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Theory Is Like a Surging Sea

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ISBN: 9780692283950 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0108.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:38
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In a 1917 letter to Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin writes, “Theory is like a surging sea.” This small book takes more than its title from that line—it takes that line as a point of departure in Erich Auerbach’s sense, an Ansatzpunkt, as a compositional principle so that what follows can be read in its entirety as a gloss on the remainder of Benjamin’s sentence: “Theory is like a surging sea, but the only thing that matters to the wave […] is to surrender itself to its motion in such a way that it crests and breaks.” That motion, in the pages to follow, takes up in its sweep two threads: it folds an episodic meditation on the negative and the problematic into a series of singular interrogations exemplary of the positive being of the problematic, the objective being of problems and questions, in a movement of implication and explication between poetry and philosophy in the tradition of what’s come to be known as theory. Theory is like a surging sea because it’s as part of a revolutionary tradition that it crests and breaks.

Beta Exercise: The Theory and Practice of Osamu Kanemura

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ISBN: 9781947477776 9781947477783 Year: Pages: 230 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0241.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Arts in general
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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Beta Exercise: The Theory and Practice of Osamu Kanemura is the first bilingual (Japanese-English) book to provide an overview of the theoretical work of Japanese photographer and video artist Osamu Kanemura, a unique voice in the world of contemporary photography. The opening essay “Life Is a Gift” comments on the transformation of human life into an exchangeable commodity and the abstraction it entails. “Essay 01” develops Kanemura’s idea of photographic “technique” in an era when such techniques have become accessible to all, radically undermining the importance of human subjectivity in the process of capturing the photographic image: “We can say that modern technology constitutes photographic technique.” Instead, Kanemura argues, extra-technical elements such as concept and vision will have to compensate for the expression of individuality that technique is no longer able to convey. Taking cues from Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Karlheinz Stockhausen, the essay “Dead-Stick Landing” develops Kanemura’s theory of the moving image as mechanical system, solely governed by an “on-off switch.” “Essay 02” develops these ideas into a consideration of cinematic time and the experience of boredom in cinema as the result of a truthful “loyalty” expressed to machines, and not to stories. The essays are accompanied by an extensive two-part interview with Italian photographer Marco Mazzi, touching upon topics ranging from the technical aspects of his equipment, the concept of non-editing, and the destruction of the frame to the similarity between Mao’s dialectics and the camera, the presence of the human figure as trace, and the politics of photographing Tokyo.

And Another Thing: Nonanthropocentrism and Art

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ISBN: 9780692652664 Year: Pages: 86 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0144.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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n And Another Thing: Nonanthropocentrism and Art, Katherine Behar and Emmy Mikelson explore how artists engage with nonanthropocentrism, one of the primary tenets shared by recent speculative realist and new materialist philosophies. Extending their investigations in And Another Thing, an exhibition which the authors curated in 2011, this volume documents both that exhibition and expands on two of its curatorial aims: prioritizing art historical contexts for contemporary philosophy (rather than the other way around), and apprehending artworks as historically specific objects of philosophy. The book is organized in three sections. In the first section, Behar and Mikelson provide long-form essays that chart the evolution of nonanthropocentrism and art, spanning eighteenth-century architectural drawing, performance, minimalist sculpture, and contemporary postminimalism. These essays raise the stakes for art and speculative realism, showing how artists have figured and prefigured nonanthropocentric ideas strikingly similar to those expounded in various “new” realist, materialist, and speculativist philosophies. Literally occupying the center of the volume, in section two, the exhibition is represented by full-color plates of eleven works by Carl Andre, Laura Carton, Valie Export, Regina José Galindo, Tom Kotik, Mary Lucking, Bruce Nauman, Grit Ruhland, Anthony Titus, Ruslan Trusewych, and Zimoun. Artworks by these emerging and canonical figures lay bare the networks of alliances underlying the exhibition. The book concludes with three short meditations on the relation between nonanthropocentrism and art, and what that relation might portend for future thought. These essays, by Bill Brown, Patricia Ticineto Clough, and Robert Jackson, are speculative in the sense that they perceive potentials for theory arising from nonanthropocentrism’s manifestations in art.

Speculations V: Aesthetics in the 21st Century

Authors: --- --- ---
ISBN: 9780692203163 Year: Pages: 474 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0068.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:41
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Ever since the turn of the century aesthetics has steadily gained momentum as a central field of study across the disciplines. No longer sidelined, aesthetics has grown in confidence. While this recent development brings with it a return to the work of the canonical authors (most notably Baumgarten and Kant), some contemporary scholars reject the traditional focus on epistemology and theorize aesthetics in its ontological connotations. It is according to this shift that speculative realists have proclaimed aesthetics as “first philosophy” and as speculative in nature. With speculative realism aesthetics no longer necessarily implies human agents. This is in alignment with the general speculative realist framework for thinking all kinds of processes, entities, and objects as free from our all-pervasive anthropocentrism, which states, always, that everything is “for us.” This special volume of Speculations explores the ramifications of what could be termed the new speculative aesthetics. In doing so, it stages a three-fold encounter: between aesthetics and speculation, between speculative realism and its (possible) precursors, and between speculative realism and art and literature

Dialectics Unbound: On the Possibility of Total Writing

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ISBN: 9780615837420 Year: Pages: 58 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0041.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:43
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Dialectics Unbound: On the Possibility of Total Writing re-imagines figures of ontological totality, in and out of writing, first by exploring some lineages of the dialectic, and second by engaging thinkers such as Theodor Adorno and his assertion of nonidentity, Julia Kristeva and her positing of a fourth term of the dialectic, and Fredric Jameson’s treatment of the dialectic as an open totality. By articulating a concept of totalization-without-totality, Dialectics Unbound seeks to free the concept of the dialectic from the violence of closure, and then to take this unbound dialectics to the work of writing through a brief examination of parataxis and aphoristics as approaches to writing, both possible and impossible.

Truth and Fiction: Notes on (Exceptional) Faith in Art

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9780615647104 Year: Pages: 40 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0007.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Performing Arts
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:46
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Reflecting upon his experience making his 2010 feature film Mothers, a cinematic triptych interweaving three narratives that are each, in their own way, about the often tenuous lines between truth and fiction, and one of which actually morphs into a documentary about the aftermath in a small Macedonian town where three retired cleaning women were found raped and killed in 2008 and the murderer turned out to be the journalist covering the story for a major Macedonian newspaper, the Oscar-nominated Macedonian-born and New York-based writer-director Milcho Manchevski writes that, “Most of us look at films differently or accept stories in a different way if we believe that they are true. We watch a documentary film in a different way from the way we watch a drama. We read a magazine article in a different way from the way in which we read a short story. Sometimes, we even treat a film that employs actors differently than a regular drama because we were told that it is based on something that really happened. We treat these works based on truth or reporting on the truth in different ways. “Why? “What is it in our relation to reality or in our relation to what we perceive to be reality that makes us value a work of artifice (an art piece) differently depending on our knowledge or conviction of whether that work of artifice is based on events that really took place?”

Hephaestus Reloaded

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
ISBN: 9781950192359 9781950192366 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0258.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-13 11:21:03
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Hephaestus Reloaded / Efesto Reloaded, presented in a bilingual (English/Italian) publication, and whose five authors are from Greece, Italy, and the US, invokes as its first inspiration the myth of Hephaestus who embodied a twofold entity: both disabled and technically capacious. The myth of Hephaestus has been passed across the centuries as an ancient metaphor signifying the idea of becoming-world, in which any distinction between the natural and the artificial, or the organic and the technical, is blurred. Human beings, by virtue of their physical vulnerabilities and limits, have enhanced their technological powers to the point of transcending their own given nature. At present, a variety of critical discourses in disciplines such as philosophy, history, aesthetics, and cognitive sciences pay attention to our becoming-hybrid (organic and mechanical beings) – unleashing a space for research that probes the concept of transcendence. Each of the contributions in this book addresses – through its own peculiar perspective, method and experimental style – a new way to approach the role of transcendence in socio-cultural life.In the Occidental history of ideas, the notion of transcendence has received at least three canonical articulations that are challenged by this book: religious (Judeo-Christian traditions), philosophical (Platonic-intellectual universality of ideas), and scientific (the objective and technological turn of knowledge). Nonetheless, it is with the rise of cybernetics, with its digital and virtual modalities of systems, networks, and knowledge, that our human environment emerges as a source of knowledge in itself -- not simply as an object but rather as an immersive agency in which nature, knowledge, technique merge. The transcendence of the actual and the virtual into a “third” element is construed and analyzed in this book through conceptual schemes that rely on a post-binary or non-binary understanding of coincidences, triangulations, hybrids, or post-human combinatorics. What is ultimately explored is how transcendence is ejected from strictly theological, philosophical, or scientific groundings and emerges as a germinating point of becoming (something else).

Minóy

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ISBN: 9780692234273 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0072.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:41
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Minóy is a rescue operation with several life rafts. Minóy-the-book provides an introduction and overview to the important noise music artist Minóy — the pseudonym of American electronic art musician and sound artist Stanley Keith Bowsza (1951-2010). Minóy’s audio compositions, often conjuring up an enigmatic world of almost dreadful depth, earned him a key position in the homemade independent cassette culture scene of the 1980s. Minóy-the-CD (available HERE) makes available nine of Minóy’s audio compositions that span the years 1985 to 1993. These were drawn from recently discovered archival material and selected by the editor and artistic director of the project, Joseph Nechvatal, in collaboration with composer Phillip B. Klingler (PBK). Klingler (co-producer and sound engineer) houses the Minóy archive and has re-mastered the tracks, most of which have never been heard before (it was thought that Minóy stopped recording in 1992). Minóy-the-book contains two written monograms of Minóy, one by close friend Amber Sabri and one by artist and art theoretician Joseph Nechvatal. There are three additional essays by Nechvatal, the first of which, “The Obscurity of Minóy,” recounts the history of the recovery of the audio material from obscurity. In the subsequent essays (“The Aesthetics of an Obscure Monster Sacré” and “Hyper Noise Aesthetics”), Nechvatal reflects on the artistic benefits of obscurity and situates Minóy’s deep droning palimpsest soundscapes within an original aesthetic-theoretical context of an obscure monster sacré, and also examines Minóy’s legacy in terms of current aesthetic responses to the surveillance state, couching Minóy’s mysterious and excessive compositions in terms of a general art of noise. In total, Minóy’s work undergoes a critical intricacy in terms of a contemporary art practice engaged in the fragile balance between production of, and resistance to, perceptibility. Nechvatal brings a subversive reading to Minóy’s work by presenting it as a form of hyper-noise artistic gazing, based in the flipping of figure and ground. The book also contains sixty black and white portrait images from the Minóy as Haint as King Lear series that photographer Maya Eidolon (Amber Sabri) created before his death in collaboration with Minóy (then known as Haint) and Stuart Hass (Minóy’s lifetime partner).

Frame by Frame

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ISBN: 9780520972773 9780520303621 Year: Pages: 278 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.65 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Media and communication --- Performing Arts
Added to DOAB on : 2019-07-03 11:21:06
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For most of the twentieth century, the making of animated cartoons was mechanized and standardized to allow for high-volume production: thousands of drawings were inked and painted onto individual transparent celluloid sheets (called "cels") and then photographed in succession, a labor-intensive process that was divided across scores of artists and technicians, most of them anonymous. In order to understand how the industrial mode of production influenced the medium’s visual style, this book regards each frame of a given animated cartoon as a historical document in its own right. This new consideration of the materiality of the medium analyzes cartoons frame by frame to expose hitherto unseen qualities of the image. The book covers the different technologies of reproduction involved in this process, from photography to xerography, as well as the idiosyncrasies of the image—from abstract imagery to mistakes in reproduction—that can be seen only when the film is halted. What emerges is both a new methodology for thinking about animation, the idea of frame-by-frame analysis, and a highly original account of an art formed on the assembly line.

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