Tuesday 3 March 2009

Embedded Art Catalogue Looks Fabulous – In A Disturbing Sort of Way

Security, like eroticism, is a state of affairs: something we inhabit rather than actively participate in. To offer representations of either is to diminish their significance – which is why I am pleased to note that the main body of the Embedded Art Catalogue , published by Argo books, has no images in it whatsoever – just black letter text, leavened by the occasional short slug of text or reference in red. All the essays – including my own ‘Requiem for the Network: Six Degrees of Devastation’ – have been set in a bold typeface, creating an impression of heaviness and suppression that practically seeps out from the pages. This isn’t a book for reading – it’s for running as scrolling banner headlines on CNN. To comprehend the full measure of its content you would have to encrypt it first.

The Argo website copy for the book runs follows:

EMBEDDED ART – Art in the Name of Security, Berlin 2009
Accompanying the exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, curated by Olaf Arndt, Janneke Schönenbach, Moritz von Rappart and Cecilia Wee.

As the waves of international terrorism reach vital organs all over the world at the beginning of the 21st Century, new threats curtail the dream of a peaceful, undivided and secure world. In response to these circumstances, state and private organisations across the globe are producing new tactics, strategies and technologies to fight the dangers threatening our democracies and jeopardising our understanding of the term “civilisation”. Indeed, everything that can be performed “in the name of security” appears desirable: security has now become an ideology. The publication “embedded art. Art in the Name of Security” interrogates these pressing issues, appropriating the words of composer Gershon Kingsley to ask its audience, “what would you give for security?” As a reference book to the subject, the publication compiles cutting-edge contributions by sociologists, historians, media artists, political and cultural scientists such as Peter Bexte, Alfred McCoy, Steve Goodman, Ken Hollings, Wolfgang Pircher, Florian Rötzer und Steve Wright.

Design: Gunter Rambow
184 Pages,2 colors
21 x 26,5 cm
Softcover with flaps
EUR 30,00
ISBN 978-3-941560-09-3
Includes a DVD with contributions by the participating artists.

Top Image: front cover of Embedded Art catalogue

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