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Performing Critical Voice

On the Relationship of Citizenship, Belonging, and the Articulation of Contemporary Critiques

In August 2018, the Dresden Hygiene-Museum [1] opened a special exhibition on the topic of racism to engage with the structures and effects of systemic oppression. [2] In doing so, the museum sought to provide a new perspective to the ongoing political debates on difference, inclusion and xenophobic discrimination that have marked the city of Dresden’s recent history in light of recurrent protests by right-wing conservative groups. The exhibition’s opening day […]

Robert Walser’s Topicality and the Descriptive Turn

In his influential essay “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern,” Bruno Latour famously asserts the untimeliness of critique. According to the essay, the mistrustful and skeptical attitude proudly cultivated and celebrated in academia has today become mainstream, a mindless automatic reaction, and is held hostage by right wing populist forces, e.g. to question the fact of global warming. The essay appeared in 2004. 40 years earlier, Susan Sontag wrote the essay “Against Interpretation” (1964) […]

Does “Critical Composition” (Still) Exist?

Reflections on the Material of New Music

Critical and reflective compositional approaches to musical material are not a phenomenon of the 20th century. In fact, the theoretical examination and compositional expansion of possible material forms within concrete historical conditions of possibility are a necessity of art music production and have always had the potential to cause controversies between composers, music theorists, music critics, and listeners. […]

The Representation of Dataveillance in Visual Media

Subjectification and Spatialization of Digital Surveillance Practices

The current ubiquity of surveillance in the sense of a social-ordering process is mainly based on the architecture of technologies designed to allow for surveillance as a form of data collection known as dataveillance. [1] In order to investigate cultural meanings of technology, it is worth looking at its media representations and negotiations. It is important to note, though, that the relationship between digital technologies and visual media is quite peculiar. Digitality is difficult to visualize. […]