Spring / Summer 2010

Excess, exuberance, cheap knockoffs, and kitsch have literally invaded pop culture. Symptomatic of the trend, the term bling-bling seems especially suited for dealing with these artistic productions. First connected with hip-hop, the term has been taken up either to describe some conspicuous behaviour on the art scene, or to qualify works that employ overstated, flashy materials. The approach to bling-bling taken in this issue then, while offering an analysis of its particular aesthetics, affords varied reflections on different so-called “bling-bling” attitudes in contemporary society.







Current Issue


We now face a global water crisis. Warning signs are flashing everywhere about the increased desertification of the Earth, the industrial pollution of water resources, and the over-exploitation of aquifers. Faced with such a bleak portrait and the fact that environmental and humanitarian challenges are dependent on economic issues and interlinked policies, which are framed by complex laws, the influence of art is relatively modest. Nevertheless, alongside civic actions that we should actively do, artists can give back to water its symbolic and sacred value. Taking a poetical approach to water, the artists and theorists in this issue navigate between aesthetic forms, activist actions, and metaphor-rich analytical thinking. Adopting a resolutely critical perspective, the articles refer to artworks that try to raise awareness about water pollution and climate issues, envisage a restorative justice, and offer new horizons of hope.