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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The image of railway tracks expresses the intricate connections between the ‘thing world’ and the ‘social world’, between material objects and human organization. This chapter explores the dialectical nature of railway tracks: they speak of the future whilst evoking a sense of loss, thus encouraging reflection on the two poles of the social experience of technology—use and obsolescence. As such they are an ‘ambiguous marker of the modern condition’. The chapter aims to capture somehow this profound ambiguity through the works of various artists: Anselm Kiefer, Ivan Puig, and Andres Padilla Domene in particular.

Keywords: organization, modernity, art, train, Benjamin, Kiefer, Sebald

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