Almanac of Contemporary Aesthetics

TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE

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TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE

In the face of recent political turmoil, the threat of climate change, and the global health crisis, it feels more relevant than ever to create liberated spaces for artists and thinkers to question the status quo, formulate alternative versions of reality, and elude formal power structures. Borrowing its title from radical poet Hakim Bey’s seminal essay, this survey critically embraces the notion of counterculture, looking at it from different angles: the phenomenon of protests and the role of pleasure; the disintegration of civilized society and psycho-deflation; Detroit techno as a liberation technology. Through these essays, which consider the historicized countercultural experience alongside its more recent embodiments in the digital era, the magazine becomes a T.A.Z. in its own right—one in which “the only possible truth is change.”

NOTES ON CAMO

NOTES ON CAMO

Chris Glickman Camo01

After decades of military history, camouflage was ironically borrowed by Vietnam War protesters and rebelliously worn by '90s youth tribes. Over time, it lost not only its mimetic functionality but also the countercultural cachet attached to it, becoming an increasingly amorphous, infuriatingly ambiguous floating signifier—equally sported by Hello Kitty tote bags, Andy Warhol paintings, and RNA rallies. A brief history of the quintessential pattern of outdoor clothing, from warfare to detournement to nonsense.

CANNABIZ

CANNABIZ: THE GENTRIFICATION OF WEED

Purple Kush HR

As legalization ushers in the corporatization of the marijuana industry, from PotCoin to NASDAQ-listed stocks, frictionless delivery services bring a variety of strains to your doorstep. The new big business co-opts stoner culture and refers to the product exclusively as “cannabis,” in an effort to foreground its medicinal qualities and sweep an ugly history of discrimination under the rug. But will the plant’s healing properties outdo even greed?

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