Hito Steyerl - The Wretched of the Screen

Hito Steyerl’s landmark essays on the politics of the image.

The Wretched of the Screen

Hito Steyerl

In Hito Steyerl’s writing we begin to see how, even if the hopes and desires for coherent collective political projects have been displaced onto images and screens, it is precisely here that we must look frankly at the technology that seals them in. The Wretched of the Screen collects a number of Steyerl’s landmark essays from recent years in which she has steadily developed her very own politics of the image.

Twisting the politics of representation around the representation of politics, these essays uncover a rich trove of information in the formal shifts and aberrant distortions of accelerated capitalism, of the art system as a vast mine of labor extraction and passionate commitment, of occupation and internship, of structural and literal violence, enchantment and fun, of hysterical, uncontrollable flight through the wreckage of postcolonial and modernist discourses and their unanticipated openings.

With an introduction by Franco “Bifo” Berardi
Edited by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle




Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Introduction

In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective

In Defense of the Poor Image

A Thing Like You and Me

Is a Museum a Factory?

The Articulation of Protest

Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to Post-Democracy

Art as Occupation: Claims for an Autonomy of Life

Freedom from Everything: Freelancers and Mercenaries

Missing People: Entanglement, Superposition, and Exhumation as Sites of Indeterminacy

The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation

Cut! Reproduction and Recombination

Capitalism, Technology, Internet, Aesthetics, Museums, Data & Information, Film, Image
Media theory, Experimental Film, Post-capitalism, Internet Art, Algorithms, Art Market, Art Criticism, Autonomy, Art Activism, Contemporaneity, Neoliberalism, Video Art, Virtual & Augmented Reality

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, moving-image artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. Her principal topics of interest are media, technology, and the global circulation of images. Through her writing practice, films, and performative lectures, Steyerl considers the status of the image in an increasingly global and technological world.


2012, English
10.8 x 17.8 cm, 200 pages, 27 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-934105-82-5

Sternberg Press

Jeff Ramsey

Front cover design
Liam Gillick


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.