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L'oeuvre d'art à l'époque de sa reproductibilité technique by Walter Benjamin Book Summary:
À la plus parfaite reproduction il manquera toujours une chose le hic et nunc de l'œuvre d'art - l'unicité de son existence au lieu où elle se trouve. C'est cette existence unique pourtant, et elle seule, qui, aussi longtemps qu'elle dure, subit le travail de l'histoire. WALTER BENJAMIN
The Lumière Galaxy by Francesco Casetti Book Summary:
Francesco Casetti believes new media technologies are producing an exciting new era in cinema aesthetics. Whether we experience film in the theater, on our hand-held devices, in galleries and museums, onboard and in flight, or up in the clouds in the bits we download, cinema continues to alter our habits and excite our imaginations. Casetti travels from the remote corners of film history and theory to the most surprising sites on the internet and in our cities to prove the ongoing relevance of cinema. He does away with traditional notions of canon, repetition, apparatus, and spectatorship in favor of new keywords, including expansion, relocation, assemblage, and performance. The result is an innovative understanding of cinema's place in our lives and culture, along with a critical sea-change in the study of the art. The more the nature of cinema transforms, the more it discovers its own identity, and Casetti helps readers realize the galaxy of possibilities embedded in the medium.
DMZ Crossing by Suk-Young Kim Book Summary:
The Korean demilitarized zone might be among the most heavily guarded places on earth, but it also provides passage for thousands of defectors, spies, political emissaries, war prisoners, activists, tourists, and others testing the limits of Korean division. This book focuses on a diverse selection of inter-Korean border crossers and the citizenship they acquire based on emotional affiliation rather than constitutional delineation. Using their physical bodies and emotions as optimal frontiers, these individuals resist the state's right to draw geopolitical borders and define their national identity. Drawing on sources that range from North Korean documentary films, museum exhibitions, and theater productions to protester perspectives and interviews with South Korean officials and activists, this volume recasts the history of Korean division and draws a much more nuanced portrait of the region's Cold War legacies. The book ultimately helps readers conceive of the DMZ as a dynamic summation of personalized experiences rather than as a fixed site of historical significance.
The Art of Art History by Donald Preziosi Book Summary:
What is art history? Why, how, and where did it originate, and how have its methods changed over time? The history of art has been written and rewritten since classical antiquity. Since the foundation of the modern discipline of art history in Germany in the late eighteenth century, debates about art and its histories have intensified. Historians, philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists among others have changed our notions of what art history has been, is, and might be. This anthology is a guide to understanding art history through critical reading of the field’s most innovative and influential texts, focusing on the past two centuries. Each section focuses on a key issue: art as history; aesthetics; form, content, and style; anthropology; meaning and interpretation; authorship and identity; and the phenomenon of globalization. More than thirty readings from writers as diverse as Winckelmann, Kant, Mary Kelly, and Michel Foucault are brought together, with editorial introductions to each topic providing background information, bibliographies, and critical elucidations of the issues at stake. This updated and expanded edition contains sixteen newly included extracts from key thinkers in the history of art, from Giorgio Vasari to Walter Benjamin and Satya Mohanty; a new section on globalization; and also a new concluding essay from Donald Preziosi on the tasks of the art historian today.
Visual Peace by Frank Möller Book Summary:
This book introduces a new research agenda for visual peace research, providing a political analysis of the relationship between visual representations and the politics of violence nationally and internationally. Using a range of genres, from photography to painting, it elaborates on how people can become agents of their own image.
Radio by John Mowitt Book Summary:
In a wide-ranging, cross-cultural, and transhistorical assessment, John Mowitt examines radio’s central place in the history of twentieth-century critical theory. A communication apparatus that was a founding technology of twentieth-century mass culture, radio drew the attention of theoretical and philosophical writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, and Frantz Fanon, who used it as a means to disseminate their ideas. For others, such as Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and Raymond Williams, radio served as an object of urgent reflection. Mowitt considers how the radio came to matter, especially politically, to phenomenology, existentialism, Hegelian Marxism, anticolonialism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. The first systematic examination of the relationship between philosophy and radio, this provocative work also offers a fresh perspective on the role this technology plays today.
Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics by Marit Grøtta Book Summary:
Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics situates Charles Baudelaire in the midst of 19th-century media culture. It offers a thorough study of the role of newspapers, photography, and precinematic devices in Baudelaire's writings, while also discussing the cultural history of these media generally. The book reveals that Baudelaire was not merely inspired by the new media, but that he played with them, using them as frames of perception and ways of experiencing the world. His writings demonstrate how different media respond to one another and how the conventions of one medium can be paraphrased in another medium. Accordingly, Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics argues that Baudelaire should be seen merely as an advocate of “pure poetry,” but as a poet in a media saturated environment. It shows that mediation, montage, and movement are features that are central to Baudelaire's aesthetics and that his modernist aesthetics can be conceived of, to a large degree, as a media aesthetics. Highlighting Baudelaire's interaction with the media of his age, Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics discusses the ways in which we respond to new media technology, drawing on perspectives from Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben. Combining detailed research with contemporary theory, the book opens up new perspectives on Baudelaire's writings, the figure of the flâneur, and modernist aesthetics.
Critical Neuroscience by Suparna Choudhury,Jan Slaby Book Summary:
Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.
The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World by Paul Graves-Brown,Rodney Harrison,Angela Piccini Book Summary:
It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.
9.5 Theses on Art and Class by Ben Davis Book Summary:
9.5 Theses on Art and Class seeks to show how a clear understanding of class makes sense of what is at stake in a broad number of contemporary art's most persistent debates, from definitions of political art to the troubled status of "outsider" and street art to the question of how we maintain faith in art itself. Ben Davis currently lives and works in New York City where he is Executive Editor at Artinfo.
The City of the Senses by K. DeFazio Book Summary:
Offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach which opens up new ways of understanding urban culture and space. The author approaches the city as essentially a 'material' place where people live, work, and participate in social practices within historical limits set not by sensory experience or cultural meanings but material social conditions.
An Archaeology of Architecture by Dennis Tedlock Book Summary:
Page by page, this book takes us on a journey through the built world that ranges from Greece to Guatemala and from New York to San Francisco. Tedlock practices what he calls photowriting, a creative process that brings photographer and writer together in the same person. It may be true enough that a photograph can show more than words can say, but it is equally true that words can say more than a photograph can show. A third space opens up in the middle, where the viewer reader can look back and forth between image and text at will. Tedlock looks at the built world with the eye of an archaeologist and ethnographer His long experience as a fieldworker has made him acutely aware of the ways in which buildings are continuously altered by human actions and natural forces Anthropology assigns ruins to archaeology and structures currently in use to ethnology, but Tedlock reminds the viewer that an occupied building bears marks of the same processes that produce archaeological remains. As he puts it, “Whenever I look around at the worlds humans build for themselves, I see archaeology in the making.”
Orthodox by Design by Jeremy Stolow Book Summary:
Orthodox by Design, a groundbreaking exploration of religion and media, examines ArtScroll, the world’s largest Orthodox Jewish publishing house, purveyor of handsomely designed editions of sacred texts and a major cultural force in contemporary Jewish public life. In the first in-depth study of the ArtScroll revolution, Jeremy Stolow traces the ubiquity of ArtScroll books in local retail markets, synagogues, libraries, and the lives of ordinary users. Synthesizing field research conducted in three local Jewish scenes where ArtScroll books have had an impact—Toronto, London, and New York—along with close readings of key ArtScroll texts, promotional materials, and the Jewish blogosphere, he shows how the use of these books reflects a broader cultural shift in the authority and public influence of Orthodox Judaism. Playing with the concept of design, Stolow’s study also outlines a fresh theoretical approach to print culture and illuminates how evolving technologies, material forms, and styles of mediated communication contribute to new patterns of religious identification, practice, and power. Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the scholarship category, Jewish Book Council
Conversations on Cinema by De Gaetano Roberto,Slavoj Žižek,Paul Schrader,Jacques Rancière,Jean-Luc Nancy,Paolo Jedlowski,Werner Herzog,Angela Ricci Lucchi,Yervant Gianikian,Roberto Esposito,Georges Didi-Huberman,Jean-Louis Comolli,Julio Bressane Book Summary:
Eleven conversations taken from as many issues of Fata Morgana. Eleven conversations which synthesize the project behind the journal which was born in spring 2006. At the time it was decided against having an editorial comment because of the conviction that if the journal was going to succeed it would speak for itself. However, the time has come to say a few words. A journal is first and foremost a collective gesture whose outline creates a field. The gesture made by Fata Morgana, which at the beginning was only an intuition and then it slowly developed, is the same one that makes cinema a place and an opportunity to think about contemporaneity. It is not simply about what happens around us; it is what emerges from within the events which gather around a concept: from the concept of Bíos (issue No. 0) to the concept of the Sacred (issue No. 10). In this perspective, cinema needs to be interpreted and understood as having its own un-specific specificity. It needs to be interpreted and understood in its principal form where it is capable of categorizing its un-specificity, in other words, its autonomous form where it can categorize its heteronomy. This means thinking about a concept starting from cinema, and thinking about cinema starting from the concept. Thus, cinema becomes a special place and an opportunity to think about the universality of the concept (as a marker of contemporaneity) and the concept becomes the perspective from which to conceive cinema. By avoiding the double edged sword of a sterile specificity or of a self serving un-specificity cinema becomes the quintessential way of thinking about modernity where autonomy of aesthetical form is affirmed in its heteronomy, and its individuation imposes itself as a dis-individuation.
Occupy Time by J. Adams Book Summary:
While secondary texts on Paul Virilio typically see no way out of the tempo- and techno-dystopia he articulates, Occupy Time engages the events of Occupy Wall Street to fix attention on what such readings circumvent: Virilio's elusive theory of resistance.
The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult by Dr Tatiana Kontou,Dr Sarah Willburn Book Summary:
Designed both for those new to the field and for experts, this volume is organized into sections covering the relationship between Victorian spiritualism and science, the occult and politics, and the culture of mystical practices. The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult brings together some of the most prominent scholars working in the field to introduce current approaches to the study of nineteenth-century mysticism and to define new areas for research.
Postal Culture by Gabriella Romani Book Summary:
The nationalization of the postal service in Italy transformed post-unification letter writing as a cultural medium. Both a harbinger of progress and an expanded, more efficient means of circulating information, the national postal service served as a bridge between the private world of personal communication and the public arena of information exchange and production of public opinion. As a growing number of people read and wrote letters, they became part of a larger community that regarded the letter not only as an important channel in the process of information exchange, but also as a necessary instrument in the education and modernization of the nation. In Postal Culture, Gabriella Romani examines the role of the letter in Italian literature, cultural production, communication, and politics. She argues that the reading and writing of letters, along with epistolary fiction, epistolary manuals, and correspondence published in newspapers, fostered a sense of community and national identity and thus became a force for social change.