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Sternberg Press grew out of the small publishing house known as Lukas & Sternberg, founded in 1999 by Caroline Schneider. With a focus on art criticism, theory, fiction, and artists’ books, the Berlin-New York based publishing endeavor was set in motion with a pocket book series—edited in part with Nicolaus Schafhausen. Dedicated to an expanded notion of writing on art, Sternberg Press has created a formidable platform in which practitioners from the fields of art and culture (architecture, design, film, politics, literature, and philosophy) can engage in a critical discourse. Each book is a special object celebrating creative publishing at its best, based on both meticulous editorial decisions and distinctive design. Through both commissioned and translated works, Sternberg Press seeks out the blind spots within contemporary discourse and offers a timely response to the related debates.
Douglas CouplandShopping in Jail
Ideas, Essays, and Stories for the Increasingly Real Twenty-First Century
In Douglas Coupland's writing, the doldrums of a world afflicted by the pains of dotcom booms and busts, the ascendency of subcultures to pop cultures, and the subsequent struggle for identity are counterbalanced by droll, personal, and incisive analyses. This collection of nonfiction essays provides an illuminating meander through what we call culture today.
Douglas Coupland is a Canadian writer, visual artist, and designer. His first novel, Generation X, was an international bestseller. He has published fourteen novels, two collections of short stories, and seven nonfiction books; written and performed for the the Royal Shakespeare Company; and has penned a number of works for film and television. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Wired magazine, and the Financial Times.
Design by Bizzarri Rodriguez
|Sven LüttickenHistory in Motion
Time in the Age of the Moving Image
The moving image has irrevocably redefined our experience and construction of history. In the contemporary economy of time, history has become an image in motion, a series of events animated and performed through various media. Analyzing a variety of films, video pieces, and performances, Sven Lütticken evaluates the impact that our changing experience of time has had on the actualization of history in the present. In the process, he considers the role of shock and suspense, of play and games, the rise and ubiquity of television, transformed notions of leisure and labor time, and a new “natural history” marked by climate change.
The interplay between the time of daily life and historical time end between live event and mediatization is at the core of History in Motion. In this context, Lütticken questions the relation between the representations or restagings of the past and the events of a history that is currently in progress. This history in motion constitutes a fractured present in which possible futures are implicit.
Diedrich Diederichsen, Anselm Franke (Eds.)The Whole Earth
California and the Disappearance of the Outside
With contributions by Sabeth Buchmann, Mercedes Bunz, Diedrich Diederichsen, Kodwo Eshun, Anselm Franke, Erich Hörl, Norman M. Klein, Maurizio Lazzarato, Flora Lysen, Eva Meyer, John Palmesino, Laurence Rickels, Bernd M. Scherer, Fred Turner
In the year 1966, a young man named Stewart Brand handed out buttons in San Francisco reading: “Why haven’t we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?” Two years later, the NASA photograph of the “blue planet” appeared on the cover of the Whole Earth Catalog. In creating the catalogue, frequently described as the analogue forerunner of Google, Brand had founded one of the most influential publications of recent decades. It mediated between cyberneticists and hippies, nature romantics and technology geeks, psychedelia and computer culture, and thus triggered defining impulses for the environmentalist movement and the rise of the digital network culture.
The photo of the blue planet developed a sphere of influence like almost no other image: it stands not only for ecological awareness and crisis but also for a new sense of unity and globalization. The universal picture of “One Earth” hence anticipated an image of the end of the Cold War, whose expansion into space it accompanied, and overwrote or neutralized political lines of conflict by transferring classical politics and criticism of it to other categories, such as cybernetic management or ecology.
The exhibition “The Whole Earth” is an essay composed of cultural-historical materials and artistic positions that critically address the rise of the image of “One Earth” and the ecological paradigm associated with it. The accompanying publication includes image-rich visual essays that explore key themes: “Universalism,” “Whole Systems,” “Boundless Interior,” and “Apocalypse, Babylon, Simulation,” among others. These are surrounded by critical essays that shed light onto 1960s California and the networked culture that emerged from it.
Artists: Nabil Ahmed, Ant Farm, Eleanor Antin, Martin Beck, Jordan Belson, Ashley Bickerton, Dara Birnbaum, Erik Bulatov, Angela Bulloch, Bruce Conner, Öyvind Fahlström, Robert Frank, Jack Goldstein, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, Lawrence Jordan, Silvia Kolbowski, Philipp Lachenmann, David Lamelas, Sharon Lockhart, Piero Manzoni, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, Robert Rauschenberg, Ira Schneider, Richard Serra, Alex Slade, Jack Smith, Josef Strau, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, The Otolith Group, Suzanne Treister, Andy Warhol, Bruce Yonemoto, et al.
Copublished with Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Design by Studio Matthias Görlich
A German-language version of this publication is also available:
The Whole Earth. Kalifornien und das Verschwinden des Außen
Cerith Wyn EvansThe What If?... Scenario (after LG)
Edited by Eva Wilson and Daniela Zyman
Contributions by Liam Gillick, Florian Hecker, Carsten Höller, Robin Mackay, Jeannie Moser, Molly Nesbit, Olaf Nicolai, Martin Prinzhorn, Maria Spiropulu, Eva Wilson, Cerith Wyn Evans, Daniela Zyman
This catalogue accompanies the eponymous exhibition at TBA21–Augarten in Vienna and brings together threads and voices of leading contemporary artists, scientists, and theoreticians exploring Cerith Wyn Evans’s polyphonic oeuvre.
A reality where matter meets dark matter, where the existence of a new elementary particle is conjured from theory—like an alternative world unlocked by psychotropic drugs—and results in the most complex experimental facilities ever built, brings us to the heart of Wyn Evans’s new work at the Augarten, A Community Predicated on the Basic Fact Nothing Really Matters, but also figures as a conceptual model for the publication. CERN—the European Laboratory for Particle Physics—is devoted to the detection of a particle of the most labile and liminal nature, the Higgs boson. The Higgs is an afterthought, the materialization of wishful thinking: the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is constructed entirely on the fiction of a simulated projection of the missing particle whose necessity was postulated long before its discovery. A Community Predicated on the Basic Fact Nothing Really Matters centers on the Higgs on the one hand and the formula for LSD on the other, both containing the potential of generating new worlds.
Copublished with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Design by Sara Hartman and John McCusker with Vela Arbutina
Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, David Reinfurt (Eds.)Bulletins of The Serving Library #5
Conceived while in residency at the library of the Goethe-Institut New York, this issue of Bulletins of The Serving Library used the context of the hosting institution as a thematic starting point.
Contemplating this theme as both foreigners and German citizens, many of the contributors present theses that reach deep into the realm of the personal. Jan Verwoert, for example, discusses the communication within his family as a lexicon “somewhere between speech and speechlessness”; while Leila Peacock, as a native English speaker learning German, explores the liminal space between language and translation. Diedrich Diederichsen, together with a list of editors and translators, co-translates his essay “Hören, Wiederhören, Zitieren,” published in the 1997 January issue of Spex. Diederichsen’s discussion of the pop quotation in music highlights the genre’s proximity to language, as the pop quotation “refers to what is absent in the present, and therefore points towards the semiotic nature of any music.”
Kate NewbyLet the other thing in
In Kate Newby’s site-responsive installations, handcrafted and found objects are often combined with words or phrases to form artworks that engage with the particularities of place. The New Zealand artist’s intimate engagement with materials and nonhierarchical involvement with space exhibit a sophisticated understanding of the role that architecture plays in the shaping of thought and perception, our sense of self in the body and in community. Copublished with Fogo Island Arts, this catalogue accompanies Newby’s exhibition at the Fogo Island Gallery on Fogo Island, off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland in Canada. The publication features an interview with Newby by Mami Kataoka, an essay by Jennifer Kabat, and a conversation between Newby, geologist Paul Dean, and strategist Daniel Wong, as well as the artist’s "Skim Stone Pictures," a photo series of people skimming her ceramic stones into various bodies of water.
Copublished with Fogo Island Arts
Marie-Louise EkmanNo Is Not an Answer
On the Work of Marie-Louise Ekman
No Is Not an Answer is the largest presentation of Marie-Louise Ekman’s art ever featured in the form of a book. As one of the most influential artists in Sweden in the postwar period, Ekman was both part of Swedish pop and the rebellious underground in the ’60s and ’70s. She created a unique body of proto-feminist work, which draws equally from the playful imagination of a young woman and popular culture in the social welfare state. She has directed more than a dozen films, TV series, and plays, and since 2009 she has been the director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.
The result of a collaboration between Tensta konsthall and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and an offshoot of the exhibition “Doing what you want: Marie-Louise Ekman accompanied by Sister Corita Kent, Mladen Stilinović and Martha Wilson,” the publication aims to show the contemporary aspect of Ekman’s works and to examine the wider international context surrounding the start of her career.
Design by Metahaven
|Joanna Warsza (Ed.)Ministry of Highways
A Guide to the Performative Architecture of Tbilisi
Once described as “Italy gone Marxist,” Georgia, located in both an advantageous and vulnerable geopolitical position between the Black Sea, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, enjoys a Mediterranean climate and viniculture in combination with a community-oriented and self-determined spirit. Its informal, vernacular, and palimpsestic architecture—reflected in the stunning former Ministry of Highways erected in 1975—reveals the uncanny anticipatory and progressive potential of a place where the past is neither monumentalized nor destroyed, but built upon. Taking the exhibition “Frozen Moments: Architecture Speaks Back” (2010) as its starting point, this guidebook maps the social, urban, and art discourses of the country’s post-Soviet years as seen from its hilly capital of Tbilisi.
The publication accompanies the exhibition of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia titled “Kamikaze Loggia,” curated by Joanna Warsza.
Copublished by the Other Space Foundation and Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory
Design by Kasia Korczak and Krzysztof Pyda
|Dorothee Böhm, Petra Lange-Berndt, Dietmar Rübel (Eds.)A World of Wild Doubt|
Contributions by Dorothee Böhm, Joachim Koester, Petra Lange-Berndt, Dietmar Rübel, Suzanne Treister, Florian Waldvogel, Slavoj Žižek
The starting point of this exhibition and subsequent publication is the novel The Man Who Was Thursday by British poet G. K. Chesterton from 1908. This mysterious crime story about a seven-headed anarchist council, which consists of spies from the London secret police, addresses a world in a permanent state of emergency. Yet in the end, the real danger emanates from artists and intellectuals. The text weaves an unsettling web out of surveillance and anxieties, takes unexpected metaphysical turns and ends in utter chaos. Nothing less than the question of what constitutes genuine anarchy is negotiated. Are the policemen who defend law and order the real anarchists? Is the law necessarily based on the act of its transgression?
The atmospheres conjured up in the book, ranging from discomfort to paranoia, resonate in many ways with the present. In a time when the German intelligence service enables assassinations by neo-Nazis, or criminal banksters loot globalized financial markets, political-philosophical ambiguity, as described by Chesterton with its causes and consequences, is as red hot as the question of whether a system can be reformed from within or has to be detonated by a coming insurrection. Thus, the exhibition and book fuse the skepticism of classical modernity toward absolute freedom with contemporary attitudes. Additionally, the curators and editors have formulated a criticism of the dominance of neoliberal and plutocratic models of society. But The Man Who Was Thursday is also a defense of nonsense. And this denial of logic is taken very seriously, considering that the novel’s subtitle reads: A Nightmare. This pessimistic, anti-modernist tenor is countered by the liberating forces of artistic practices without being escapist.
The catalogue is published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Kunstverein Hamburg, January 26–April 14, 2013.
With works by Thomas Bechinger, Robert Crumb, Jeremy Deller, James Ensor, Tessa Farmer, Andreas Fischer, Gilbert & George, Rodney Graham, Mike Kelley, Joachim Koester, Mark Lombardi, Cildo Meireles, Olaf Metzel, Wilhelm Mundt, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Gregor Schneider, Marten Schech, Max Schulze, Andreas Slominski, Rolf Stieger, Suzanne Treister, Félix Vallotton, Lawrence Weiner, Stephen Willats, et al.
Copublished with Kunstverein Hamburg; in collaboration with Michael Liebelt & The London Thursday Institute
Design by Christoph Steinegger/Interkool
Charlotte Birnbaum On the Table
Pies, Pâtés, and Pastries
Pies, pâtés, and pastries are the noblest of foods. Their inner life is always a secret; their outer form, a sculpture. No other dishes are so well suited to surprises and culinary amusements. In her enchanting and historically enlightening little book, Charlotte Birnbaum traces the life of such delicacies through diverse cultures and traditions. Here, wondrous anecdotes of noblemen and farmers alike are woven together, each accompanied by toothsome recipes.
With illustrations by Christa Näher
Translated by Nicholas Grindell
Design by Harald Pridgar
T. J. Demos Return to the Postcolony
Specters of Colonialism in Contemporary Art
In the wake of failed states, growing economic and political inequality, and the ongoing US- and NATO-led wars for resources, security, and economic dominance worldwide, contemporary artists are revisiting former European colonies, considering past injustices as they haunt the living yet remain repressed in European consciousness. With great timeliness, projects by Sven Augustijnen, Vincent Meessen, Zarina Bhimji, Renzo Martens, and Pieter Hugo have emerged during the fiftieth anniversary of independence for many African countries, inspiring a kind of “reverse migration”—a return to the postcolony, which drives an ethico-political as well as aesthetic set of imperatives: to learn to live with ghosts, and to do so more justly.
T. J. Demos places contemporary art within the context of neoliberal globalization and what scholars have referred to as the “colonial present.” The analysis is complex and provocative, both for an understanding of the historical material as well as for the contemporary theoretical discourse. Return to the Postcolony is one of the most ambitious, intelligent, and readable texts on contemporary art related to the African context that I have read.
—Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity
The specters of colonialism continue to haunt the current global order. Far removed from universalist and ultimately empty demands for a “global art history,” T. J. Demos uses particular cases to explore the false universality of “globalization” as we know it. This is art writing at its best: determinate and determined.
—Sven Lütticken, author of Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist SpectacleDesign by Kummer & Herrman
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys Optimundus
M HKA 08 02 13 - 19 05 13
Edited by Nav Haq
With texts by Nav Haq, Jennifer Krasinski, Dieter Roelstraete, Michael Van den Abeele, Peter Wächtler
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’s art casts a merciless perspective on reality. Through their numerous artistic approaches—including installations, video, drawing, sculpture, performance, and photographs—the artist duo visualize their imaginings of the parallel world inherent within the modern human psyche, along with how it manifests itself in the everyday aspects of life and civic conformity. Everything from work, leisure, and family, to social class, masculinity, and marginalization are envisaged through convening an unlikely cast of nonprofessional actors, family members, friends, beards, objects, and mannequins alike, often in banal, homespun settings rife with awkward power dynamics.
This book accompanies their major exhibition at M HKA of the same title—the term they use for their particular conception of the parallel world. Narratives and criticism by Michael Van den Abeele, Nav Haq, Jennifer Krasinksi, Dieter Roelstraete, and artist Peter Wächtler are presented along with photos, drawings, and text illustrating the unsteady barriers and tense contact between “Optimundus” and the real world.
Copublished with M HKA and Kunsthalle Wien
Marcel Duchamp/Ulf LindeDe ou par Marcel Duchamp par Ulf Linde
Edited by Jan Åman and Daniel Birnbaum
Contributions by Jan Åman, Daniel Birnbaum, Marcel Duchamp, Ulf Linde, Henrik Samuelsson, Susanna Slöör
In 1961, Ulf Linde produced the first authorized copy of Marcel Duchamp’s monumental piece, The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (1915–23), and Linde is without doubt one of the world’s most important interpreters of Marcel Duchamp’s art. For more than half a century, he has pursued intense studies of Duchamp’s entire oeuvre and has made perfect replicas of all his major works. Like no one else, he knows the works in minute detail.
Linde’s replicas and his early texts on Duchamp were essential to the international reception of the artist’s work and played a key role in such major exhibitions as Walter Hopps’s 1963 Duchamp retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum, and the Centre Pompidou’s opening exhibition in 1977. Linde, who is still as active as ever, is the author of numerous books and essays on Duchamp. His as-yet unpublished manuscript scrutinizing the mathematical principles behind Duchamp’s art reveals what Linde claims to be the key to Marcel Duchamp’s poetic universe.
Produced by Academie Anartiste as an extension of the eponymous exhibition organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts and Moderna Museet in 2011.
Design by Oskar Svensson/Pjadad, Atelier Slice
Mai Abu ElDahab (Ed.) Behave Like an Audience
All songs composed and performed by Concert (Chris Evans, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, and Benjamin Seror)
Intimate late night conversations among friends often find drunken answers to everything, and are replaced in the morning by a hazy joyful mist where the specifics are all forgotten. Throughout my five years at Objectif Exhibitions, I shared many of those nights with the artists I’ve commissioned here to write and perform the songs on this record, and it is this mix of desire and enthusiasm we’ve put into making this record. Adding one final adventure to those moments, Behave Like an Audience is another last last drink...
—Mai Abu ElDahab
Design by Will Holder
Apolonija Šušteršič Selected Projects, 1995–2012
Edited by Peio Aguirre
With texts by Peio Aguirre, Jane Rendell, Apolonija Šušteršič, and a contribution by Dan Graham
Published on the occasion of her project at MUSAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in León (January–June 2013), this publication offers the first comprehensive survey on the work of Slovenian artist/architect Apolonija Šušteršič. Through a selection of projects spanning from 1995 to 2012, this monograph shows the methodologies and strategies of an artist whose practice touches on different aesthetical and political tendencies such as Conceptual art, Contextualism, institutional critique, and relational aesthetics. As an architect and artist, her work engages processes from both fields as well as applied design and other social sciences. Šušteršič’s project can be described as putting into practice a “politics in space.” A “transdisciplinary,” collaborative approach as such, it is absolutely indispensable when analyzing contexts as variegated as urban life, art museums, and other institutions and social spaces. Apolonija Šušteršič’s artistic research combines theory and practice to pursue a method of reflection in which a momentary situation of critique leads to activate constructive alternatives and spaces for hope.
Design by Maite Zabaleta