The View From “No Man’s Land”. Firas Shehadeh. Well Gedacht Publishing

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, meme, politics on July 10th, 2021
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“Since 2013, Firas Shehadeh’s conceptual practice has been preoccupied with understanding the human condition through post-internet aesthetics, a tactic calculated towards a larger strategy of tackling the many themes mirrored by our new millennia. The internet and its cultures, video games, virtual communities, and various types of images are key mediums in his work, which helps the artist avoid material limitations and highlights the impact internet life is increasingly having on our offline lives.

Yet if one can trace a unity in Shehadeh’s work, one would find that it’s mainly concerned with images, not purely as form, but for what it absorbs from today’s political realities, conveyed by way of not-so-innocent silliness or abstraction. That is not to say that he deals with images as if they are inherently political. On the contrary, as a puppeteer controlling his marionettes with agility, Shehadeh takes such images and carefully reassembles them in front of us to subtly narrate their stories of origin and the meaning they evolved to carry. By relying on a combination of irony, tragedy, and delicate hopefulness, he ultimately highlights the bitter contradictions of today’s world.

One can easily detect some of Shehadeh’s political interests: history, technology, and aesthetics. He connects all these in today’s Online, the direct descendant from yesterday’s internet. Today’s algorithmically-driven Online is akin to predestination, loaded with ready-made scenarios where you’re trapped in a time loop like a sick joke. Original moves are calculated, preconfigured, and repeated every day; a Punxsutawney-hell from hell where one disaster leads to another. Still, they’re expected, welcomed, normalized, in a made-up history where irony’s reserve has drained to the very last drop.

In The View from “No-Man’s Land,” Shehadeh documents the year 2020 by using online culture’s main currency—memes—to tell stories of crashes, depressions, and violence caused by acceleration and the hyper technologies of control. His position as a Palestinian artist permits him to tell such stories with ease and cleverness. Yet unlike his subjects, he doesn’t convey a post-ironic attitude; his awareness is a tool to decipher post-irony, exposing its contradictions as if fighting fire with fire. That is highlighted best in the book’s cover; a kite strapped with a Molotov cocktail. The contra-drone of the oppressed. A direct, ironic answer to the oppressor’s hyper-tech arsenal.

This book and its artifacts function as a memory theater for an era that doesn’t want to leave, trying to outwit us by employing elements from the past. All the versos and rectos speak of the same story, reiterating after Carl “CJ” Johnson, its undeclared Angelus Novus, “Oh shit, here we go again.””

– Yazan S. Ashqar
Writer, Editor, and Translator, New York City

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You Are Here: Art After the Internet. Omar Kholeif (Ed.). Cornerhouse / SPACE.

Posted in art, books, writing on April 17th, 2014
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You Are Here: Art After the Internet. Omar Kholeif (Ed.). Cornerhouse / Space.

You Are Here: Art After the Internet is the first major publication to critically explore both the effects and affects that the Internet has had on contemporary artistic practices.

Responding to an era that has increasingly chosen to dub itself as ‘post-internet’, this collective text traces a potted narrative exploring the relationship of the Internet to art practices from the early millennium to the present day.

The book positions itself as a provocation on the current state of cultural production, relying on first-person accounts from artists, writers and curators as the primary source material.

The book raises urgent questions about how we negotiate the formal, aesthetic and conceptual relationship of art and its effects after the ubiquitous rise of the Internet.

Published by Cornerhouse and SPACE.

D €22.00

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Junk Jet n°6: Here and Where.

Posted in art, magazines on December 21st, 2013
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Junk Jet n°6: Here and Where.

Junk Jet n°6 says: The global is but the local on world tour…

With local contributions by

0100101110101101.ORG, Adam Cruces, Agathe Andre, Aids-3d, Alberto Bustamante, Alejandro Crawford, Aline Otte, Andreas Angelidakis, Angela Genusa, Angelo Plessas, Aude Debout, Aureliano Segundo, Asli Serbest, Blinking Girls, Caspar Stracke, Clement Valla, Cornelia und Holger Lund, Dragan Espenschied, Emilio Gomariz, ET AL., ETC., Francesca Gavin, Golgotha, Hugo Scibetta, Jennifer Chan, JODI, Jon Rafman, Julien Lacroix, Kim Asendorf, Laimonas Zakas, Louis Doulas, m-a-u-s-e-r, Metahaven, Neil McGuire, Mona Mahall, Nicholas O’Brien, Nilgün Serbest, Olia Lialina, Patrick Cruz, Superpool, Tomas Klassnik

999 copies
144 pages
14.8 x 10.5 x 0.8 cm
99 gr
12.12.2012

with a sticker and a digital mixtape “Terrorismo Mexicano”

12 €

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