Winter 2023/24
Issue 23
Attention
Yves Citton
Enrico Campo
Mark Wigley
Georg Franck
Claire Bishop
Svetlana Alpers
Philippe Descola
Milan Kundera
Christian Salmon
Cavafy
Nikos Pratsinis
Mª Helena Vieira da Silva
Italian Journey
Psychedelics
Marcelo Leite
About this edition

Attention, the subject of the central dossier of issue 23 of Electra magazine, is a scarce and precious resource, and therefore subject to an unrelenting battle to capture it. And there has never been such a proliferation of information, consumer products, cultural goods, and events that demand our attention. Attention is the commodity on which the value of all other commodities depends, whether material or immaterial, real or symbolic. It is therefore a fundamental issue of our time and a crucial topic for understanding it. This issue features articles and interviews with Yves Citton, Enrico Campo, Mark Wigley, Georg Franck, and Claire Bishop.

This issue's "In the First Person" section features interviews with the American writer, professor and critic Svetlana Alpers (with Afonso Dias Ramos), whose pioneering work has redefined the field of art history in recent decades, and Philippe Descola (with António Guerreiro), a central figure in anthropology, who speaks about topics ranging from the production of images and iconographic traditions and styles to the question of the opposition between nature and culture.

The "Scoop" section presents a set of unpublished drawings and letters by the painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. In 1928, she was twenty years old and had left Portugal to study art in Paris, before embarking on a study trip to Italy. During this journey she drew quick sketches in a notebook of what she saw, writing letters to her mother to tell her about her impressions and discoveries. A selection of these drawings and letters, in which an intimate and consonant dialogue is established, is now revealed.

In Electra 23, a portrait of the great Greek poet Constantine Cavafy by professor and translator Nikos Pratsinis is published in the "Figure" section, and writer Christian Salmon offers commentary on a reflection on the tragic history of Central Europe by renowned Czech novelist and essayist Milan Kundera in the "Passages" section.

Also in this issue, essayist and journalist Sergio Molino gives us a personal map of the city of Zaragoza, where history and geography, literature and art meet; Brazilian journalist and columnist Marcelo Leite examines research that has been conducted since the 1990s with a view to the pharmacological and therapeutic use of psychedelics; writer and veterinarian María Sanchez builds a diary that is permeated with searching and encounter, houses and journeys, books and animals, lands and women, love and friendship; Chilean architect, researcher and curator Francisco Díaz discusses the relationship between soil and terrain based on Peter Eisenman's City of Culture project in Santiago de Compostela; artist and essayist João Sousa Cardoso writes about the work of sculptor Rui Chafes, revisiting three exhibitions and a book presented during 2023; and playwright Miguel Castro Caldas offers a commentary on the word "Comfortable".

Svetlana Alpers: ‘I am suspicious about words and images.’
Svetlana Alpers: ‘I am suspicious about words and images.’
The Fountain of the Unbelievers in Zaragoza
The Fountain of the Unbelievers in Zaragoza
Attention
Attention
The Rules and Limits of Attention
The Rules and Limits of Attention
From the Attention Economy to the Curiosity Economy
From the Attention Economy to the Curiosity Economy
Politics of Attention Reconsidered: Between Measurement and Care
Politics of Attention Reconsidered: Between Measurement and Care
Architectures of Inattention
Architectures of Inattention
The Many Faces of the Attention Economy
The Many Faces of the Attention Economy
Claire Bishop: Disordered Attention
Claire Bishop: Disordered Attention
Eight Questions about Cavafy’s Poetry
Eight Questions about Cavafy’s Poetry
Upon This Page Shone the Sun
Upon This Page Shone the Sun
Milan Kundera: ‘A man knows he is mortal, but he takes it for granted that his nation possesses a kind of eternal life.'
Milan Kundera: ‘A man knows he is mortal, but he takes it for granted that his nation possesses a kind of eternal life.'
Philippe Descola: ‘We, the modern, are the only ones reflecting on the difference between nature and culture.’
Philippe Descola: ‘We, the modern, are the only ones reflecting on the difference between nature and culture.’
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva: Italian Journey
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva: Italian Journey
The Second Coming of Psychedelics
The Second Coming of Psychedelics
Rui Chafes: The Moral of the Story
Rui Chafes: The Moral of the Story