Destruction

    

Sven Spieker (ed.), Destruction. Documents of Contemporary Art  (Cambridge: MIT Press/Whitechapel, 2017).  

The effects and meanings of destruction are central to the work of many of our most influential artists. Since the early 1960s, artists have employed destruction to creative ends. Here destruction changes from a negative state or passive condition to a highly productive category. The destructive subversion of media imagery aims to release us from its controlling effects. The self-destructing artwork extinguishes art’s fixity as arrested form and ushers in the ephemeral and contingent "open work."

 

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The Big Archive. Art from Bureaucracy

altThe Big Archive. Art from Bureaucracy (Cambridge/Mass.: MIT Press, 2008)

"The typewriter, the card index, and the filing cabinet: these are technologies and modalities of the archive. To the bureaucrat, archives contain little more than garbage, paperwork no longer needed; to the historian, on the other hand, the archive's content stands as a quasi-objective correlative of the "living" past. Twentieth-century art made use of the archive in a variety of ways—from what Spieker calls Marcel Duchamp's "anemic archive" of readymades and El Lissitzky's Demonstration Rooms to the compilations of photographs made by such postwar artists as Susan Hiller and Gerhard Richter. In The Big Archive, Sven Spieker investigates the archive—as both bureaucratic institution and index of evolving attitudes toward contingent time in science and art—and finds it to be a crucible of twentieth-century modernism." (Press release)

(Korean Translation)

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Bürokratische Leidenschaften. Kultur- und Mediengeschichte im Archiv

Book Cover: Spieker, Bürokratische LeidenschaftenSven Spieker (ed.), Bürokratische Leidenschaften. Kultur- und Mediengeschichte im Archiv (Berlin: Kadmos, 2004), 386pp., index

The volume brings together essays by philosophers, historians of science, literary theorists, and art historians. Located at the intersection of art, science, media studies, and art, the book investigates the relationship between cultural production and bureaucratic administration. One key concept at the center of Bürokratische Leidenschaften is the archive whose reach and influence is traced from Hollywood film to library organization. Contributors include Stefan Rieger, Boris Groys, Wolf Kittler, Bernhard Siegert, and Sven Spieker.

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Gøgøl: Exploring Absence

Cover: Sven Spieker - Gogol Exploring AbsenceSven Spieker (ed.), Gøgøl: Exploring Absence (Bloomington: Slavica, 2000)

The book explores the theme of absence in Gøgøl's works. Its working premise is that in Gøgøl's writing the unsayable and the sayable cannot be viewed in isolation from each other; in order to understand either, we have to examine the other. Includes essays by Boris Groys, Renate Lachmann, Mikhail Epstein, Michael Holquist, Mikhail Yampolsky, Sven Spieker, and others. Also includes the last article by Yurii Lotman, written specifically for this volume and published here posthumously.

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Figures of Memory and Forgetting in Andrei Bitov's Prose

Sven Spieker, Figures of Memory and Forgetting in Andrei Bitov's Prose (Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1996)

Examines Andrei Bitov's writing as a demonstration of the failure of modernist and pre-modernist models of mnemonic representation. Also at issue are the psychological, aesthetic, and epistemological implications of Bitov's treatment of memory from the immediate postwar period to the late 1990s.

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