April 30, 2020

New Orleans Airlift, The Trans-National, 2019, abandoned airplane site, Umm Al Quwain. – Image courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation
Zach Blas, Face Cages, 2015. – Photo: Christopher O’Leary.
Constant Dullaart, Detour World, 2020, webpage.
Concept art for the TESLASUIT.
Jan Robert Leegte, Drop Shadow, 2020, webpage.
Photo by Niels Schrader and Roel Backaert, 2019

Dear reader,

First of all, we hope you are safe and healthy.

Some time before we were struck by the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, we started a publication and research project on touch and feel in the digital age: a substantive and interdisciplinary study of how we feel and touch in our technologically mediated, dematerialized digital cultures and how this is reflected in our social and artistic practices. The project takes the form of a series of essays by Kris Paulsen, David Parisi, Willem van Weelden, Ramon Amaro, Eric Kluitenberg, Flavia Dzodan and Jorinde Seijdel. Parallel to this, we publish artist contributions by Constant Dullaart, Jan Robert Leegte, JODI and Jort van der Laan. We will publish these in the coming months. To Kris Paulsen’s essay ‘Flesh in the Machine’ and Constant Dullaart’s work ‘Detour World’ we just added ‘Dreaming and Doing Haptics’ by David Parisi, Ramon Amaro’s ‘Machine Diagnosis’ and Jan Robert Leegte’s work ‘Drop Shadow’. To be continued soon!

While most contributions were made before the virus took hold of our lives, in the light of COVID-19 – which prevents us from physically touching each other and making us communicate digitally more than ever – they gain extra significance. Without having the illusion of being able to fill in all the gaps, the introductory essay by editor Jorinde Seijdel is being revised in light of some of the social, political and and cultural questions brought up by COVID-19 in relation to the digital world and will be published later.

We’ve recently published ‘Beyond Stable Images’, an interview with curator Claire Tancons by Renan Laru-an about Look for Me All Around You, one of the three independently curated platforms of Sharjah Biennial 14, in early March last year. Tancons’ diasporic work-in-situ has enabled her to form a curatorial milieu in performance that traces and highlights a scholarship that privileges African diasporic practices. 

Developing a Sense of Taking Part’ is an interview by Krystian Woznicki with Fiji-based poet and philosopher Sudesh Mishra on indigenous cosmologies as sources of inspiration vis-à-vis environmental havoc.

Following the Fault Lines contains text and image contributions from Rachel Bacon, Rosa te Velde, Niels Schrader, and Donald Weber, introduced by Alice Twemlow, lector of Design and the Deep Future at the KABK art academy in The Hague. These are the results of a KABK research group chaired by Twemlow, which maps and interprets a series of urgent issues, including the convergence of airspace and dataspace, a colonial-modernist preference in design history, digital pollution and climate change.

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Jorinde Seijdel