"New Eelam" is a cloud-based digital subscription housing project offering ideal homes to footloose "global citizens" who practice high mobility, postpolitical utopianism, and minimalist interior design. This article uncovers the political and cultural significance of this dream of dematerialized existence in the work of the artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas. Mapping the dematerialization of the art object onto the dematerializations of cloud computing and minimalist lifestyles, this article addresses two ongoing series: When Platitudes Become Form (2012–) and New Eelam (2016–). First, it explores how New Eelam conscripts its public into imagining itself as the morally and aesthetically superior advance-guard of a new world order. Then, it uses Kulendran Thomas's submerged invocation of the 1969 exhibition Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form to analyze how this experiment in "digital realty" uses dematerialization to solicit urgent realizations about the relationships between the contemporary art market, mass migration, and geopolitical reality.


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pp. 192-213
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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