Wagner’s operas are dependent on the concealment of labor, a prerequisite of commodity fetishism.


Brian Kuan Wood

Is it Heavy or Is it Light?

Under a regime of visibility that usurps older notions of substance, what figures can we use to affirm its surface effects, to understand its refractive powers, to crack open its hidden energies and make its calculus work for us and not against us? How has this new superficiality realized and flipped the politics of spectacle described by Debord? And why should we take a closer look at the sun?