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Smash the Screen

Hal Foster: ‘Duty Free Art’

5 April 2018
Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War 
by Hito Steyerl.
Verso, 256 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 243 2
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... and this is also true of information when it spasmodically erupts as a news flash or a purchase prompt. In the punchy bulletins collected in Duty Free Art, the German media artist and theorist HitoSteyerl describes this condition, which we might call ‘the algorithmic nonconscious’, as follows: ‘Contemporary perception is machinic to a large degree. The spectrum of human vision only covers a tiny ...

You have a new memory

Hal Foster: Trevor Paglen

11 October 2018
Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen 
by John P. Jacob and Luke Skrebowski.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 252 pp., £45, July 2018, 978 1 911282 33 4
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Trevor Paglen 
by Lauren Cornell, Julia Bryan-Wilson and Omar Kholeif.
Phaidon, 160 pp., £29.95, May 2018, 978 0 7148 7344 2
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... returned in this regime, the metrics of Francis Galton updated for corporations and governments alike. And it is possible that our interior lives aren’t much better protected. In Machine-Readable Hito (2017) Paglen subjected hundreds of photos of the German artist HitoSteyerl to an algorithmic facial-recognition program to evaluate how it gauged not only objective factors like age but also ...

The Last London

Iain Sinclair

29 March 2017
... feel as if we are falling as we walk, reaching out for anything cold and hard and more than a week old. In his book Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers, the geographer Stephen Graham quotes HitoSteyerl, a German video artist: ‘Many contemporary philosophers have pointed out that the present moment is distinguished by a prevailing condition of groundlessness.’* Call it ground-zero ...

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