CODES C Magazine Issue 55
As sets of visible and invisible instructions, codes move within and beyond the digital imaginary. Expanding on codes as ethical, social, political, and legal boundaries, the fall 2023 issue of C Magazine probes the visual culture of codes as reflections of the world’s existing mechanics, and as ways of reimagining the future.

Features, interviews, and experimental texts in this issue consider programming languages as poetry, challenge settler ideas of an inanimate wilderness in paranormal readings with the land, and recount conversations with an AI art critic. Contributing artists and writers explore the material consequences of codes, and ask how they might be re-inscribed to understand or lay form to (alternate) conditions of life.

This issue’s cover image—Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.’s Devin in Red Socks (2016)—is featured in the exhibition “As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic,” reviewed by Charles Campbell. As C Magazine Editor Joy Xiang writes, Brown’s image “plays with photographic codes by drawing attention to how regimes of looking inflect the Black subject.”

Each issue of C Magazine opens and concludes with an original Artist Project featuring new work specially commissioned by a guest curator. C155 presents Born in a Body, a project by Brody Weaver and Elliot Ciz, based on their experimental documentary film about access to trans healthcare. Born in a Body mobilizes what curator Excel Garay calls apparitional aesthetics—a trans methodology that skirts unfettered access to trans being and “highlights how various lenses and constant (re)codings continually transform trans subjects.”

Read Xiang’s editorial and Campbell’s review of “As We Rise” for free online with the launch of C155 “Codes.” Check out select additional articles relased online and preview the list of C155 features below.

Letters from Sherry Chunqing Liu, Jeannette Pang, and Ashley Culver reflect on issue 154 “Gossip.”

C155 Features:
by Meech Boakye

Joyful, Poetic Microworlds
by Matt Nish-Lapidus

Petal by Petal: Feminine Desire as a Conduit for Home
by Christina Hajjar

masus wəλəɫəʔos? we hear the brook
by Mercedes Webb / maḻ idi / məlidi and Kaylee Maciejko

“A Political, Ethical, Existence Practice”: In Conversation with Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva
by Coco Zhou

You Only Live Twice
by Erin Reznick

Untangling Beauty from the Elite
by Stevie Ada Klaark

From Algorithms to Aesthetics: Unlocking the Mind of CritBot.AI, Pioneering Critic
by Cat Bluemke, Jonathan Carroll, and Hannah Hanski

Subscribe to read all of C155 “Codes” online today. All subscriptions include unlimited access to the latest print and online-exclusive content at Want to read C155 in print? Copies are available on newsstands; find a store near you or order yours online to have it delivered.

Readers and subscribers are essential to our work at C. Your support helps bring new voices, critical insight, and creative ideas to readers at a time when rigorous, challenging, inclusive art writing is more important than ever.

C Magazine, established in 1984, is a contemporary art and criticism periodical that functions as a forum for significant ideas in art and its contexts. Each issue explores a theme that is singularly engaged with emerging and prevailing perspectives through original art writing, criticism, and artist projects. Our content focuses on contemporary art in Canada and the activities of Canadian practitioners living abroad—with an emphasis on those from Black, Indigenous, diasporic, and other equity-deserving communities—as well as on international practices and dialogues. We are committed to facilitating meaningful, pluralistic, interdisciplinary, historically-engaged, and imaginative conversations about art.


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