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digital culture

Media artist Hito Steyerl illuminates the power structures, inequalities and obscurities of the world. From surveillance, alienated labour, militarisation, protest culture, corporate domination and the art market, she exposes the systemic structures behind them. If one were to give her a title, it would probably be that of a network thinker. No wonder her texts and essays are as groundbreaking as her artistic works.⁠ ⁠ This interdisciplinary anthology analyses how Steyerl's work and writing influence and cross-fertilise each other.⁠ Buy...

For an Exhibition at Aloft at Hermès in Singapore, French artist Xavier Antin created a machine that validates Bitcoin transaction. A fraction of the processed transaction rewards this "work". The cryptocurrency accumulated through the machine is then used to finance automatic delivery of bouquets of flowers to the Aloft Space. This book shows these bouquets, which are beautifully Riso-printed using only orange, green, medium blue, flat gold, yellow and purple. Below each image is a reference to the validated transaction used to pay for the flowers.⁠⁠   Buy...

The cover of the latest issue of foam features an image of Sarah Bahbah's work. The extraordinary Palestinian-Australian artist reflects on her womanhood and Arab roots through cinematic still images she creates with herself as the protagonist and her inner monologue as the caption. As female sexuality is often considered a taboo subject in Arab culture, Bahbah takes us on a visual journey into her soul, reclaiming her desire, her power and her Arab identity as a whole. In doing so, she takes the upper hand over her own narrative. She frees herself from shame and guilt, two feelings that serve to maintain control over the female body. Her images offer a brave, honest account of what it means to be a woman.⁠⁠ From art, literature and media to academia and internet culture, the visual and the written language have crossed paths many a time, creating a genre of their own. Issue 60 of foam looks closely at current crossroads and intersections. What meanings and stories can one medium give or take from the other? And how can they influence our thinking or the way we perceive and navigate a world of fact and fiction.   Buy...

Once the cutting-edge technology of their time - video, floppy disk, CD and Super8 film are now virtually useless. Often, we even still have collections of these media somewhere in the basement, but we have no way to play them anymore - they have become obsolete.⁠ But there are some enthusiasts and artists who still appreciate these audio and visual carriers - mainly because of their specific aesthetics, which take you back to their era like a time capsule. And yes, there is often nostalgia involved, or a certain cultural pessimistic reflex that claims that "everything was better in the old days," but the love of obsolete media is also rebellious in nature. When recorders and cable outlets are scarce, it takes a certain amount of stubbornness to keep the technology alive.⁠ ⁠ ⁠H.o.Me. - Home for Obsolete Media introduces different analog media in a technological and culture historical context and demonstrates the potential inherent in working analog in the digital age.⁠ ⁠   Buy...

Since the rise of social media, the heart symbol is everywhere. We click it to communicate that we "like" something, we use it at the end of a comment in place of a thank you, and to spread love across language barriers, especially in these times of conflict and increased attention to social and racial injustice. Afterall the harmless little heart is the universal symbol of love! But there's the problem: who claims love? The seemingly innocent heart symbol hides a much more complex story than its surface suggests.⁠ ⁠ With "hate groups" renaming themselves "organizations of love," heart symbols on AfD posters and other Alt-Right groups in Europe, it is becoming clear that the "love" in the heart symbol can just as easily be seen as "hate" by the opposing political view. And at the same time, we automatically project our own values onto the heart symbol. "Can't be meant badly, after all, it's in the name of love."⁠ With corporations putting heart symbols on their websites and plastic bags, and paying billions for targeted advertising based on our clicks on little heart-shaped buttons, it seems that love is being marketed, mass-produced and sold. The heart has become a button to click, an emoji to send, and a digital currency.⁠ It claims trust and good intentions without defining them.⁠ ⁠ This clever little book takes a hard look at the symbol of love from its origins to its uses to its meaning, and uncovers all the things that are done in the name of ❤️.⁠   Buy...

This cookbook is dishing up recipes from major data leak scandals. ⁠Our years with the internet have been marked by an exponential growing mass of data - and the scandalous leaks of some of that collected information. But while everyone scours with paranoia the overabundance of material in those leaks to find incriminating information - there must be something there, right?! It cannot only be chaos! - Demetria Glace has found actual cooking recipes in the data clutter.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Released just in time for hacking season, The Leaked Recipes Cookbook showcases over 50 recipes found in the biggest email leaks of the last 15 years, including the very best cookie and a "secret" barbecue sauce among many others.⁠⠀ Beginning in March 2016, Democrats started to receive emails from companies like Google asking them to click on the link to reset their passwords. Some of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign staffers did. And that is how we got the recipe for the Genovese Pie! Of course this is also how Pizzagate came to life and screwed with the head of some out of touch with reality people, but that you will find in another chapter: The Conspiracy Course.⁠⠀ Buy...

Over the last few month everything we ought to know about how to live our lives changed abruptly when the pandemic took over. While every (inter-)action was concentrated within our four walls a familiar player went onto stage. Only this time playing the role of it's life. As the only safe and reliable constant to stay connected technology passed his first serious test run for a post-spatial future. The undeterred raise of Big Tech and its promises of a smart future are central to Offscreen's issue #23 and, as we know and love this tech interview magazine not without critical twists. Buy...

Digitalisation has come under suspicion through the rise of surveillance, manipulation, and fake news. ⁠At the same time, it also offers opportunities for renewing our democracy. In their pamphlet "Power to the People", Georg Diez and Emanuel Heisenberg argue for a different approach to the new technologies. They describe how identity, autonomy and co-determination can be achieved by digital means, for example through citizens' meetings and new forms of voting. Using Barcelona as an example, they show how problems such as gentrification and climate change can be controlled with a completely new data policy. Technology, if we think of it in terms of a digital civil society instead as of the devil, could enable a new form of power and emancipation that grows from below: a digital democratic revolution. Maybe.⁠ Even though the title might suggest otherwise, this book is in German only.⁠ Buy...

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...

The internet has changed the face of the world. It is no longer that peaceful looking, inactive floating orb which was captured by NASA’s Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972. Goodbye, World! Looking at Art in the Digital Age examines the various ways human society has changed to keep up with the fast pacing developments of technology since ARPAnet first laid the foundation for the internet in the 1960s. From a critical viewpoint, author and curator Omar Kholeif focuses on the last couple of decades to trace the incredible changes in how we see and relate to imagery, how our feelings and behaviours are adapting to technology in radical ways, and how our perception of our own selves and relation to the urban landscapes surrounding us is transforming. Buy...