The International Association of Art Critics
Maurizio Lazzarato


RE: Maurizio Lazzarato

I am the editor of the 7th issue of the Greek journal "Criticism and Art," published by the Greek section of the International Association of Art Critics

The issue will be devoted to Art, Labour and the Market. One of the articles, written by the art historian Panagiotis Mpikas, discusses Maurizio Lazzarato and I would like to ask you if you could probably allow me access to some of the his photos that you have on your site to be published with the article. If this is possible, It would be great if you could send me a high resolution photo plus the caption with the credit --- I could send you a dropbox link to upload it.

I am looking forward to your reply

--- Best regards
Louisa Avgita, Editor
Art historian and critic
Karaiskaki 4
54641 Thessaloniki

§   §   §

Hi, Louisa:

And thanks for your email.

The review you are referring to concerned a book from (Semiotext(e) called Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity by Maurizio Lazzarato. The reviewer was commenting on the concept that we don't own and operate machines (cars, televisions, computers); rather, they own and operate us.

Our layout editor, usually drunk, or stoned, on the rare occasions he turns up in our editorial offices, says he cannot recollect (quote: "beats the hell out of me") where these photographs originated, although the middle photograph in the review was drawn from a still from the alien-monster film, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

When he is sober, our editor (not the alien monster) also claims to rely on his philosophy --- generally a faux feel-good existential one --- that claims, since we are a non-profit on-line magazine, operating for lo these many years under the aegis of a 501(c)3 designation, and since we enjoy no profits from our efforts, outside of oneiric ones, we usually assume the good grace of those whose photographs appear on Google Images. Indeed, if you go to Google, I think you will find all three of the pictures that were used in the review.

Then again, the reviewer of the book, claims, when asked about the source of the pictures, stated unequivocally that "I don't have the foggiest." In his review, he wrote, as you may recall,

    This is a book crammed with a melodramatic vocabulary that could either send you nuts, or, at best, to the dictionary. I spent a hell of a lot of time fretting over "semiotics," "referent," "polyvalence," "dissymmetric," "multi-referentiality," and, for some reason, "oneiric" --- which always got my fingers tangled together trying to untie the multi-referentiality of those polyvalent vowels and consonants. Why couldn't he or his heroic translator (Joshua David Jordan) --- write "dreams" or "dreaming?"

He also requests that since the review was mostly a confession of the fact that he could not make "head nor tail of the goddamn book", that if you or the august members of the International Association of Art Critics can explain the conclusions or even the theses of Signs and Machines, please to advise. We would alert our readers in a trice, since many claim to have staggered away from the review as befuddled as the rest of us.

Thanks for your interest in The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities, and we hope you will accept these admissions of bewilderment and our apologies for being so confoundedly confounded.

Yours in the pursuit of Art and Truth.

--- Lolita Lark

§   §   §

Dear Lolita Lark,

Thank you for your detailed, amusing and cruelly sarcastic email --- although I am happy that I triggered such a flow of literature! I will keep the credit for that, since I am to be blamed for this misplaced appeal for a photo credit.

I was so hasty in getting a Lazzarato's photo that it seems I compiled a rather "unorthodox" list of possible sources --- it seems I copied by mistake your address instead of another one. I am so sorry for causing such a justified bewilderment, although it seems you had a good time!

As for the question regarding Lazzarato's conclusions, I am afraid I will not be able to help, I am rather baffled myself. I have some ideas but it will take a long discussion with your layout editor to put them in place.

--- Best
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