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An artist in Helsinki who’s active on twitter has been writing a critical commentary of art-life, culture institutions and exhibitions for a half a year now. The blog is called Hampaat (teeth) and it’s an interesting albeit a tad cynical source for local art-news and art-thought. The most recent post is called YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE THE PROBLEM. The text feels like it’s very critical towards someone but that person is not identified… Which makes me paranoid (am I part of the problem? *laughs nervously*). The author identifies the figure of the “reputation avatar” (derived from the work of Gloria Origgi, a podcast about her book online) and tries to pinpoint moments were artists work primarily to maintain their reputation. I often engage with work to merely to maintain my reputation (but I don’t think it’s a bad thing).

The criticism of art mirroring our times (as a justification for the lack of critical thought and practice in art) is something I agree with. Elaborate media-artworks which I’ve seen recently (most of which are related to AIs) should be read as blatant celebration of media technology, innovation and capitalism (and not it’s critique). A hammer cannot be critical of a hammer #ॐ. The artist status should not be used as an excuse from ethical concerns: When artist use AIs they have the opportunity to be just as unethical as the übers and googles of the world.

The author is also critical of the recent trend of “melding art with science” and claims that “the situation of art as a site of knowledge is rotten at the core”. I agree to an extent. Artist are sometimes portrayed more pure hearted then they are. There seems to be consensus that artist would use science for the good of people if only given the chance. Which is not true – Artist are not healers. The text also makes me ask that why would anyone want to learn about Barad from an artist who reads Barad (if they can learn from Barad herself)? And to ask that in what circumstances is learning from an artist about Barad (instead of Barad herself) more efficient/better/smarter?

I’ve liked the THREE QUESTIONS TO PEOPLE DOING EXHIBITIONS UNDER CAPITALISM best so far.

Pietari shared a gruesome story from Amsterdam Dutch rewilding experiment sparks backlash as thousands of animals starve. A case-study for understanding the intersections of cross species solidarity and post-humanistic theory.

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Practising with human silhouette targets at a shooting range does not help you to shoot more accurately, it helps you to shoot humans like you’d shoot silhouette targets.  #ॐ

How to remove a Community Page about me (When I’m not on Facebook)? There is apparently no way to contact fb directly and I can only make copyright/trademark claims to have it removed (which they’ve declined because the texts and photo is ripped from wikipedia). Made a new trademark claim:

Facebook has autogenerated a Community Page (generated based on what Facebook users are interested in) in my name. I’m not on Facebook and I don’t want the company to make a page for me. The page has been autogenerated because you believe that I’m a public organization, a brand or a public figure. Your algorithms are mistaken.

Why do you insist that I am a public figure, organization or a brand? I’m a human being.

The content on the Community Page is copied from a wikipedia entry in the Finnish Wikipedia, which you have not read – Because you don’t speak Finnish and you are a bot. I’ve accepted that the entry is used for educational purposes by Wikipedia. (Btw I’ve reached out to them to have the entry removed but they wont remove it either).

I don’t accept that my name and a photograph of me is used by facebook for profit. Remove the Community Page you have made in my name. I’m already me and I don’t want you to be me.

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On route to Vyborg by invitation of Miina Hujala & Arttu Merimaa. Learning about Ruinenwert (it’s in a troubling relationship to Deep time Marxism). Reading The Value of Ruins: Allegories of Destruction in Benjamin and Speer (2003) Naomi Stead.

The article made me think that the slogan “Personal is Political” is in a problematic relationship to fascism (or totalitarianism): “Personal is political” approaches endorse the aestheticization of the shared political realm (because opinions and positions become public primarily through acts of personal expression). The text made me also think that framing household chores as a form of labor was a bad move.. Where can we live if everything is work? When our imagination is forced to serve politics we lose our freedom. #ॐ

[…] that the ruin is not simply the remnant left over when monumentality has withered away, and that ruination does not necessarily entail a loss, but rather a shift in the meaning and monumentality of architecture.

A new aesthetic, or more pointedly a subversion of aesthetics, is unveiled by the arbitrary processes of decay. In the dialectical image is also revealed the new ways of seeing produced by new technologies and materials. For Benjamin, it is through such violence that the present can be revealed to itself. Speer’s concern, however, is not for a specific and fleeting ‘now’, but for atemporality. The sudden presence of the present, glimpsed in the rusting reinforcing rods, is for him an unwelcome excision and framing of a moment from within a temporal continuum. Speer thus unwittingly reveals a truth crucial also to Benjamin – the temporality of a ruin is produced not only by the means of its destruction, but its original construction as well.

‘Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what ruins are in the realm of things’, he writes. Benjamin describes allegory as a form that has been progressively marginalised by the hegemony of beauty within aesthetics, an ascendancy exemplified in the aesthetic symbol.

Benjamin sees the allegorical sensibility as a means to defeat the totalising aims of symbolism; with its emphasis on transience, specificity, and the contingent world of lived experience, allegory provides a means to represent the frailty and finitude of human life.

[S]ince [Speers] ruins are designed to ‘inspire’ subjects a thousand years in the future with the same aesthetic affect he admires in the present, they are predicated on the belief that the citizens of the future will be no different from those of his own time. Tradition, for him, is based on conservation, on the perpetuation of an unchanging ideal. Benjamin’s understanding of historical subjectivity departs radically from Speer’s positivist, teleological view of history as continuous progress: the ‘allegorical mode’ allows him to express ‘the experience of a world in fragments in which the passing of time means not progress but disintegration.’

Given Benjamin’s ambivalent attitude towards destruction, there is some room for interpretation as to whether he regards the ‘destructive character’ as the positive instrument of divine violence, or some darker force. Is Speer the destructive character, or is the allegorist – read Benjamin – himself? The answer lies in the fact that for Benjamin destruction is never an end in itself, it is only ever a process required to free history from accretions of tradition and mythology.

Benjamin’s understanding of allegory as a critical strategy, a means of undermining or corrupting established traditions from within, lends it a crucial significance both to his philosophy of history and his critique of the aestheticisation of politics.

[…] Speer’s use of the ruin is ‘symbolic’ in that it aspires to the idealised, atemporal totality characteristic of Nazi Neo-Classical architecture. Allegory, for Benjamin, is not only counteraesthetic, but a counter to aesthetics and therein lies its particular strength in opposition to the ‘aestheticisation of politics’ he identified as a key characteristic of fascism.

For Benjamin, it is through the suddenness and shock of destruction that the subject emerges from the ‘dream’ of tradition and into modern life in the present. The stripping away of the ‘traces’ of tradition, the removal of ‘aura’, the sudden shock of awakening, all aspire, in Benjamin’s conception, to the emancipated state of the ‘new poverty’, where illusions are abandoned and the subject is presented to itself in the present. Ruin, both as verb and noun, process and object, thus exemplifies a mode of working and a field of possibilities for historical materialism.

The process of ruination can be applied equally to the conceptual and to the objective world. This is the true meaning of Benjamin’s statement that ‘[a]llegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what ruins are in the realm of things’: criticism in the name of allegory is a process of conceptually ‘ruining’ the structures of affirmative argument and then of working through the [Are white tea-cups with putin prints criticism?]

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My biggest concern about the normalization of sex-robots is that capitalist will use them to provide the labor-force with ad-hoc emotional and sexual companionship, at the same time they’re advancing working conditions which make long-term human-to-human relationships difficult to arrange and maintain. A dystopia where AI’s serve capitalist interests is portrayed in the Blade Runner 2049 film. The protagonist K condones humiliating working conditions thanks to the loving support of his AI hologram girlfriend Joi. K is motivated to work so that he can afford to upgrade her with a piece of tech that will allow her to move outside their house. Joi’s character can be read as criticism of processes which seek to commodify feminist movements. The device she uses to move outside (or project herself outside) looks like a futuristic ipod nano.

It’s not freedom if you need to buy something to achieve it #ॐ