Richard Coyne: ‘Everything is Code’.

As any student of semiotics knows, speaking in code is what we do — when we communicate. It’s normal. To speak directly is the exception rather than the rule. In the kind of work I’m involved in getting others to do what you think you want them to do is primarily an exercise in subtle influence, persuasion and suggestion, perhaps delivered as a “nudge” rather than an order. It’s the same in advertising. Only crude advertisers direct you to buy Weetabix — obviously, overtly, as a command.

When are copies more authentic than originals? Factum Arte’s Adam Lowe in conversation with Simon Schaffer.

Factum Arte’s prodigious industry since the mid-nineties means we will have to rethink what we mean by original, copy, and authenticity. Technologies developed under its aegis  mean it is now possible to capture and record data about an artwork to an accuracy of 100 microns (100 million measured spatial points per square meter) – and for the first time, this year, these works can now be rematerialized to an accuracy of 20 microns. This is, as Simon Schaffer says, marks a ‘complete revolution in the last two decades’

“Re-: An Errant Glossary” – just out from the ICI Berlin.

What’s in a prefix? How to read a prefix as short as ‘re-’? Does ‘re-’ really signify? Can it point into a specific direction? Can it reverse? Can it become the shibboleth of a ‘postcritical’ reboot? At first glance transparent and directional, ‘re-’ complicates the linear and teleological models commonly accepted as structuring the relations between past, present, and future, opening onto errant temporalities.

‘Socialist Bromance’: From ideology to internet memes.

This analysis of ‘socialist bromance’ humour can’t take us far enough to argue that it contributes to the liberalisation of public discourse in China. But we can say that socialist terminology no longer belongs exclusively in its original official field. For what we see here is that the very iteration of ideology imposed by political authorities through language is starting to cause its own demise, bringing inevitable changes to its politically persuasive power.

‘L’Histoire du Soldat’: Re-imagining Stravinsky’s score in the age of technological weapons.

100 years after the end of World War I (and 100 years after L’Histoire du Soldat was first performed), I adapt the classic story to focus on the technology of modern warfare: drones. In conversation with the original, my piece integrates the striking Stravinsky score with the urgency of a new story, allowing us to interrogate the ongoing nature of war and manipulation.