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In the past 10 years we had the pleasure to get to know a lot of the amazing people behind the magazines and publications we try to gather in our store for you, we have seen countless covers on our shelves and browsed myriads of pages. In News & Novelties we want to share some of our latest finds and conversations. Find inspiration in our reviews, enjoy some interviews with amazing people and get to know about our latest activities in Berlin and around the globe.

I Know How Furiously Your Heart is beating -  Alec Soth

I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating

Alec Soth
Alec Soth is struggling these days to explain his work. As a photographer you are often required to have a strong narrative alongside your images. But Alec Soth did not want to portrait one social group or the people of one place. His approach is more poetical and less investigative. "Whether a picture is made in Odessa or Minneapolis, my goal was the same: to simply spend time in the presence of another beating heart.” he states. So the composition of the photographs might seem without connection at first, but that is only because their narrative is not so obvious and not driven by outside factors. The connection is fine and poetical. Alec Soth wanted to spend time with different people and for a moment feel their being and their lives. And through his photographs that appear to let you look deep into his subject's soul, you can spend some time with them, too. His sensitive pictures in 'I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating' let us feel what it means to be human.⁠ Probably it is that what makes him struggle to explain his work because it is not about what you see even though his medium is photography, but the inner dialogue you will have with his pictures.⁠ Buy
Theater

Theater, Garden, Bestiary

A Materialist History of Exhibitions
The history of exhibitions is currently undergoing renewed interest. Exhibitions are widely thought of presenting art, historical or scientific findings, while in fact they are presenting ideas, guiding views, establish theories, create categories, and make us into spectators. And therefore shape how we see and interpret the world. So they are far from neutral and the artwork is not at the center of their intend.⁠ The research project Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions stems from the wish to consider the exhibition as an own genre. Its looking at the white cube, exhibitions as medium, the wandering of the gaze, aestheticisation and dramatisation, and the order of curiosity.⁠ Buy
The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology

The Art Happens Here:

Net Art Anthology
Art happens everywhere these days. And yet, there are some realms which still linger in the shadows: namely, net art. All the more important is what Rhizome did with its self-claimed preservation platform for digital art. With their mission in mind to save net-artifacts from falling into oblivion, they presented one art work at a time over the course of two years on anthology.rhizome.org. The idea was to create a time capsule, a finite selection of 100 art works which happened in the spheres of the internet from 1982 to 2016. This compendium is certainly an one-of-a-kind collection of websites, softwares, sculptures, graphics, books, and merchandise which pushed the possible uses of the internet as social process, material infrastructure, and lived experience to its limits. While the New Museum in New York currently showcases these art works, the repertoire also lives on in the corresponding chronicles 'The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology'. This already historical document, with a whole lotta net art, shall be a fruitful and pertinent research source for pre-, digital natives and generations still to come - since as Rhizome's Artistic Director, Michael Connor, states: 'In Spite of Everything Net Art is Still a Wonderful Terrible Pure Hard Thing". There is not much to add except: Mission accomplished! Buy
More than Real #2

More than Real

Art in the Digital Age
During the Verbier Art Summit 'More than Real. Art in the digital Age', hold in 2018 on top of the Alps, key figures and leaders of the art scene came together to discuss one thing: What art can do and mean in the Digital Age. A first hint lies within the title itself: digital Art is not that alien to art practices before the rise of zeros and ones as one might expect. Digital art- same as its pre-digital ancestor intervene with reality in one way or another - and can lead to change and innovation. While Olafur Eliasson, Ed Atkins, Douglas Coupland among others pondered together about possible futures of art and its cultural value, there is one common undertone which is rather striking and characteristic of this Summit: 'To move in an increasingly digital world does not make us more robotic, but instead calls for us to become more human', as Daniel Birnbaum puts it. How digital art can be used as a medium to enhance our world is illustrated best in the 2nd interdisciplinary compilation of Verbier Art Summit whose contributors are, once again, willing to see the bigger picture as a chance rather than a threat. Got hooked? You can find the first publication to the inaugural Verbier Art Summit 'Size Matters! (De)Growth of the 21st Century Art Museum' here or even stream some of the talks from the top of 'The-Magic-Mountain'-alike scenery here. Buy
Ethics - Documents of Contemporary Art - Walead Beshty

Documents of Contemporary Art

Whitechapel Gallery x MIT Press
From time to time there are some editorial kinships which remain - it can't be said otherwise - unbeatable! Such is the series 'Documents of Contemporary Art', a thriving publishing alliance between MIT Press and London's Whitechapel Gallery. For over 13 years now their common maxime is to publish comprehensive anthologies, for a little money, appealing design and, no less important, significant content. While each volume is a concrete exploration through one major theme at the time, the series offers a plurality of tongues, discussing various aspects of everything contemporary art can possibly offer. The fact that every book is edited by one scholar, artist, curator or critic guarantees exactly that: an ever-changing, new angel on one specific subject. And, as the constantly increasing  number of titles such as 'Ethics', 'Exhibition', 'The Rural' and 'Queer' shows: there is a lot more to explore. Thus, never change a winning team! Buy
Boubou Business - Chantal Seitz

Boubou Business

Chantal Seitz
This is the story about East Germany and West Africa and something that weaves them together.⁠ Photographer Chantal Seitz captures the unusual connection between a fabric production in the small town of Aue in the northern foothills of the Erzgebirge and traditional, festive African Boubous.⁠ The shimmering Damast from Europe is the preferred fabric for the robes worn by men for special occasions or the Friday prayer at the mosque. Boubous - a throw with wide, body-length sleeves, and loose trousers - are a status symbol. They are inherited from generation to generation. Families often get into debt to have this garment charged with symbolism made. The shinier the fabric, the finer its pattern, the more important the wearer. ⁠Seitz photographically contrasts the two worlds that could not be otherwise. On the one hand the German production halls, where remnants of the valuable fabric are used to cover lunch or computer screens, on the other hand venerably dressed believers from Senegal. In between the pages real pieces of Damast connect the two realities.⁠ Buy
What about Activism? - Steven Henry Madoff

What about Activism? & Conflictual Aesthetics

Sternberg Press
With the rise of New Tyrants who likely pervert the law for their own interests, each of us is affected when it comes to advocate our seemingly not-that-self-evident democratic values. As a result, artists and art institutions started to - voluntary or not - rethink their role, responsibility and power within the cultural ecosystem. But what exactly is hidden behind buzzwords as activism, political art and artistic protest? Two recently published books by Sternberg Press will bring certainly more light into this complex and versatile discourse - without diluting it. While 'What about activism' is both an open call for action and a critical intervention of what curatorial activism can mean in the broadest sense as well as in a most practical way, Oliver Marchant's 'Conflictual Aesthetics' argues why art is per se political, going through different arts genres and their inherent potential for reactionary protest. So whether you need a tool kit coming along as a compendium of more than 20 manifestos written by Steven Henry Madoff, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Nicolas Bourriaud and plenty more or an overview of the political within arts, embedded in a broader and different geared art history, which goes hand in hand with the political realms, you will definitely find in both Sternberg publications some answers, ideas and projects on how to do anything - but remain silent! Buy 'What about activism?' Buy 'Conflictual Aesthetics'
Ficciones Typografika 1642

Ficciones Typografika 1642

Typographic Exploration in a Public Space
When Erik Brandt went out to have his sabbatical year he had nothing more simply and ingenious in mind than turning the side of his garage into a public space for typographic experiments. Over the period of five years, this board - located somewhere in the nowhere in South Minneapolis - became an irresistible magnet for designers from all over the world. It didn't take long and this venue - only one 'submit'-click away - became a widely appreciated, client-demand-free, visceral, democratic, non-commercial dialogue about speculative (type-)design futures. In short: Ficciones Typografika! Published by Formist, who designed a typeface especially for this dense and stunning atlas of possible and contemporary visual language (for typo-nerds: Fiction is a modern sans sarif type based on Hermann Berthold's Akzidenz-Grotesk, Max Miedinger's Helvetica and Adrian Frutiger's Univers), this whole lotta book gives multitude ways to an arena for not-so-precious typographic manifestos, otherwise neglected viewpoints and forgotten words. Next to Shoplifter's New Type Design, Beste Plakate and Femme Type, Ficciones Typografika 1642 is definitely a precious thing for everybody who falls for typography and for amazing book design! P.S.: A thousand thanks, Erik Brandt, for 'bringing together a collected knowledge of people, places and things that one could not possibly collect alone' as Ben Duvall said! Buy
Laphams Quarterly Summer 2019 - Happiness

Lapham’s Quarterly

The Happiness Issue
We better break it to you: "There is plenty of empirical evidence to suggest", as Lapham’s Quarterly states in its summer issue, "that much of what we do to gain happiness doesn’t pay off." We chase after happiness even tough happiness comes as the unintended outcome of aiming at something else. The discovery that happiness is beyond ones grasp results not seldom in frustration and disappointment. Luckily there is Lapham's Quarterly to show us that this phenomenon is rather new and not naturally given. While the greeks thought you can only judge a happy life after someones death, since you have to look at the whole, seventeenth century thinker Thomas Hobbes redefined happiness as an subjective emotional state. In order to acquire the means to future pleasure, we seek what Hobbes called power—money, status, influence, and friendship are all forms of power. The appetite for pleasure, as understood by Hobbes, has two disturbing features. First, it never ends until death. And second, there is no stable condition that counts as being happy; there are only fleeting experiences that must be renewed constantly. Interspersing these thoughts with some for that time new words like "competition" and "selfish", mixing it up a century later with "sympathy" and we got the base for our madness... Reading all this pondering about a happy state of mind, from ancient philosophers to happify self-improvement programs, pursuing the deeply anchored human desire to be happy, we learn one thing: it is and remains a futile search. And yet, sometimes, while we keep on trying we might get some shivers of happiness. At least for an instant. At least for a tiny, little moment - while turning page after page of Lapham’s Quarterly's latest issue. Buy
The Plant

The Plant #14

We all know these moments when we just have enough of breaking news that show us in what destructive times we live in or how we will all end up in disaster. In these moments we like to distract ourselves with something light, something beautiful, that lifts our spirit and draws a smile upon our faces - something like flowers. Well, that won’t work this time! At least not with the latest issue of The Plant. ⁠ ⁠ „Our house is on fire.“ said Greta Thunberg and thousands of pupils followed her on the streets. They fight for our biotope, for nature and all living beings. The Plant accompanied these kids to learn more about their thoughts. But while the young generation sees their future taken away from them, the „nature artist“ Herman De Vries finds soothing reassurance in the thought that humanity fades and nature returns. Photographs of plastic wrapped flowers, grown, cut, and then sold to bring for a short moment nature and life into our concrete homes, the artificial gardens of Disneyland, they add to the conversation a picture of how deranged our relationship to nature undoubtedly is. This issue is not about plants, it is not about flowers, it is about us living with nature. It is about our planet, about mother earth and how we treat her.⁠ ⁠ Well, and for the ones really needing some recreation time, there is also a conversation with Olivia Laing full of plant talk and dirty hands solely from gardening.⁠ Buy
Carrousel Confessions Confusion 1 Set 1 - Jan De Vylder

Confessions Set 1

Jan De Vylder, Peter Swinnen, Arno Brandlhuber
"I still remember that day I took the bike and headed down to the house that René Heyvaert built for his brother Gilbert. It was a grey day and it must have been somewhere early spring. It was some half an hour's drive. Though grey weather it was not cold anymore." tells Jan De Vylder in "Carrousel Confessions Confusion". The publication reveals in three booklets the architectural confessions of three architects - Jan De Vylder, Arno Brandlhuber, and Peter Swinnen.⁠⁣ ⁣Jan De Vylder's confession is deeply personal and tells the story of an admiration for the architect René Heyvaert that urged him to visit that one house year after year. He stared at it from the distance, imagining how it might feel to live inside. While Arno Brandlhuber takes the word confession at its root and looks closely at the Peter and Paul church in Dettingen, just ten minutes away from where he grew up. As a young boy he had to make a presentation on Dettingen. And even though he does not state it himself, when you see the pictures of the interior of the church you can not help but feel the influence this unusual building had on Brandlhuber's architectural vision - raw concrete, high reaching columns still showing the traces of the formwork, unadorned surfaces meet zigzag relief and milky light.⁠⁣ ⁣⁠⁣ ⁣"Carousel Confessions Confusion" unfolds the way of seeing of these three architects and ultimately lets you understand their mind and workings. And that probably more than if you would look at their own works. ⁠⁣ Buy
Design by Accident

Design by Accident. For a New History of Design

⁣Alexandra Midal
Design curators, -critics, and -academics often cry over themselves and lament that design has not managed to establish an independent field like architecture or art. Of course everybody sees design as essential nowadays, but its vague characteristics make it difficult to place. Meandering between functional, artistic, engineering, styling, problem solving, experimentation, research, trend, and expression it is neither art nor science. It is heavily abused by marketing but it is far from being just styling.⁠⁣ ⁣Alexandra Midal wants to set things straight by shaping a history for this young discipline, that was thought by some to be just a fade in architecture. She links and compares theories, manifestoes, and essays to gather a critical study that hopefully will lead to clarification and a long needed emancipation of design.⁠⁣ Buy
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