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Through a wide-ranging selection of essays representing a variety of different media, national contexts and critical approaches, this volume provides a broad overview of the idea of work in modernism, considered in its aesthetic, theoretical, historical and political dimensions. Several individual chapters discuss canonical figures, including Richard Strauss, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka and Gertrude Stein, but Modernist Work also addresses contexts that are chronologically and geographically foreign to the main stream of modernist studies, such as Swedish proletarian writing, Haitian nationalism and South African inheritors of Dada. Prominent historical themes include the ideas of class, revolution and the changing nature of women's work, while more conceptual chapters explore topics including autonomy, inheritance, intention, failure and intimacy. Modernist Work investigates an important but relatively neglected topic in modernist studies, demonstrating the central relevance of the concept of "work" to a diverse selection of writers and artists and opening up pathways for future research.
The first English translation of a foundational work in cinema studies and the philosophy of film. When it was first published in French in 1980, The Ordinary Man of Cinema signaled a shift from the French film criticism of the 1960s to a new breed of film philosophy that disregarded the semiotics and post-structuralism of the preceding decades. Schefer describes the schizophrenic subjectivity the cinema offers us: the film as a work projected without memory, viewed by (and thereby lived by) a subject scarred and shaped by memory. The Ordinary Man of Cinema delineates the phenomenology of movie-going and the fleeting, impalpable zone in which an individual's personal memory confronts the cinema's ideological images to create a new way of thinking. It is also a book replete with mummies and vampires, tyrants and prostitutes, murderers and freaks-figures that are fundamental to Schefer's conception of the cinema, because the worlds that cinema traverses (our worlds, interior and exterior) are worlds of pain, unconscious desire, decay, repressed violence, and the endless mystery of the body. Fear and pleasure breed monsters, and such are what Schefer's emblematic "ordinary man" seeks and encounters when engaging in the disordering of the ordinary that the movie theater offers him. Among other things, Schefer considers "The Gods" in 31 brief essays on film stills and "The Criminal Life" with reflections on spectatorship and autobiography. While Schefer's book has long been standard reading in French film scholarship, until now it has been something of a missing link to the field (and more broadly, French theory) in English. It is one of the building blocks of more widely known and read translations of Gilles Deleuze (who cited this book as an influence on his own cinema books) and Jacques Ranciere.
William Rothman argues that the driving force of Hitchcock's work was his struggle to reconcile the dark vision of his favorite Oscar Wilde quote, "Each man kills the thing he loves," with the quintessentially American philosophy, articulated in Emerson's writings, that gave classical Hollywood movies of the New Deal era their extraordinary combination of popularity and artistic seriousness. A Hitchcock thriller could be a comedy of remarriage or a melodrama of an unknown woman, both Emersonian genres, except for the murderous villain and godlike author, Hitchcock, who pulls the villain's strings-and ours. Because Hitchcock believed that the camera has a murderous aspect, the question "What if anything justifies killing?," which every Hitchcock film engages, was for him a disturbing question about his own art. Tracing the trajectory of Hitchcock's career, Rothman discerns a progression in the films' meditations on murder and artistic creation. This progression culminates in Marnie (1964), Hitchcock's most controversial film, in which Hitchcock overcame his ambivalence and fully embraced the Emersonian worldview he had always also resisted. Reading key Emerson passages with the degree of attention he accords to Hitchcock sequences, Rothman discovers surprising affinities between Hitchcock's way of thinking cinematically and the philosophical way of thinking Emerson's essays exemplify. He finds that the terms in which Emerson thought about reality, about our "flux of moods," about what it is within us that never changes, about freedom, about America, about reading, about writing, and about thinking are remarkably pertinent to our experience of films and to thinking and writing about them. He also reflects on the implications of this discovery, not only for Hitchcock scholarship but also for film criticism in general.
Despite its foundational role in the history of philosophy, Plato's famous argument that art does not have access to truth or knowledge is now rarely examined, in part because recent philosophers have assumed that Plato's challenge was resolved long ago. In Art and Truth after Plato, Tom Rockmore argues that Plato has in fact never been satisfactorily answered - and to demonstrate that, he offers a comprehensive account of Plato's influence through nearly the whole history of Western aesthetics. Rockmore offers a cogent reading of the post - Platonic aesthetic tradition as a series of responses to Plato's position, examining a stunning diversity of thinkers and ideas. He visits Aristotle's Poetics, the medieval Christians, Kant's Critique of Judgment, Hegel's phenomenology, Marxism, social realism, Heidegger, and many other works and thinkers, ending with a powerful synthesis that lands on four central aesthetic arguments that philosophers have debated. More than a mere history of aesthetics, Art and Truth after Plato presents a fresh look at an ancient question, bringing it into contemporary relief.
Violence at an aesthetic remove from the spectator or reader has been a key element of narrative and visual arts since Greek antiquity. Here Robert Appelbaum explores the nature of mimesis, aggression, the affects of antagonism and victimization and the political uses of art throughout history. He examines how violence in art is formed, contextualised and used by its audiences and readers. Bringing traditional German aesthetic and social theory to bear on the modern problem of violence in art, Appelbaum engages theorists including Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Adorno and Gadamer. The book takes the reader from Homer and Shakespeare to slasher films and performance art, showing how violence becomes at once a language, a motive, and an idea in the experience of art. It addresses the controversies head on, taking a nuanced view of the subject, understanding that art can damage as well as redeem. But it concludes by showing that violence (in the real world) is a necessary condition of art (in the world of mimetic play).
In the fields of literature and the visual arts, 'zero degree' represents a neutral aesthetic situated in response to, and outside of, the dominant cultural order. Taking Roland Barthes' 1953 book Writing Degree Zero as just one starting point, this volume examines the historical, theoretical and visual impact of the term and draws directly upon the editors' ongoing collaboration with artist and writer Victor Burgin. The book is composed of key chapters by the editors and Burgin, a series of collaborative texts with Burgin and four commissioned essays concerned with the relationship between Barthes and Burgin in the context of the spectatorship of art. It includes an in-depth dialogue regarding Burgin's long-term reading of Barthes and a lengthy image-text, offering critical exploration of the Image (in echo of earlier theories of the Text). Also included are translations of two projections works by Burgin, Belledonne and Prairie, which work alongside and inform the collected essays. Overall, the book provides a combined reading of both Barthes and Burgin, which in turn leads to new considerations of visual culture, the spectatorship of art and the political aesthetic.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. The electric candle and faux fur, coffee substitutes and meat analogues, Obama impersonators, prosthetics. Imitation this, false that. Humans have been replacing and improving upon the real thing for millennia - from wooden toes found on Egyptian mummies to the Luxor pyramid in Las Vegas. So why do people have such disdain for so-called "fakes"? Kati Stevens's Fake discusses the strange history of imitations, as well as our ever-changing psychological and socioeconomic relationships with them. After all, fakes aren't going anywhere; they seem to be going everywhere. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
"What is it that happens when we understand something?" Malcolm Barnard relates the understanding of visual culture to the traditions of natural and social science and applies the theme of scientific understanding to the principal approaches to understanding art and design. Formalist, Marxist, gender-based, semiological, hermeneutic, and expressionist approaches to visual culture are clearly explained, through a wide variety of examples from fashion, architecture, film, fine art, and comics.
A bold revision of the history of European art, told through the lens of neuroscience Ambitious and much anticipated, this book celebrates the value of recent neuroscientific discoveries as tools for art-historical analysis. Case studies ranging across the whole history of European art demonstrate the relationships between forms of visual expression and the objects of visual attention, emotional connection, and intellectual interest in daily life, thus illuminating the previously hidden meanings of many artistic styles and conventions. Art historians have until now concentrated on the conscious intentions of artists and patrons, but neuroscience provides insights into the role of non-conscious mental processes in the production and consumption of works of art. As John Onians powerfully argues, these insights have the potential to revolutionize cultural history. For the first time, an authority renowned for a more traditional approach has applied new neuroscientific knowledge to a wide range of art-historical problems, both familiar and fresh. The result is a provocative, original, and persuasive case for neuroscience as an aid to research in the humanities.
Boldly contesting recent scholarship, Sallis argues that "The Birth of Tragedy" is a rethinking of art at the limit of metaphysics. His close reading focuses on the complexity of the Apollinian/Dionysian dyad and on the crossing of these basic art impulses in tragedy. "Sallis effectively calls into question some commonly accepted and simplistic ideas about Nietzsche's early thinking and its debt to Schopenhauer, and proposes alternatives that are worth considering."--Richard Schacht, "Times Literary Supplement"
This book examines the relationship between aesthetics and politics based on the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Pierre-Felix Guattari (1930-1992), most famous for their collaborative works "Anti-Oedipus" (1972) and "A Thousand Plateaus" (1980). Porter analyses the relationship between art and social-political life and considers in what ways the aesthetic and political connect to each other. Deleuze and Guattari believed that political theory can have aesthetic form and that vice versa, the arts can be thought to be forms of political theory. Deleuze and Guattari force us to confront the idea that 'art', the things we call language, literature, painting and architecture, always has the potential to be political because naming, or language-use, implies a shaping or ordering of the 'political' as such, rather than its re-presentation.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Tree explores the forms, uses, and alliances of this living object's entanglement with humanity, from antiquity to the present. Trees tower over us and yet fade into background. Their lifespan outstrips ours, and yet their wisdom remains inscrutable, treasured up in the heartwood. They serve us in many ways-as keel, lodgepole, and execution site-and yet to become human, we had to come down from their limbs. In this book Matthew Battles follows the tree's branches across art, poetry, and landscape, marking the edges of imagination with wildness and shadow. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.
This book is an interdisciplinary project that brings together ideas from aesthetics, philosophy, psychology, and music sociology as an expansion of German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer's theory on the aesthetics of play. This way of thinking focuses on an ontology of the process of musicking rather than an ontology of discovering fixed and static musical objects. In line with this idea, the author discusses the importance of participation and involvement in this process of musicking, whether as a listener or as a performer. Christensen then goes on to critique and update Gadamer's theory by presenting incompatibilities between it and recent theories of aesthetic emotions and embodiment. He proposes that emotions are `constructed' rather than `caused', that the mind uses a system of `filters' to respond to sonic stimuli and thus constructs (via play) aesthetic feelings and experiences. In turn, this approach provides music with a route into the development of social capital and inter-subjective communication. This work builds on the hermeneutical steps already taken by Gadamer and those before him, continuing his line of thought beyond his work. It will be of great interest to scholars in music aesthetics as well as a variety of other music related fields, including music psychology, philosophy and science and technology studies.
As illustrated in Goethe's famous novel of the same name, elective affinities are powerful relationships that crystallize under changing conditions. In this new book, Lydia Goehr focuses on the history of elective affinities between philosophy and music from German classicism, romanticism, and idealism to the modernist aesthetic theory of Theodor W. Adorno and Arthur C. Danto. Aesthetic theory, she argues, depends on a dynamic philosophy of history centered on tendencies, yearnings, needs, and potentialities. With this in mind, she recasts the theses of Adorno and Danto regarding the death or end of philosophy, art, music, and human experience as arguments for continuation and survival. "Elective Affinities" tracks the migration of aesthetic and critical theory from Germany to the United States following the catastrophic period of the twentieth century marked by the Second World War.
Christine Buci-Glucksmann's The Madness of Vision is one of the most influential studies in phenomenological aesthetics of the baroque. Integrating the work of Merleau-Ponty with Lacanian psychoanalysis, Renaissance studies in optics, and twentieth-century mathematics, the author asserts the materiality of the body and world in her aesthetic theory. All vision is embodied vision, with the body and the emotions continually at play on the visual field. Thus vision, once considered a clear, uniform, and totalizing way of understanding the material world, actually dazzles and distorts the perception of reality. In each of the nine essays that form The Madness of Vision Buci-Glucksmann develops her theoretical argument via a study of a major painting, sculpture, or influential visual image-Arabic script, Bettini's "The Eye of Cardinal Colonna," Bernini's Saint Teresa and his 1661 fireworks display to celebrate the birth of the French dauphin, Caravaggio's Judith Beheading Holofernes, the Paris arcades, and Arnulf Rainer's self-portrait, among others-and deftly crosses historical, national, and artistic boundaries to address Gracian's El Criticon; Monteverdi's opera Orfeo; the poetry of Hafiz, John Donne, and Baudelaire; as well as baroque architecture and Anselm Kiefer's Holocaust paintings. In doing so, Buci-Glucksmann makes the case for the pervasive influence of the baroque throughout history and the continuing importance of the baroque in contemporary arts.
According to the sociologist Max Weber, luxury is the product "of a refusal of utilitarian orientation toward use", whilst Theodor Adorno claimed that luxury is a "longing to escape the slavery of goals". In this thought-provoking book Lambert Wiesing asks simply: What is luxury? He also considers further important questions, such as whether we would we rather live in a world with or without luxury and argues that luxury is something that can be attained by anyone. Drawing on a fascinating range of examples, Lambert Wiesing argues that luxury is an aesthetic experience. Unlike experience gained via the senses, such as seeing, hearing or tasting, he argues that luxury is achieved by possessing something - an aspect of philosophy that has been largely neglected. As such, luxury becomes a gesture of individual defiance and a refusal to conform to social expectations of restraint. An increasingly rational and goal-oriented ethos in society makes the appeal of luxury grow even stronger. Drawing on the ideas of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Martin Heidegger and the novelist Ernst Junger, as well as sociologists such as Thorstein Veblen and Theodor Adorno, A Philosophy of Luxury will be of great interest to those in philosophy, art, cultural studies and literature as well as sociology.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. We all wear hoods: the Grim Reaper, Red Riding Hood, torturers, executioners and the executed, athletes, laborers, anarchists, rappers, babies in onesies, and anyone who's ever grabbed a hoodie on a chilly day. Alison Kinney's Hood explores the material and symbolic vibrancy of this everyday garment and political semaphore, which often protects the powerful at the expense of the powerless-with deadly results. Kinney considers medieval clerics and the Klan, anti-hoodie campaigns and the Hooded Man of Abu Ghraib, the Inquisition and the murder of Trayvon Martin, uncovering both the hooded perpetrators of violence and the hooded victims in their sights. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
There exists a series of contemporary artists who continually defy the traditional role of the artist/author, including Art & Language, Guerrilla Girls, Bob and Roberta Smith, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Lucky PDF. In Death of the Artist, Nicola McCartney explores their work and uses previously unpublished interviews to provoke a vital and nuanced discussion about contemporary artistic authorship. How do emerging artists navigate intellectual property or work collectively and share the recognition? How might a pseudonym aid 'artivism'? Most strikingly, she demonstrates how an alternative identity can challenge the art market and is symptomatic of greater cultural and political rebellion. As such, this book exposes the art world's financially incentivised infrastructures, but also examines how they might be reshaped from within. In an age of cuts to arts funding and forced self-promotion, this offers an important analysis of the pressing need for the artistic community to construct new ways to reinvent itself and incite fresh responses to its work.
Most philosophy has rejected the theater, denouncing it as a place of illusion or moral decay; the theater in turn has rejected philosophy, insisting that drama deals in actions, not ideas. Challenging both views, The Drama of Ideas shows that theater and philosophy have been crucially intertwined from the start. Plato is the presiding genius of this alternative history. The Drama of Ideas presents Plato not only as a theorist of drama, but also as a dramatist himself, one who developed a dialogue-based dramaturgy that differs markedly from the standard, Aristotelian view of theater. Puchner discovers scores of dramatic adaptations of Platonic dialogues, the most immediate proof of Plato's hitherto unrecognized influence on theater history. Drawing on these adaptations, Puchner shows that Plato was central to modern drama as well, with figures such as Wilde, Shaw, Pirandello, Brecht, and Stoppard using Plato to create a new drama of ideas. Puchner then considers complementary developments in philosophy, offering a theatrical history of philosophy that includes Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Burke, Sartre, Camus, and Deleuze. These philosophers proceed with constant reference to theater, using theatrical terms, concepts, and even dramatic techniques in their writings. The Drama of Ideas mobilizes this double history of philosophical theater and theatrical philosophy to subject current habits of thought to critical scrutiny. In dialogue with contemporary thinkers such as Martha Nussbaum, Iris Murdoch, and Alain Badiou, Puchner formulates the contours of a "dramatic Platonism." This new Platonism does not seek to return to an idealist theory of forms, but it does point beyond the reigning philosophies of the body, of materialism and of cultural relativism.
Ideas gain legitimacy as they are put to some practical use. A study of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) supports this pragmatism as a way of thinking about truth and meaning. Architecture has a strong pragmatic strand, not least as we think of building users, architecture as a practice, the practical demands of building, and utility. After all, Vitruvius placed firmness and delight in the company of utilitas amongst his demands on architecture. Peirce (pronounced 'purse') was a logician, and so many of his ideas are couched in terms of formal propositions and their limitations. His work appeals therefore to many architects grappling with the digital age, and references to his work cropped up in the Design Methods Movement that developed and grew from the 1950s. That movement sought to systematise the design process, contributing to the idea of the RIBA Plan of Work, computer-aided design, and various controversies about rendering the design process transparent and open to scrutiny. Peirce's commitment to logic led him to investigate the basic elements of logical statements, notably the element of the sign. His best-known contribution to design revolves around his intricate theory of semiotics, the science of signs. The study of semiotics divided around the 1980s between advocates of Peirce's semiotics, and the broader, more politically charged field of structuralism. The latter has held sway in architectural discourse since the 1980s. Why this happened and what we gain by reviving a Peircean semiotics is the task of this book.
This volume presents 25 essays on the philosophy of design. With contributions originating from philosophy and design research, and from product design to architecture, it gives a rich spectrum of state of the art research and brings together studies on philosophical topics in which design plays a key role and design research to which philosophy contributes. Coverage zooms in on specific and more well-known design disciplines but also includes less-studied disciplines, such as graphic design, interior architecture and exhibition design. In addition, contributors take up traditional philosophical issues, such as epistemology, politics, phenomenology and philosophy of science. Some essays cover philosophical issues that emerge in design, for instance what design can do in addressing societal problems, while other essays analyze main-stream philosophical issues in which design is part of the argument, as for instance abduction and aesthetics. Readers will discover new research with insightful analyses of design research, design thinking and the specificity of design. Overall, this comprehensive overview of an emerging topic in philosophy will be of great interest to researchers and students.
This book, by one of the most challenging contemporary thinkers,
begins with an essay that introduces the principal concern
sustained in the four succeeding ones: Why are there several arts
and not just one? This question focuses on the point of maximal
tension between the philosophical tradition and contemporary
thinking about the arts: the relation between the plurality of the
human senses--to which the plurality of the arts has most
frequently been referred--and sense or meaning in general.
In this bold interdisciplinary work, Geoffrey Galt Harpham argues that asceticism has played a major role in shaping Western ideas of the body, writing, ethics, and aesthetics. He suggests that we consider the ascetic as "the 'cultural' element in culture," and presents a close analysis of works by Athanasius, Augustine, Matthias, Grunewald, Nietzsche, Foucault, and other thinkers as proof of the extent of asceticism's resources. Harpham demonstrates the usefulness of his findings by deriving from asceticism a "discourse of resistance," a code of interpretation ultimately more generous and humane than those currently available to us.
Theodor Adorno (1903-69) was undoubtedly the foremost thinker of the Frankfurt School, the influential group of German thinkers that fled to the US in the 1930s, including such thinkers as Herbert Marcuse and Max Horkheimer. His work has proved enormously influential in sociology, philosophy and cultural theory. Aesthetic Theory is Adorno's posthumous magnum opus and the culmination of a lifetime's investigation. Analysing the sublime, the ugly and the beautiful, Adorno shows how such concepts frame and distil human experience and that it is human experience that ultimately underlies aesthetics. In Adorno's formulation `art is the sedimented history of human misery'.
USE FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS ONLY FOR GENERAL CATALOGS... This volume
offers a response to three ongoing needs:
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