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Anti-Media. Ephemera on Speculative Arts

Florian Cramer, lecturer at the Rotterdam based Willem de Kooning Academy, demonstrates in his new collection of essays Anti-Media, how media and art critique constantly reflect on their own tradition, language and manifestations, while at the same time trying to subvert them.

In the essays Cramer presents and analyzes a wide range of subcultures – from Internet porn to neo-Nazi’s and anti-copyright activists – and offers a critical view on their imagery and poetry, plagiarism and automatisms.

Cramer asserts that art coexists with ‘anti-art’, and that the term ‘media’ is just as vague, or unfixed, as is ‘art’. Even so, both ‘art’ and ‘media’ resist elimination, and this is why the author introduces the term ‘anti-media’. Anti-media is what remains when people eliminate the concept of media – whether old or new – yet fail to discard it.

In this spirited collection of essays, Anti-Media, Florian Cramer discusses a thought-provoking variety of topics that come together in an unexpected manner. The topics range from internet art, pop culture and 17th century poetry, to electronic literature, amateurism, post-digitality, Rotterdam and Rosicrucians. Anti-Media proposes that high, low and subcultures can no longer be separated from each other, and that this also holds for the extent to which they refer to each other.

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Death: A Self-portrait

Wellcome’s winter exhibition showcases some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world. Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death.

Death: A Self-portrait
15 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

Image above: Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: group), 2005