Issue 161
March 2014

Big Data: how do state surveillance and quantification culture affect our behaviour and artistic production? Co-editor Jörg Heiser leads a survey in which seven artists, writers and academics reflect on this question. With contributions from Mercedes Bunz, Jordan Ellenberg, Sarah Hromack, Trevor Paglen, Laura Poitras, Martha Rosler and Shoshana Zuboff.

Plus, Dan Fox looks at useful mistakes, ikebana and messy cultural assumptions in the work of Camille Henrot; and Pablo Larios reflects on memes, copies and collective agency in the work of Austrian artist Oliver Laric, who created this issue’s specially commissioned cover.

From this issue

Walking with Teju Cole

BY Sean O'Toole |

The spiritual and the secular in art today

BY Kaelen Wilson-Goldie |

Man vs. machine

BY John Menick |

How social networks are changing the city

BY Robin van den Akker |

Hans Ulrich Obrist's collection Think Like Clouds highlights the logistical evolution of the curator’s role

BY Eleanor Nairne |

Reading as information control: the poet Tan Lin talks to Sam Thorne

BY Sam Thorne |

Did Philip K. Dick predict the future of surveillance?

BY Andrew Hultkrans |

The art of tiny revelations

BY Jennifer Kabat |

With the sad news of Stanley Brouwn's passing, aged 81, we revisit our feature on the elusive artist

BY Oscar van den Boogaard |

The art world’s ambivalent response to surveillance

BY Jörg Heiser |

The Age of Anxiety

BY Jennifer Higgie |

Soap-opera small talk and speech as a gesture

BY Amy Sherlock |

The politics of pants

BY Lynne Tillman |

Useful mistakes, ikebana and messy cultural assumptions in the work of Camille Henrot

BY Dan Fox |

Human bodies versus computer-based interfaces

BY Karen Archey |

GIFS as readymades; finding inspiration in Hollywood film

BY Paul Teasdale |

Muriel Cooper: a graphic design pioneer who anticipated the digital revolution

BY Markus Weisbeck |

Salvador Allende's attempt to create a 'socialist internet, decades ahead of its time'

BY Mark Fisher |

Oliver Laric uses memes, movable type, copies and collective agency to make art that is only partly ‘his'

BY Pablo Larios |

Algorithms, Big Data and surveillance: what’s the response, and responsibility, of art? Jörg Heiser asked seven artists, writers and academics to reflect.

BY Jörg Heiser |

Q. What is art for? A. To keep our scepticism alive.

BY Mario Garcia Torres |

What would the NSA’s massive repositories of data sound like if a composer of electronic and computer music had access to them?

BY Geeta Dayal |