Come Spring: Paul Chan & Hito Steyerl

On April 11, Paul Chan's exhibition at the Schaulager in Basel will open; the next day sees the opening of Hito Steyerl's show at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. I wrote texts for publications accompanying both shows. More incisively than most, these two artists engage with the mutations and contradictions of contemporary cultural production and circulation. 

For Hito's show, I wrote a catalogue essay "Postcinematic Essays After the Future," a short version of which has has appeared in the museum's newsletter, Radically Yours. The catalogue is to be published by Sternberg Press. My texts deals with the migration of the essay from text to video to live performance, and with Hito's notion of "circulationism" as the digital sequel to productivism. In addition, I engaged in an e-mail conversation with Hito for Metropolis M that has just been published in the April-May issue under the title "Glitches of an Exhibition." (Although the title is still in English, the actual text was translated English, or from International Disco Latin, into Dutch.)

Paul's Schaulager exhibition features Volumes, his installation of 1005 mounted and painted book covers. The show is accompanied by three different publications, published by Paul's Badlands Unlimited. One of these is called the New New Testament - a massive volume collecting all Volumes, with short accompanying texts. I contributed a brief essay on Paul's various book- and font-related works and activities, and with changes in publishing and the status of writing at the far end of the Gutenberg Galaxy. 

Top Image: still from a rough edit of Hito Steyerl's Liquidity Inc. (2014). Bottom image: detail of Volumes (2012) and the New New Testament cover.