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13.09.2013 NEWS

Release: KULTURO #36: Maskiner, teknik og mekanismer

In this theme issue Maskiner, teknik og mekanismer (Machines, techniques and mechanisms), KULTURO focuses on the mechanical in the arts, in society and in politics. You find contributions like articles, literature and art work from Ea Borre, Gert Balling, Mikkel Bolt, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Asta Olivia Nordenhof, Jacob Jessen and more. Release Event Friday the 13th September.

AF Morten Ammitzbøll

More than ever, the modern human life is characterized by interaction with machines. Everywhere we are in contact with them - at work, in the traffic, on the internet and at home. People are constantly trying to extend, enhance and optimize their skills with the help of machines. However, as the art work and articles in KULTURO #36, Maskiner, teknik og mekanismer (Machines, techniques and mechanisms) illustrate, machines can be much more than just tools for mankind, they can furthermore entertain, serve and kill.

The machine can thus be seen as both a positive extension of human capabilities, or vice versa as a dystopian degeneration of our being. The increasing use of drones in modern warfare can help to illustrate this aporia: Is the use of drones in war protecting lives by replacing the human body in particularly risky situations or is it creating a distance from the horror of war by taking responsibility for our bloodshed ?  

In KULTURO #36 this discussion - the potentially vitalizing or lethal properties of the machine - is investigated respectively by Emilie Engbirk and Mette-Marie Zacher Sørensen. The former article stresses techno music as the machine's primary musical expression as linked to a property without limits where people and space are united together in a moment of carefree bliss. Zacher Sørensen's article treats in the same way the machine's temporal effects on the body, but shows - with the example of the Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas' design model of an active euthanasia roller coaster – that this also has negative implications requiring ethical considerations.  

The article Reparatørens maskiner (The repairmans machines) by Morten Riis arises out of his own musical practice - Steam Machine Music. Based on a home-built music device Riis regularly plays the role as a repairman and therefore he can not invalidate the machine's fallibility. He argues that when we go through a media-archaeological study of the machine's inner parts we can gain a better understanding of our relationship to technology. Opposite to this focus on defect and collapse David Bue Pedersen trusts the 3D printers liberating and efficiency-enhancing potential and gives us in his article a bid on production in the future.  

Gert Balling presents in this issue a historical record of man's relationship to machines in Fortællinger om det teknokompatible menneske (Tales of the technology compatible human). Human body mechanized in the earliest human machines, while cybernetics perceives man and machine as two of a piece. Thus man himself may, in some of the most radical interpretations be regarded as information processes - and not just as flesh and blood.  

The fusion of the man and the machine will not necessarily have to go so far as to turn us into regular cyborgs. Mikkel Bolt's article Kontrol, selvstændiggørelse og subsumption (Control, empowerment and classification) refers to the french philosopher Bernard Stieglers who understand human mechanisms, such as our memory and imagination, being a constituent part of the basic human existence, but also as being technical prostheses beyond the individual. Based on the current neo-liberal capitalism crisis Stieglers thoughts about the relationship between people and technology are critically evaluated by Mikkel Bolt.  

In an essayistic article on technology and machinery based on the author Laurence A. Rickels ' exhibition Wood(s): On Identification with Lost Causes, Anders Kølle discusses techné and wood. Through Aristotle, Deleuze and Heidegger, we get an introduction to the mechanical, the artistical and to the human ability to equally distance themselves from the material and the method.  

In KULTURO #36, you can also read an interview with Henriette Heise about her Mørkemaskiner (dark machines), which beyond their specific killing production also work on a poetic level as catalysts for a radical dissolution of language, images and meanings. You can also find artistic contributions from Jacob Jessen, Anna Ørberg, Sebastian Hedevang, Mogens Jakobsen, Eske Rex, Andreas Ervik and Ea Borre and for the occasion texts produced by the authors Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Asta Olivia Nordenhof and Rolf Sparre Johansson.  

RELEASE EVENT
Friday the 13th September at 4PM-10PM a publication release event will take place in Science Friction, Sankt Hans Gade 26A, 2200 Copenhagen N. Here, you can see excerpts from Geyrhalters art film Unser Tägliche Brot, hear Rolf Sparre read from his literary contributions, experience one of Ea Borres paper machines, enjoy a can of beer and listen to theme related music - and of course get your hands on the brand new issue of KULTURO # 36 (in danish only).  

For further information including a list of distributors, please visit:  

www.kulturo.dk or
Kultur, Tidsskrift for Kunst, litteratur og politik

 

 

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