Founded in 1974
Based in Los Angeles, CA
Semiotext(e) has produced twenty-eight pamphlets as part of its contribution to the 2014 Biennial, written by philosophers, writers, and critics associated with the press. The series includes new, commissioned works by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, John Kelsey, Chris Kraus, Eileen Myles, Ariana Reines, and Abdellah Taïa, among others, and previously unpublished texts by such influential twentieth-century figures as Simone Weil, Julio Cortazar, and Jean Baudrillard.
Founded as a journal in 1974 by Sylvère Lotringer with a group of Columbia University graduate students, Semiotext(e)’s first goal was to introduce French poststructuralist theory to the United States. With the 1978 release of the seminal Schizo-Culture issue, which conjoined critical theory, underground culture, and high literature and art, the journal began to forge the “high/low” aesthetic that remains central to the project today. Lotringer started the Foreign Agents series in 1983 with the publication of Simulations by Jean Baudrillard, followed by writings of Paul Virillio, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and others. In 1990 Chris Kraus launched Native Agents, a series of first-person fiction that aimed to assert a public female “I,” positing discursive American fiction as a radical practice of French theoretical ideas about identity and subjectivity. Joining Semiotext(e) as a co-editor in 2004, Hedi El Kholti extended the scope of both imprints, and launched both the Intervention Series and Animal Shelter, a journal of art, sex, and literature, dedicated to the fleeting, ephemeral, non-digital, and non-hierarchical.
Boldly mixing high theory, poetics, politics, and diverse cultural forms, Semiotext(e) has been best read, and most understood, within the context and values of contemporary art.
Semiotext(e)'s 2014 Biennial installation design is by Jason Yates.