n.e.w.s. is a collective online platform for the analysis and development of art-related activity, drawing upon contributions from around the globe, bringing together different voices, accents and outlooks from the North, East, West and South. | Read more..

double ontology

On the invisible-yet-undeniable: walking political


One of the things we at n.e.w.s. are most attentive to is the agency of the invisible-yet-undeniable, that is, the imperceptible yet sometimes incontrovertibly active presence of what, for lack of better words, we are prone to call angels, spirits or ghosts. Understandably, we’re not sure how to measure this agency, though we are convinced it is somehow graspable and that in many cases its conditions of possibility are linked to developments in art. We’re not even sure how to detect it, or what to do with it if we did. Radar and sonar were developed during World War Two in order to thwart the lethal agency of the invisible yet undeniable submarines and long-range bombers. But whatever the interest of radar aesthetics, the radar metaphor has played itself out and we now find ourselves seeking entities and energies so stealthy as to elude even radar detection. Our methodology for detecting and measuring their agency is cobbled together from a variety of sources: counter-espionage manuals, angelology, lie-detection technique, natural-language search engines, conceptual litmus testing and just basic walking around sniffing in the shadows. We call that “research” in our grant applications, presumably to give them some semblance of seriousness. The real comedy in all this is the extent to which things can be mistaken for what they actually are… In this realm, more clearly than in others, error is our guide – and in the following instance, our very example.