#44 Summer 2015

How does the digital, with its rapidly circulating images and high-resolution screens, influence the act of seeing? How is it changing the painted picture? Painting’s code is made and remade over long spans of time, in feedback loops, in dialogue with history. And again and again it stands in the way of progress. You have to dig deep to find out what it means to make pictures today. Here the painters give their answers.


Venice Biennale; Susan Philipz, Theseustempel, Vienna; “The Symptom of Art”, Cabinet, London; Cory Arcangel, Espace Louis Vuitton, Munich; Cyprien Gaillard, Sprueth Magers, Berlin; and much more
or the things we like: by Bonnie Begusch, Thomas D. Trummer, Harry Burke, Lisa Oppenheim, Christian Naujoks
Talk: Resistance and The Digital Sublime
U., the (anti-)hero of Tom McCarthy’s new novel Satin Island, is a 21st-century Man Without Qualities. This “corporate anthropologist” has been given the job of writing the “Great Report” – the “First and Last Word on our age”. The ambition is similar to the task faced by artists today, the near impossibility of mapping the contemporary landscape. What forms can resistance take, if it is even still possible? Spike’s editor-at-large Alexander Scrimgeour talks with Tom McCarthy and curator Nicolas Bourriaud.
Music: Living with Machines
If techno had its origins in the industrial sounds of Motor City, what sort of music corresponds to the screen-mediated environment we live and work in today? Maybe the haunting, radically anti-escapist collages that have brought Holly Herndon to fame since her debut album Movement in 2012. Listening to Herndon’s new album Platform, Alexander Scrimgeour considers our changing relationship with machines.
Neoliberal Entities
Finally there is software that knows exactly how we feel inside – even better than we do. Thanks to Affectiva, market researchers no longer have to ask test subjects about their feelings: algorithms can scan these directly from their faces. Rob Horning explains the next phase of life with machines.
Artists' Contributions
By Amelie von Wulffen, Marilyn Minter, Katherine Bernhardt, Ned Vena, Ulrike Müller
Postcard from Giverny
For 43 years Claude Monet lived on his estate in Normandy, with a view onto the famous water-lily pond, that some see as the origin of abstraction. A reality check by artist Clément Rodzielski.
Exhibition histories
"The Broken Mirror", Vienna 1993 – Hans Ulrich Obrist tells Kolja Reichert about the first time he faced a curatorial challenge: a survey of European painting co-organised with Kasper König.
Curator's Key: Laura Hoptman
Laura Hoptman, curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA in New York, on "Cherry Blossoms" (1991) by Bill Lynch
Artist's Favourites by Olivier Mosset
Of course I like art. “It’s my wife and it’s my life”, as Lou Reed would say. But to name favorite artists like the names of Ninja Turtles – it’s like saying that Mozart is great or that Marx or Freud were important. You can’t say that, these are facts. To name some “third of May”, “raft”, “burial”, “barricade”, “luncheon”, “water lilies”, or “apples” doesn’t make sense either. They might be favourites, but they’re everybody’s favourites. If someone says Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a good painting … yeah, it’s a great painting.