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HISTORICAL PROJECTIONS: THE ART OF ROSA BARBA

Rosa Barba, Boundaries of Consumption, 2012, 16-mm film, modified projector, film canisters, metal spheres. Installation view, Kunsthaus Zürich. Photo: Jenny Ekholm.

LAST YEAR, sales of vinyl records reached a twenty-five-year high—up 53 percent from 2015—and sales of e-books fell for the second year running, with their print counterparts gaining in popularity. Startling as these developments may seem, neither should come as a surprise to those who have watched obsolete technologies make their way into the gallery in recent years. In the midst of the second machine age—an era of relentless digitization and automation—we have become obsessed with reasserting the value of tactile encounters that stand obstinately outside networks of electronic circulation. We search for auratic, “authentic” experiences marked by historicity and provenance, able to supply an organic warmth missing from the cold inhumanity of the digital and inject a charge of contingency into the monotonous regularity of ones and zeroes.

Take the proliferation

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