The Powers of the False, Online

The print edition of the Texte zur Kunst‘s latest issue has sold out, and the editors have now made my essay, “The Powers of the False,” available online.


The Book’s a Thing Now


Available soon from online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. A big thanks to the folks at Sternberg Press for making it all come together, and for taking such good care of the entire editing and production process.

Texte zur Kunst no. 105: The Powers of the False


“With Issue #105, TZK considers the nationalist, conservative, and racist ideologies that have recently become more visible across Europe and the US, giving particular focus to questions of border politics and migration — of humans, of data, of patrimony, of signs. Advised by Helmut Draxler, Isabelle Graw, and Susanne Leeb, this issue was conceived prior to the US presidential election as a cooler reflection on present political debates; and yet having been produced amid the chaos of the Trump administration’s first weeks, it also, necessarily stands as a reflection of political-aesthetic thinking during markedly volatile times: Wir sind Ihr? They are us? We are them?”

The table of contents is here. My contribution is an essay titled “The Powers of the False.”

Between Takes


On the set of Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s new film for the Dutch pavilion of the Venice Biennale, Rotterdam-Pendrecht, February 25, 2017. I’m contributing an essay to the catalogue.

A Delay in Print


Late last year, Willem de Rooij’s Index book was finally printed – and I have just received my copy. De Rooij’s piece Index. Riots, Mourning and Commemoration (as represented in newspapers, January 2000 – July 2002) is a series of framed wall panels that has now been reformatted for the medium of the book. I wrote my accompanying essay in the spring of 2015, as the Pegida movement was taking off and refugees dominated the media. As I note in a postscript, the slow book production process meant that I could not give critical feedback on these developments in real time, yet I felt I had no option but to reflect on De Rooij’s already historical piece in a way that fully acknowledged this temporal conjunction between the time documented by the piece (just before and after 9/11) and the moment of writing. The postscript is dated 13-14 November 2015; it was written right after the Bataclan massacre. I don’t think that anybody at the time assumed that it would still be a full year till publication. In an accelerating catastrophe, this decelerationist book makes for a curious temporal palimpsest. It is none the worse for that.

Former West


BAK’s book Former West: Art and the Contemporary after 1989 is out, or at least it has been printed and will find its way to bookstores soon. The culmination of BAK’s long-running “Former West” project, the volume is impressive in scope and contains a version of my “Posthuman Prehistory” essay in the “Timing the Former” section.

Legal Forms: Contour and DAI


My essay “Legal Forms, Value-Forms, Forms of Resistance” has been published in the Hearings journal of Contour Biennale in Mechelen, which will open in March. The text will also be included in Contour’s print publication. It has been informed by my seminar “Legalize Everything!” at the Dutch Art Institute,  which focuses on intersections between critical legal theory, aesthetics and politics.


In this context I will also organize a public symposium in the DAI’s “Roaming Assembly” series, which will take place in Huis Oostpool in Arnhem on Sunday, February 12 from 1:30 to 7:30 PM. Contributors are Zachary Formwalt (in collaboration with a group of DAI students), Frederic Schwartz, Judy Radul and Kobe Matthys (Agency).

Top image by Zachary Formwalt.