e-flux's Journal #1


Writing in 1964, philosopher Herbert Marcuse in his seminal text One-Dimensional Man describes the complacency of individuals within advanced industrial societies as a result of an identification with the conditions imposed, where the seduction of consumerism yields a one-dimensional thinking.

Fast forward to 2008, and Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man is still with us. The new issue of e-flux's online publication Journal takes up this topic by asking, "When political power begins to look less like a tank and more like your best friend, where do you look to locate the sources of its authority, and how do you articulate new, flexible modes of resistance?" Perhaps the most interesting ruminations in Journal come from Eastern European case studies, such as design firm Metahaven's discussion of the implications of branding nation states which begins with a description of a consulting visit with the Estonian government and in the interview with curator and art historian Inke Arns where she goes over the practice of "subversive affirmation," a mimetic exaggeration which denounces an activity by performing it to its ultimate limit, within Eastern European conceptual art practice.

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