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Photography in the Middle: Dispatches on Media Ecologies and Aesthetics

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ISBN: 9780998237510 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0154.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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It’s easy to forget there’s a war on when the front line is everywhere encrypted in plain sight. Gathered in this book’s several chapters are dispatches on the role of photography in a War Universe, a space and time in which photographers such as Hilla Becher, Don McCullin and Eadweard Muybridge exist only insofar as they are a mark of possession, in the sway of larger forces. These photographers are conceptual personae that collectively fabulate a different kind of photography, a paraphotography in which the camera produces negative abyssal flashes or ‘endarkenment.’ In his Vietnam War memoir, Dispatches, Michael Herr imagines a ‘dropped camera’ receiving ‘jumping and falling’ images, images which capture the weird indivisibility of medium and mediated in a time of war. The movies and the war, the photographs and the torn bodies, fused and exchanged. Reporting from the chaos at the middle of things, Herr invokes a kind of writing attuned to this experience. Photography in the Middle, eschewing a high theoretical mode, seeks to exploit the bag of tricks that is the dispatch. The dispatch makes no grand statement about the progress of the war. Cultivating the most perverse implications of its sources, it tries to express what the daily briefing never can. Ports of entry in the script we’re given, odd and hasty little glyphs, unhelpful rips in the cover story, dispatches are futile, dark intuitions, an expeditious inefficacy. They are bleak but necessary responses to an indifferent world in which any action whatever has little noticeable effect.

The Funambulist Pamphlets 9: Science Fiction

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ISBN: 9780615987835 Year: Pages: 108 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0069.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Architecture
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:41
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The Funambulist Pamphlets is a series of small books archiving articles published on The Funambulist, collected according to specific themes. These volumes propose a different articulation of texts than the usual chronological one. The eleven volumes are respectively dedicated to Spinoza, Foucault, Deleuze, Legal Theory, Occupy Wall Street, Palestine, Cruel Designs, Arakawa + Madeline Gins, Science Fiction, Literature, and Cinema.

On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy

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ISBN: 9780615785387 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0025.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:45
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For too long, the Earth has been used to ground thought instead of bending it; such grounding leaves the planet as nothing but a stage for phenomenology, deconstruction, or other forms of anthropocentric philosophy. In far too much continental philosophy, the Earth is a cold, dead place enlivened only by human thought—either as a thing to be exploited, or as an object of nostalgia. Geophilosophy seeks instead to question the ground of thinking itself, the relation of the inorganic to the capacities and limits of thought. This book constructs an eclectic variant of geophilosophy through engagements with digging machines, nuclear waste, cyclones and volcanoes, giant worms, secret vessels, decay, subterranean cities, hell, demon souls, black suns, and xenoarcheaology, via continental theory (Nietzsche, Schelling, Deleuze, et alia) and various cultural objects such as horror films, videogames, and weird Lovecraftian fictions, with special attention to Speculative Realism and the work of Reza Negarestani. In a time where the earth as a whole is threatened by ecological collapse, On an Ungrounded Earth generates a perversely realist account of the earth as a dynamic engine materially invading and upsetting our attempts to reduce it to merely the ground beneath our feet.

Critique of Fantasy, Vol. 1

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ISBN: 9781950192922 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0277.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Performing Arts --- Psychology --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2020-06-25 00:03:53
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"Critique of Fantasy, Vol. 1: Between a Crypt and a Date Mark addresses both the style or genre of fantasy and the mental faculty, long the hot property of philosophical ethics. Freud passed it along in his 1907 essay on the poetics of daydreaming when he addressed omnipotent wish fantasy as the source and resource of the aspirations and resolutions of art, which, however, the artwork can never look back at or acknowledge. By grounding his genre in the one fantasy that is true, the Gospel, J.R.R. Tolkien obviated and made obvious the ethical mandate of fantasy’s restraining order. With George Lucas’s Star Wars we entered the borderlands of the fantasy and science fiction genres, a zone resulting from and staggering a contest, which Tolkien inaugurated in the 1930s. The history of this contested borderland marks changes that arose in expectation of what the new media held in store, changes realized (but outside the box of what had been projected) upon the arrival of the unanticipated digital relation, which at last seemed to award the fantasy genre the contest prize. Freud’s notion of the Zeitmarke (datemark), the indelible impress of the present moment that triggered the daydream that denies it, already introduced the import of fantasy's historicization. Science fiction won a second prize that keeps it in the running. No longer bound to projecting the future, the former calling which in light of digitization it flunked, science fiction becomes allegorical and reading in the ruins of its failed predictions illuminates all the date marks and crypts hiding out in the borderlands it traverses with fantasy. To motivate the import of an evolving science fiction genre, Critique of Fantasy makes Gotthard Günther's reflections in the 1950s on American science fiction – as heralding a new metaphysics and a new planetary going on interstellar civilization – a mainstay of its cultural anthropology with B-genres."

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