Umelec blocks its smartphone app and goes back to the real
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As endless as the trial installation of winrar and as unexpected as Brexit. Such is Umělec magazine and its new publishing strategy prompted by constant staring at ahypnograf and cold showers. Its new presence is disquieting and disgusting. Again trees must die so that the ego may escape electrovirtuality. So that it may wipe clean the dusty shelves of traffickers in text turned fetish, at least for a while.
In the new issue of Umělec several contributions come together to address the subject of „London urbanism“. These include, first, a series of articles on the Balfron Tower, the building that allegedly inspired J. G. Ballard‘s High-Rise, recently adapted as a film. A couple of articles and a poem about the famous London tower block aptly combine with a brilliant analysis of urbanism in Ballard’s works. But the new Umělec also sticks to what has already become its classic strategy: massive diversity in content and form. A sci-fi story by Osama bin Laden combines here with a work – stinking à la Bataille – by Justine Frank, a forgotten contemporary of Tristan Tzara. These are joined by an excerpt from a book on the genealogy of debt and the debtor by Maurizio Lazzarato; an essay by Borjana Doda on the civilizational blessings of astronautic perspective; texts by Lenka Klodová and Ivan Mečl to accompany the „masturbatory“ pictures by American artist Stu Mead; a somewhat ominous premonition of the future of 3D printing by Martin Kohout and a critical excursion into the land of the collage-comics Varlén by SdCh.