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Lower Manhattan Art Crowd Party

Artists, models and fashion people crowded into Holiday Bar in Greenwich Village on Sunday to toast the latest issue of Paradigm Trilogy, a digital publication started by Katharina Korbjuhn, a creative director who has led ad campaigns for the Italian luxury brand Tod’s, the French couture house Schiaparelli and other fashion companies.

Ms. Korbjuhn, 29, who worked as a model when she was a teenager, described Paradigm Trilogy as “cultural theory wrapped in fashion.” Because it has no print edition, she said, she prefers to call it a publication, rather than a magazine. The first issue, which came out in December 2021, began with an article headlined “How Stalin Predicted TikTok.” It was distributed via a QR code printed on matchboxes left at the Odeon, Lucien and other Lower Manhattan hot spots.

Paradigm Trilogy, as the name suggests, is only going to be publishing three issues. The party on Sunday was for the second one, built on the theme “Man vs. Machine.” Guests could access the new issue by hovering their smartphones over miniature hydrostone sculptures depicting the head of the model Paloma Elsesser.

“Man versus machine does not exist,” said Ms. Korbjuhn. “There is no such thing. We are the machine. We are the machine. The tree is me. If we dissolve binary thinking, we’re going to answer all the questions.”

“This issue is quite political,” she continued. “But I can use fashion to glitz over it, make it sexy.”

During dinner service, partygoers crowded the travertine bars at the back of restaurant. While they mixed and mingle, they drank sparkling Brazilian wines. Jak Ritger, an artist and writer who contributed to Paradigm Trilogy’s writings, wore a silk-screen T-shirt with seven layers, painted by Tobias Spichtig, over long-sleeve mock turtleneck. He called it his “go-to fine-art raver outfit.”

In the latest issue, Mr. Ritger helped create a feature that combined vintage Schiaparelli ads with images made by artificial intelligence programs like Midjourney and DALL-E. “There is a big backlash against these kinds of images,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, this is so hideous and ugly.’ But hideous and ugly is actually beautiful.”

Paradigm Trilogy’s coder, Ian Glover, took out his phone to show off works that were on display at his nascent Lower Manhattan art gallery, Blade Study, in an exhibition called “Better World.”Instagram kept deleting photos of the artwork. A scenic painting of a utopian New York City was banned twice for so-called “critical posting,” he said, and a collage of vintage pornography was taken down six times. Mr. Glover republished increasingly blurred versions. The permissible shots weren’t legible.

It all seemed very apropos: The “Man vs. Machine” issue includes a piece that nods to the 2009 essay “In Defense of the Poor Image” by the filmmaker Hito Steyerl. The text, superimposed on modified ads for high-fashion brands, asks if we are “coming to love blurry, pixelated, low-res images.”

Hamzat Raheem, the artist who made the miniature sculptures of Ms. Elsesser’s head, entered the room in a striking ensemble — white rain boots, white Dickies, a white fishing jacket from a hardware store in Japan, white Oakley glasses worn upside-down and a white knitted scarf he said he had commissioned by posting an Instagram story asking his followers if anyone could make him a scarf for $50.

“Man versus machine is something I think about a lot,” Mr. Raheem said. He said that he was conscious of his dependence on technology after he suffered a stroke at the age of 23. “I have a battery in my chest that’s connected via Bluetooth to my phone,” he said, “and I have to keep my phone on me all the time because that’s how my pacemaker communicates with the clinic.”

His sculptures were embedded near-field communication chip. The Paradigm Trilogy issue did not appear on my screen when I hovered my smartphone over one of them.

“Take this as seriously as you want,” Mr. Raheem said, “but there is a fluttering piece of consciousness inside of it. I do think it gets nervous when the attention is on it.”

He stated that all of the sculptures worked after he had programmed and tested them earlier in the day. He seemed to be okay with the idea of them being a little buggy.

“That’s the thing,” Mr. Raheem said. “You want something to work, generally. But it is way more poetic when it works sometimes and then doesn’t work. I’m trying to find a third thing between working and not working.”

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