Contexts

The Triangulation of Value

The Triangulation of Value

Nav Haq

Responding to two papers given by Diedrich Diederichsen and Dorothea von Hantelmann, Nav Haq considers how value is estimated in the art world today.

Free Radicals

Picture Essay

Free Radicals

Jess Baines

Jess Baines looks back at London's printmaking workshops of the 1970s and 80s, DIY sites of political and community activism that rejected the traditional role of the artist to participate in a network of campaign groups, radical publishers and alternative distributors.

The German Issue

The German Issue

Annette Weisser

This year Semiotext(e) republished The German Issue, a compendium of French and German theory edited by Sylvère Lotringer in 1982. Annette Weisser looks back at its appearance in the German intellectual context at the time, and considers what its reissue suggests now.

The Archival Fourth Dimension

Picture Essay

The Archival Fourth Dimension

Sarah Pierce

In this video essay, Sarah Pierce excerpts four Irish-language television programmes from the 1950s and 60s that complicate Ireland's perception of its past and explore, as she writes, how notions of language, nation, history and territory are constructed.

Adventures in the Valley

Picture Essay

Adventures in the Valley

Polly Braden, David Campany

Afterall's first photo-essay, by Polly Braden and David Campany, chronicles the River Lea in east London, site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Place and Space: Theories of Topographic Narratives

Place and Space: Theories of Topographic Narratives

Matthew Green

Matthew Green considers the importance of maps and topography to current historiographical accounts, as in the recent best-seller Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report by Iain Sinclair.

A Politics of Tears: The Museum of Useless Efforts, Marfa, TX

A Politics of Tears: The Museum of Useless Efforts, Marfa, TX

Mary Walling Blackburn

A multi-national art industry seems to have air-dropped its contemporary art institutions onto the vast plains of Marfa, Texas, USA (pop. 2500). Here lies a town where the primary economies historically favoured cattle ranching and military operations; currently they include a rapidly expanding US border patrol...

Group and Gang (The Absent Collective)

Group and Gang (The Absent Collective)

John Chilver

The trouble with the group is there is always someone who wants to be the leader. To prove exemplary as a communal organization, the group must withstand threats from within, produced by the contest for charismatic pre-eminence among members. So then, why do groups work fine elsewhere but not in visual art?

Three Ages of London's ICA

Three Ages of London's ICA

Dustin Ericksen

Fast forward to a post-literate future where decisions, digested, crafted and regurgitated by metaphysician administrators of popular opinion bring shock, awe and despair upon the slow and old...