Jordan Crandall: Drive

Cover of the publication »Jordan Crandall: Drive«

Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Peter Weibel (Ed.)
Publishing house, place
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

The work of artist and media theorist Jordan Crandall is a major contribution to the understanding of media and communication technology and its impact on the human being and the visual arts. »Drive« will remain as a privileged document of artistic thought in the nineties, of a deep change in the concept of art, media, and life. But the central issue of this book leads much further: Crandall offers a coherent theory of the individual, its redefinition through the media space and through worldwide communication networks. »Drive« is about thinking the image and the status of the human being in the age of Internet and of globalized mass media. Under these conditions, Jordan Crandall is pushing forward two main philosophical investigations of the seventies and eighties: Gilles Deleuze's concept of »rhizome« and Michel Foucault's analysis of the subject at the interface between technology and the body.

Robert Fleck, Director of the Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes


Jordan Crandall has the mind of a pragmatist and the heart of a utopian. With astonishing breadth and rare lucidity, he calls upon psychoanalysis, film theory, semiotics, and demography to expose the insidious political and economic forces that structure and control the »body-machine-image complex«. While sketching a chilling image of the intersection of the ascendant database paradigm with military technology and globalized commerce, Crandall does not succumb to cynicism or fashionable passivity, but presents an urgent case for the possibility of »new identity formations and agencies«. In his art, waiting, and editorial work, Crandall has fashioned a critically important survival guide to the emerging present. 

Lawrence Rinder, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum, New York


In »Drive«, Jordan Crandall boldly re-figures the fundamental metaphors guiding our interactions with digital media, including »pages«, »nodes«, and »links«. He adopts instead e idea of a differentiated field that includes computers, networks, users, and physical spaces. Working from this premise, he shows the metaphor of the vehicle, imagined both as a transportation device and as a semiotic-linguistic entity, can be used to rethink our embodied relation to inscription technologies and particularly to digital media. Richly imagined and powerfully argued, this book has the potential to revolutionize our discourses about media and consequently the possibilities we can envision for them -and for us. 

N. Katherine Hayles, Professor of English and Media Arts at UCLA and author of »How we Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics«


»Drive« is highly relevant to the shifting and turbulent terrain or global conflict, desire, and surveillance. A deep dive into our bodies as language systems, territories, and senses, »Drive« is luscious, threatening, and totally riveting. It throws down the gauntlet.

Sara Diamond, Artistic Director, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada 


What characterizes this important work as a whole is its grand human scale and its attention to new phenomenologies of embodiment and subjective experience. In »Drive«, Crandall makes a realm of surveillance technologies, that operate largely below the threshold of conscious awareness felt in erotic choreographies and rhythmic uses or imagery. Fresh theoretical categories emerge our or this art. 

Margret Morse, Professor of Film an Digital Media at University of California Santa Cruz and author of »Virtualities: Television, Media Art, and Cyberculture«


Jordan Crandall's »Drive« is just the sort of intervention at our tech-besotted culture needs after the bubble burst. 

Peter Lunenfeld, Media Design Program for Graduate Faculty, Art Center College of Design, and author of »Snap to Grid: A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media an Cultures« 


»Drive« resists both cybernetic and science fiction scripts for digital culture, which often invite an indulgence in parallel or recursive realities. For Jordan Crandall, digital devices are simply a new set of interfaces and switches in the larger colloidal field of everything else, and so they are about the material within which they are embedded -our bodies, our larger marketplaces and networks, and our daily theaters of operation. Discussed as a imations or activities. as verbs rather than nouns, these technologies are passages between »interior and exterior rhythms«, and they both ventriloquize and receive life beyond their own boundaries and capabilities. However invisible they may be, they are measured by the huge spaces they calibrate, spaces controlled by commerce, by the military. and by millions of other voices. These space, which are both intrinsic and extrinsic to the digital, are Crandall’s sites, not only discussed but occupied, in installations, objects. online forums, essays. and special publications.

Keller Easterling, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture of Yale University an author of »Organization Space«


»Drive« is a toolbox for thinking. it combines pristine analysis, holistic understanding, and operational effectiveness. Staying close to experience, »Drive« becomes political in the broad sense: it challenges the reader to deal with the global as specifics.

Bart de Baere, Director Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp


Between machine version and database, between art world, critical theory and new media, between a screen and a mobile vehicle, between art practice, writing, and net-dialog, between networks and the cinematic, between theory, and visual poetry – Jordan Crandall’s works strikes at the most critical conceptual knots of our computer culture.

Lev Manovich, Associate Professor of Visal Arts at University of California San Diego and author of »The Language of New Media«

Jordan Crandell has led the way for critically understanding technology in constructing representation, and in its critique, revealing not only aspects of our experiences but a fundamental shift in our sense of self. 

Mary Jane Jacob, Independent curator Chicgo


Today, Jordan Crandall’s voice demands to be hars. His work in media theory compels us to recognize the extent to which our consciousness is formed, manipulated, and maintained by a range of technologies extending from the associated with image in those constructing and managing ubiquitous networks. 

David A. Ross, former Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 


Jordan Crandall's artistic interventions incarnate the very spirit of this mutating world: speed, mobility, information circulation, and networking. Most crucially, as a media activist, Crandall demonstrates the necessarity of engaging artistic and intellectual activities in developing new strategies of resistance and critique. 

Hou Hanru, Independent art critic and curator, Paris 


Not content with constructing a typology of the postindustrial subject that paradoxically tends to surpass the very category of the subject, Jordan Crandall articulates his practice around the question of how such a lack of subjectivity could, nonetheless, resist – or better, what »resistance« would mean in a post industrial context. 

Carlos Basualdo, Chief Curator of the Wexner Center for the Arts and Co-Curator of Documenta 11 


Jordan Crandall's works provide fugitive glimpses of hidden parts of the world just under the radar of the everybody. He draws us in with a heady pornographic allure. 

Bill Arning, Curator, M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge 


Jordan Crandall's reflections on the relation between »technological facing«, sensorium, and subjectivity update Benjamin's and Deleuze's insights as vision and desire are wired in imaging technologies produced for Hollywood and the military. Crandall's fusion of film and military-driven »strategic seeing« is not the stuff of science fiction bur a deconstructive,·replication of the military-industrial-entertainment complex's invasion of our perceptual processes. 

George Yúdice, Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University

254 p. : chiefly ill.
Organization / Institution
Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz ; ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe

Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum

About the editors