The Optics of Ibn Al-Haytham, Books I–III: On Direct Vision (c1028-38/1989)

22 August 2014, dusan

This is the first English translation of first three out of the 7 volumes of the fundamental work on optics by the medieval Arab scientist Ibn al-Haitham or Alhazen (965–c1039). His book exerted a great influence upon science through Witelo, Roger Bacon, Peckham and Kepler. Alhazen investigated many particular cases of reflection and refraction, and drew attention to the light-ray’s property of retracing its path when reversed. He was the first to give a detailed description of the human eye and to study binocular vision. Certain ophthalmological terms originated from the Latin translation of Alhazen’s Arabic text, e.g. retina and cornea.

The Book of Optics (Kitāb al-Manāẓir, كتاب المناظر) presented experimentally founded arguments against the widely held extramission theory of vision (as held by Euclid in his Optica) and in favour of intromission theory, as supported by thinkers such as Aristotle, the now accepted model that vision takes place by light entering the eye.

Part 1 contains the translation; Part 2 an introduction, commentary, Arabic-Latin glossaries, concordance, bibliography, and indices.

Edition of the Arabic text, edited by A. I. Sabra, was published by National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait, in 1983 (Books I-III) and 2002 (Books IV-V). Sabra’s translation of the latter has not yet been published.

Translated with Introduction and Commentary by A. I. Sabra
Publisher The Warburg Institute, University of London, London, 1989
Studies of the Warburg Institute, 40/1-2
ISBN 0854810722, 9780854810727
367 and 246 pages, 4 plates (following p. 42 in Part 2)

Review (Alexander Jones, Isis, 1991)
Review (George Saliba, Speculum, 1992)

Publisher (WI)
Publisher (SAS)

Download (pp xvi-xix of Part 2 missing; 18 MB)

Latin translation:
Liber de aspectiibus et vocatur prospectiva (digital facsimile of Latin translation of all 7 volumes, manuscript, Ms 1393)
Opticae thesaurus (edition of the Latin translation by Friedrich Risner, 1572;

See also the first episode of Simon Schaeffer’s 2004 BBC documentary series Light Fantastic, “Let There Be Light”, where he discusses Alhazen and others.

Linda: Brazilian Magazine for Electroacoustic Music (2014) [English, Portuguese]

20 August 2014, dusan

A magazine launched earlier this year devoted to contemporary electroacoustic music in Brazil and worldwide. Produced by a young collective affiliated with Nova Música Eletroacústica, these two compilation issues contain selections from its weekly editions.

Volume 1 in English and Portuguese
Volume 2 in English and Portuguese

Music releases on Bandcamp
More issues on the magazine website

Iannis Xenakis: Music and Architecture: Architectural Projects, Texts, and Realizations (2008)

20 August 2014, dusan

This major work fills a major lacuna in the literature by bringing together for the first time all of the projects, realizations and texts related to architecture by the multi-faceted Xenakis who worked with Le Corbusier for 12 years. Sharon Kanach assisted the composer in gathering the texts for this his last ambitious project.

The material in the book is presented under four main headings: “The Le Corbusier Years”, “Xenakis as Independent Architect”, “Writings on Architecture”, and “The Polytopes”. Three annexes include a commented bibliography of writings by and on Xenakis compiled by Makis Solomo, a critical index of Xenakis’s architecture by Sven Sterken, and a comparative chronology of Xenakis’s life and work by Sharon Kanach. The latter’s commentary throughout the book strives to bridge the reciprocal influences between music and architecture in the Xenakis oeuvre.

Compiled, Translated and Commented by Sharon Kanach
Publisher Pendragon Press, Hillsdale/NY, 2008
The Iannis Xenakis Series, 1
ISBN 9781576471074
337 pages
via philip

Review (M.J. Grant, Music & Letters, 2010)
Review (James Harley, MusicWorks, 2010)


Download (84 MB, no OCR)
Download (Alt link)

Fr. Kalivoda (ed.): Telehor 1-2: Special Issue on L. Moholy-Nagy (1936) [CZ/DE/EN/FR]

18 August 2014, dusan

Telehor was a project by Czech functionalist architect, theorist and educator, František Kalivoda, who planned it as a 64-page illustrated quarterly dedicated to visual culture. As an editor and publisher, Kalivoda had established an impressive network of collaborators across Europe, however his plans never fully took off.

Its only issue appeared as a book-length publication on the work of artist and Bauhaus teacher László Moholy-Nagy who was at the time already living in London. The magazine has, in the internationalist fashion, sections in several languages, including French, English, Czech, and German.

Contents of the English section: Foreword by Siegfried Giedion, 1935 (pp 27-29), Letter from Moholy-Nagy to Kalivoda, June 1934 (30-32), Moholy-Nagy’s essays “From Pigment to Light”, 1923-26 (32-34), “A New Instrument of Vision”, 1932 (34-36), “Problems of the Modern Film”, 1928-30 (37-40), “Supplementary Remarks on the Sound and Colour Film”, 1935 (41-42), “Once a Chicken, Always a Chicken”, a film script on a motif from Kurt Schwitter’s “Auguste Bolte”, 1925-30 (43-45), Postscript by Kalivoda, 1936 (45-46).

The reproductions run from page 49 through 112.

Publisher Fr. Kalivoda, Brno, 1936
Typography Fr. Kalivoda
Print Typia Press, Brno
138 pages, 69 ills., 29.7 × 21 cm
via Bibliothèque Kandinsky, in the Unlimited Edition

Moholy-Nagy at Monoskop wiki
Kalivoda at Monoskop wiki

Download (variant with black cover, 149 MB)

El Lissitzky, Hans Arp: Die Kunstismen / Les Ismes De L’Art / The Isms of Art: 1914–1924 (1925) [DE/FR/EN]

18 August 2014, dusan

“Habe eine Idee für das letzte Merz-Heft 1924: ‘Letzte Truppenschau aller Ismen von 1914-24′.” schrieb El Lissitzky in einem Brief. Es gelang ihm, Hans Arp für diese Idee zu begeistern.

This book begins with definitions by well-known artists of the various movements, or forms of art, of the period. They range from Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Abstract Art, through Metaphysicians, Suprematism, Simultanism, Dadaism, Purism, Neoplasticism, Merz, Proun, Perism, Constructivism, to Abstract Film. The section is followed by reproductions illustrating each movement.

Publisher Eugen Rentsch, Erlenbach-Zürich, Munich and Leipzig, 1925
Typography El Lissitzky
Print Staehle & Friedel, Stuttgart
48 pages, 75 ills., 26.5 × 24.5 cm
via Bibliothèque Kandinsky, in the Unlimited Edition

Wikipedia (in German)

Download (64 MB)
Find more Lissitzky’s publications on Monoskop wiki.

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