Mark von Schlegell

Mark von Schlegell's stories and essays appear regularly in underground newspapers, zines, art books, and amateurist periodicals the world over. Venusia, his first novel, was honor-listed for the 2007 James M. Tiptree Jr. Prize in science fiction.

  • Sundogz

    Sundogz

    Mark von Schlegell

    The third novel in von Schlegell's System Series, set among the water-rich moons of planet Uranus, during Earth's full collapse.

    Was there some sort of accident? The Doll was now certain that the Japanese didn't consider him a human. He was concerned with Deary alone. Her flukes lifted to maintain her treading water, left her pale bottom and sex exposed. Was he watching simultaneously from below? The Doll let his tendrils obscure. 5 hours till orbital synch, he remembered. The Doll called up the red-screen into his mindspace and traced the instantly visible tags: Mab's Buoy relay SFS Good Fortune, Wawagawanet 2145270401:33—from Sundogz

    Beginning with Venusia (2005) and continuing with Mercury Station (2009), Mark von Schlegell's System Series has moved backward in time, investigating the contours of time, memory, perception, and control in the inter-planetary system that emerge off-world in the twenty-second and twenty-third centuries during Earth's full collapse.

    In the latest installment, Sundogz, set among the water-rich moons of planet Uranus, extremist astro-marine “spacers” have constructed an aquatic world of extraordinary scope and ambition, entirely invisible to the System at large. The Good Fortune, a spaceship en route to Moon Miranda, the most beautiful and troublesome of Uranus's satellites, sends out a party to explore rumors of a secret fish farm in the λ ring. Now the "Oan Bubble" must attempt to survive its discovery.

    The characters in Sundogz traverse a cybernetic world containing traces of nineteenth-century realism, Shakespearean-style wit and violence, and classic fantasy, while exploring possible modes of the imagination's survival in centuries to come.

    As Jeff Vandermeer noted in Bookforum, von Schlegell's work “addresses the realities of a grim future with grace, humor and intellectual honesty—[his novels] hark back to the heyday of such giants as J. G. Ballard, Ursula Le Guin, John Calvin Batchelor, and Philip K. Dick.”

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99
  • Ickles, Etc.

    Ickles, Etc.

    Mark von Schlegell

    It's the late twenty-first century. Technological, environmental, and social catastrophes have changed the meanings of culture, nature, and landscape forever. But in what remains of the international urban scene, architecture still refuses to admit it hasn't been modern since the early twentieth century. Enter Ickles, Etc.

    Helming Los Angeles's most misunderstood info-architecture practice is Henries Ickles, “the man without self-concept.” Time and again Ickles offers practical solutions to the most impenetrable theoretical entanglements of art, architecture, and science in the 2090s.

    In the fifth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series, Mark von Schlegell's fusion of theory and fiction puts the SF back in notions of “speculative aesthetics.” A collection of interconnected comical sci-fi stories written for various exhibitions, Ickles, Etc. explores the future of architectural practice in light of developments in climatology, quasicrystalography, hyper-contemporary art, time travel, and the EGONET. Occupying New Los Angeles, visiting the Danish Expansion, Nieuw Nieuw Amsterdam, and 1970s St. Louis, the practice finds selves embroiled in very spicy mustards indeed, redefining info- architecture and jettisoning the burdensome “self-concept” of the Western tradition in the process. Just don't expect a visit to the ruins of Disney Hall!

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Hamlet, mise-en-scène

    Hamlet, mise-en-scène

    EXTRA TROUBLE—Jack Smith in Frankfurt

    Sophie von Olfers and Mark von Schlegell

    The publication brings together extensive material from Hamlet, mise-en-scène presented at Portikus, along with recently restored as well as never-published stills, drawings, and writings by American filmmaker and artist Jack Smith, related to his film Hamlet in the Rented World (A Fragment) (1970–73).

    Hamlet, mise-en-scène, directed by Mark von Schlegell, was an adaptation that retold Shakespeare's most abused tragedy while channeling the ghost of Jack Smith. The two-night rendition of Hamlet was performed by members of Städelschule's Pure Fiction seminar, presented here alongside a rare selection of works by Smith, both from private collections and from the Jack Smith Archive.

    Contributors Sylvère Lotringer, Birte Löschenkohl, Sophie von Olfers, Laura Preston, Juliane Rebentisch, Mark von Schlegell, et al.

    • Paperback $27.00
  • New Dystopia

    New Dystopia

    Mark von Schlegell

    “To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.”—Bernadette Devlin

    2011. A kulturnaut, a squid, a Shakespeare, a dog, an artist abstract, a chrononaut, a washerwoman, Tom Ripley and his bones all pass through New Dystopia. Their sped-up speculations lead to new models of deterritorialized life. Visionary and hallucinatory models. Through them, Mark von Schlegell “displays” some of the facets of the invisible catastrophe breaking up our world, which artists in particular are responding to.

    Put together in the wings of the “Dystopia” exhibition at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, acting as a resonance chamber, this illustrated novel raises the issue of possible futures in the form of a critical fiction, and involves the outposts of the novel to come. About New Dystopia, the city in which the novel's protagonists live, the narrator states: “As an American … one only came to New Dystopia City to become an artist. That only there was it a way of life.” According to von Schlegell, we are living in that new metropolis. He states, “Dystopia is today.”

    After Venusia (2005) and Mercury Station (2009), both published by Semiotext(e), New Dystopia is Mark von Schlegell's third novel.

    Co-published with CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux

    Contributors Wallace Berman, Cosima von Bonin, Brian Calvin, Tony Carter, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Peter Coffin, Simon Denny, Andreas Dobler, Roe Ethridge, Keith Farquhar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Aurélien Froment, Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Sebastian Hammwöhner, Roger Hiorns, Ull Hohn, Des Hughes, Peter Hutchinson, Eugene Isabey, Sergej Jensen, On Kawara, Michael Krebber, Jesus Mari Lazkano, Rita McBride, John Miller, Pathetic Sympathy Seekers, Manfred Pernice, Stephen G. Rhodes, Glen Rubsamen, Sterling Ruby, Julia Scher, Frances Scholz, Michael Scott, Markus Selg, Reena Spaulings, Michael Stevenson, Tommy Støckel, Josef Strau, Blair Thurman, Mathieu Tonetti, Oscar Tuazon, Franz West, Jordan Wolfson

    • Paperback $26.00
  • Mercury Station

    Mercury Station

    Mark von Schlegell

    It's 2150, and Eddie Ryan is a prisoner on Mercury, ruled by the qompURE MERKUR: compelling future-history sci-fi by the author of Venusia.

    Published by Semiotext(e) in 2005, Mark von Schlegell's debut novel Venusia was hailed in the sci-fi and literary worlds as a “breathtaking excursion” and “heady kaleidoscopic trip,” establishing him as an important practitioner of vanguard science fiction. Mercury Station, the second book in Von Schlegell's System Series, continues the journey into a dystopian literary future. It is 2150. Eddard J. Ryan was born in a laboratory off Luna City, an orphan raised by the Black Rose Army, a radical post-Earth Irish revolutionary movement. But his first bombing went wrong and he's been stuck in a borstal on Mercury for decades. System Space has collapsed and most of human civilization with it, but Eddie Ryan and his fellow prisoners continue to suffer the remote-control domination of the borstal and its condescending central authority, the qompURE MERKUR, programmed to treat them as adolescents. Yet things could be worse. With little human supervision, the qompURE can be fooled. There's food and whiskey, and best of all, the girl of Eddie Ryan's dreams, his long-time friend and comrade Koré McAllister, is in the same prison. When his old boss, rich and eccentric chrononaut Count Reginald Skaw shows up in orbit with an entire interstation cruiser at his disposal, there's even the possibility of escape... back in time. Like Venusia, Mercury Station tells a compelling story, drawn through a labyrinth of future-history sci-fi, medieval hard fantasy, and cascading samplings of high and low culture. The book is a brilliant literary assault against the singularity of self and its imprisonment in Einsteinian spacetime.

    • Paperback $17.95 £14.99
  • Venusia

    Venusia

    Mark von Schlegell

    A novel about life under enlightened totalitarianism in the twenty-third century and the efforts of a mild-mannered junk dealer to change the human condition.

    Primitive literacy is redundant. Mere words are expelled. We inaugurate a world of pure presence. The mind, that intrudes itself between ourselves and those memories too terrible to know, must keep us moving beyond the grasp of their claw. To control the flow, it will be necessary that political order be imposed always temporarily. The state shall enjoy direct, creative access to the real. It's the end of the twenty-third century. Earth has violently self-destructed. Venusia, an experimental off-world colony, survives under the enlightened totalitarianism of the Princeps Crittendon regime. Using industrialized narcotics, holographic entertainment, and memory control, Crittendon has turned Venusia into a self-sustaining system of relative historical inertia. But when mild-mannered junk dealer Rogers Collectibles finds a book about early Venusian history, the colony—once fully immersed in the present—begins losing its grip on the real. With his Reality-V girlfriend Martha Dobbs, neuroscop operator Sylvia Yang, his midget friend Niftus Norrington, and a sentient plant, Rogers wages a war to alter the shape of spacetime, and in the process, revisions the whole human (and vegetable) condition.

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99

Contributor

  • More Heat than Light

    More Heat than Light

    Sam Lewitt

    A book developed in conjunction with the eponymous exhibitions consisting of oversized custom flexible heating circuits, used for environmental regulation in the sealed environments.

    More Heat Than Light is a book developed in conjunction with the eponymous exhibitions, co-organized for 2015–16 by the Wattis Institute, San Francisco and Kunsthalle Basel. The work, exhibited at both of those institutions as well as an anonymous Airbnb rental apartment in New York, consists of oversized custom flexible heating circuits, used for environmental regulation in the sealed environments of equipment as diverse as medical equipment and food trays, in satellites and chemical vats. The heating circuits in More Heat Than Light are several times their conventional size, scaled-up and designed to draw their power and maximize the energy resources of the electrical circuits allotted for lighting within the sites they are inserted into. Energy allotted for stable artificial light is converted in this work into diffuse uneven warmth. This process is circumscribed with a strict regime of documentation. Each iteration of the exhibition is documented with a live feed from a thermal camera. The book itself, designed in collaboration with Geoff Kaplan, is conceived as a stand-alone object utilizing images taken with the thermal camera as well as research material relating to the work. On one hand, it picks-up the structure of a log of core temperatures of the sort compiled for analysis by the logistics and distribution industry. On the other hand, its format and layout utilize a two-color gradient printing process that interrupts the logical, spatial organization of the gridded screen-shots. This opposition between grid and gradient are staged in the book along a fragmentary work of theoretical fiction by Mark von Schlegell, as well as texts by Anthony Huberman, Elena Filipovic, Melanie Gilligan, and Sam Lewitt, all offering insight into some of the core themes and interpretations of the work. 

    • Paperback $42.00
  • Growth

    Growth

    Zin Taylor

    Zin Taylor has become known internationally for his elaborate installations encompassing elements of performance and sculpture along with drawing, printing, and video. Narration is an essential ingredient of much of Taylor's multifaceted work, and his stories are often culled from the undergrowth of popular culture (more specifically underground music scenes) and contemporary art lore. Journalism, research, storytelling: not surprisingly, both the spoken word and the printed word figure prominently in Taylor's practice (the artist himself belonging to a generation of practitioners for whom a definite facility with language, both on a theoretical and literary level, has become a key aspect of artistic identity), and many of his installations have also been accompanied by publications and/or artist books.

    This artist book is published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Ursula Blickle Stiftung, “The Units,” from May 29 to July 10, 2011.

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Dan Graham

    Dan Graham

    Beyond

    Bennett Simpson and Chrissie Iles

    The first comprehensive survey of a pioneering artist, encompassing photographs, film and video, architectural models, pavilion installations, conceptual projects for magazine pages, drawings and prints, and writings.

    Dan Graham is one of the most significant figures to emerge from the 1960s moment of Conceptual art, with a practice that pioneered a range of art forms, modes, and ideas that are now fundamental to contemporary art. The thrust of his practice has always pointed beyond: beyond the art object, beyond the studio, beyond the medium, beyond the gallery, beyond the self. Beyond all these categories and into the realm of the social, the public, the democratic, the mass produced, the architectural, the anarchic, the humorous. Graham's early work, Homes for America—a series of snapshots of suburban New Jersey tract housing accompanied by short parodic texts, made as a page layout for Arts magazine—announced a critical art grounded in the everyday, and it merged the artist's interest in cultural commentary with art's most advanced visual modes. His 1984 “video-essay” Rock My Religion traced a continuum of separatism and collective ecstasy from the American religious sect the Shakers to hard-core punk music. This volume, which accompanies a major retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, offers the first comprehensive survey of Graham's work. The book's design evokes magazine format and style, after Graham's important conceptual work from the 1960s in that medium. Generously illustrated in color and black and white,Dan Graham: Beyond features eight new essays, two new interviews with the artist, a section of reprints of Graham's own writing, and an animated manga-style “life of Dan Graham” narrative. It examines Graham's entire body of work, which includes designs for magazine pages, drawing, photographs, film and video, and architectural models and pavilions.

    Essays: Chrissie Iles on Graham's performance work • Bennett Simpson on Graham's interest and works in rock music • Beatriz Colomina on Graham's architectural pavilions • Rhea Anastas on Graham's early formation and short-lived operation of the John Daniels Gallery • Mark von Schlegell on Graham's interest in science fiction • Mark Francis on Graham's Public Space/Two Audiences (1976) •Alexandra Midal on Graham's conceptual works for magazine pages and magazine design • Philippe Vergne on Graham's puppet opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty (2004) • Kim Gordon interview with Graham on their collaborations and music • Rodney Graham interview with Graham on jokes and humor in art

    • Paperback $44.95 £38.00