Exhibition: DOUG AITKEN – FROM 9 JULY 2015 at the SCHIRN in Frankfurt

DOUG AITKEN – SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURTDoug Aitken‘s spectacular film and sound works take visitors on a synaesthetic journey around the world and into themselves – in an irresistible maelstrom of expressive images and rhythmic landscapes.

Civilization raises hopes – civilization is terrifying. These feelings are palpable in the inimitable works of art by the American artist Doug Aitken. His spectacular film and sound works take visitors on a synaesthetic journey around the world and into themselves – in an irresistible maelstrom of expressive images and rhythmic landscapes. With four expansive film installations and correlating sculptures as well as a site-specific sound installation, the exhibition will present an overview of the internationally renowned artist’s heterogeneous oeuvre throughout the entire exhibition area of the SCHIRN – and beyond. Aitken’s kaleidoscopic universe revolves around life’s existential questions, yet it does not supply any simple answers. Instead, the artist lends expression to an almost naïve fascination with being human and people’s sense of collectivity and cooperation. Consequently, the recent projects by the Los Angeles-based artist have redefined the exhibition format and gained him worldwide attention, for instance through the illumination of the exterior walls of museums, like at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., or through an elaborately staged happening with the participation of various artists on the Station to Station train journey from New York to San Francisco lasting several weeks.



10 AM – 7 PM
10 AM – 10 PM

Gazi to Gezi – a stones throw away

Gazi to Gezi – a stone’s throw away” explores the poetry of a nationwide revolt in Istanbul, Europe’s largest city. An explosive mix of the city’s inhabitants come together to fight the police and barricade themselves into one of the metropolis’ few remaining green spaces, Gezi Park. All are present; from the liberal students, to oppressed, illegal revolutionary groups living among the slums of the city. The film, told through the memory of a stone, attempts to link the past with the present in a cinematic format which is neither factual nor fictitious. Scored to a beautiful soundtrack, the audience is taken into a rebellious world.

This film is released under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

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Carl Sagan explains LightSail

In 1976, Carl Sagan appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about a crazy new idea: solar sailing. Nearly 40 years later, The Planetary Society is realizing this dream with a new spacecraft called LightSail designed to propel through space on beams of sunlight.


Original The War of the Worlds drawings for sale


H.G. Wells first published his groundbreaking alien invasion story The War of the Worlds in serialized form in Pearson’s Magazine from April to December of 1897. The next year the first edition of the complete novel was published. It was an immediate success. Translated editions in Dutch, German, Polish, French, Russian and Italian followed in close succession, as well as several other English language editions, and while some of them had a smattering of graphic elements — the occasional tripod on the cover or title page — the first fully illustrated edition wasn’t published until 1906. It was this expensive special edition of only 500 copies that would influence the depiction of Wells’ creations for the next century.

The illustrator was Henrique Alvim Corrêa, a Brazilian artist who lived a short but intense and productive life. […] In 1903 he read The War of the Worlds and was inspired to draw his vision of Wells’ Martians which fit so handily with the recurring themes in his private work. Entirely unsolicited, Alvim Corrêa took his handful of drawings to London and showed them to Mr. Wells, who didn’t know him from Adam. The author was so impressed with the artwork that he invited Alvim Corrêa to illustrate the upcoming special edition of The War of Worlds by Belgian publisher L. Vandamme.


Alvim Corrêa returned to Boitsfort where he spent two years working on the illustrations. At the same time, he organized a solo exhibition of his own work which opened in 1905 and garnered him significant buzz. He went back to London that year to show Wells the finished group of 32 drawings. Wells loved them and in 1906, L. Vandamme published the large format luxury illustrated French edition of The War of the Worlds. Each of the 500 copies of the special edition was numbered and signed by Henrique Alvim Corrêa. Wells would say of the illustrations: “Alvim Corrêa did more for my work with his brush than I with my pen.”

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Excellent video essay : Auteur in Space

Tarkovsky, Solaris, and the Unknown // Created for the British Film Institute // January 2015

“What is art? Like a declaration of love: the consciousness of our dependence on each other. A confession. An unconscious act that nonetheless reflects the true meaning of life – love and sacrifice.”

Music: “Mychkine” by Tarkovsky Quartet & J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor, “Agnus Dei”


New Issue : Music & Literature


Music & Literature no. 6 champions the work of three artists poised to break through on the international stage: Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, Ukrainian composer Victoria Polevá, and Croatian writer Dubravka Ugrešić. An aura of almost legendary prestige surrounds the short life of Alejandra Pizarnik, who, though haunted by doubt and depression, left behind an oeuvre by turns searing, tragic, playful, and erotic. Her portfolio brings into English one hundred pages of previously untranslated prose, diary entries, and letters, as well as appreciations from, among others, Enrique Vila-Matas and César Aira, who writes that Pizarnik “was not only a great poet, she was the greatest, and the last.” Equally uncompromising in her artistry is Victoria Polevá, who has written music for the world’s leading soloists and ensembles while building a reputation as a major cultural figure in Eastern Europe. Though the majority of Polevá’s music has yet to reach Western audiences, a host of her illustrious contemporaries from around the world gather here to attest—in verse, in correspondence, and in oils—to her singular vision, while in her most extensive interview to appear in English and in her musical writings on mentors Arvo Pärt and Valentin Silvestrov, the maestro elaborates on her spiritual and aesthetic evolution. The volume’s third portfolio celebrates the wry and sharply powerful voice of Dubravka Ugrešić. Since the break-up of her native Yugoslavia, Ugrešić’s fiction has revolved around questions of exile and identity, while her caustic, brilliantly insightful criticism has taken on literature, Yugostalgia, and contemporary hypocrisy in all its forms. Alongside an exclusive interview and a newly-translated work of fiction, appearing here for the first time in any language, this portfolio offers contributions by Ugrešić’s translators Michael Henry Heim and Damion Searls, as well as a critical overview of her prolific career.

The issue’s full table of content


Review of “Walter Benjamin and the Media: The Spectacle of Modernity”

Reviewed by Brian Elliot


Long title: Walter Benjamin and the Media: The Spectacle of Modernity
Author/s: Jaeho Kang


Walter Benjamin and the Media offers a wide-ranging analysis of Benjamin’s thought with particular emphasis on communications and artistic media such as radio, newspapers, film, theatre, literature and architecture. The book is organized largely thematically into four extended chapters that focus on these different media as explored in Benjamin’s writings, both published and unpublished, throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In conclusion, Kang considers the extent to which Benjamin’s theory remains of relevance within the field of contemporary media studies.

Walter Benjamin on the limits of photography

urformen der kunst

“The limits of photography cannot be determined. Everything is so new here that even the search leads to creative results. Technology is, of course, the pathbreaker here. It is not the person ignorant of writing but the one ignorant of photography who will be the illiterate of the future.” Walter Benjamin quoting Moholy-Nagy