James J. Gibson: The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (1979–) [EN, RU]

2 March 2015, dusan

“James J. Gibson (1904–1979) is one of the most important psychologists of the 20th century, best known for his work on visual perception. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and his first major work was The Perception of the Visual World (1950) in which he rejected behaviorism for a view based on his own experimental work. In his later works, including The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (1979), Gibson became more philosophical and criticized cognitivism in the same way he had attacked behaviorism before, arguing strongly in favor of direct perception and direct realism, as opposed to cognitivist indirect realism. He termed his new approach ‘ecological psychology’.”

“He moved from thinking about what patterns could act as stimuli to rethinking the concept of the stimulus itself, ultimately rejecting “stimulus” in favor of his version of “information.” In a 1960 paper that is a classic in its own right, Gibson carefully surveyed the patch work of meanings of the term “stimulus” that could be found in the literature. He concluded that the optical (or acoustic, or haptic etc.) patterning that would best correspond to actual perceiving in the world no longer seemed like a “stimulus” at all in any proper sense. Instead, he proposed a common-sense usage of the term “information” (as opposed to the technical usage of Shannon) which was fairly well developed by that time. By information, Gibson meant structured energy that was information about environmental sources, in contrast to information as structure in an information theoretical sense which implies a sender and a receiver. Gibson’s information is specific to its environmental sources though not a replica or a copy. It certainly is not a stimulus in the sense of energy that triggers a response. Gibson’s information does not come to the animal. The animal goes to it, actively obtaining the information. Part 2 of this volume develops this concept of information and is at the heart of Gibson’s theory.” (from the Introduction)

“Gibson’s legacy is increasingly influential on many contemporary movements in psychology, particularly those considered to be post-cognitivist.”

Publisher Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1979
This edition, Psychology Press, 2014
ISBN 9781315740218
315 pages

Reviews and commentaries: E. Bruce Goldstein (Leonardo, 1981), Frederick A. Jules (1984), A. P. Costall (Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1984), Maurizio Ferraris (1999, IT), William M. Mace (Ethics & the Environment, 2005).

Wikipedia, FR
Publisher
WorldCat

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (PDF), PDF (English, 1979/2014, 4 MB)
Ekologicheskiy podchod k zritelnomu vospriyatiyu (Russian, trans. T.M. Sokolskoy, 1988, 11 MB)

For more on Gibson see Monoskop wiki.

Simeon Wade: Chez Foucault (1978)

28 February 2015, dusan

An introduction to the work of Michel Foucault prepared by Simeon Wade for students of the Otis Parson Institute of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Wade was a member of the faculty and made Foucault accessible to generations of its students. The handout also contains a 1976 discussion with Foucault, entitled “Dialogue on Power” (pp 4-22). “The copies are cherished beyond measure.” (updated after a correction by Erika Suderburg)

Publisher Circabook, Los Angeles
110 pages
via Stuart Elden’s Progressive Geographies blog (see the page for more information)

PDF (25 MB)
French translation of the interview (in Dits et écrits)

See also Foucault’s bibliography on Monoskop

Seth Kim-Cohen: Against Ambience (2013)

28 February 2015, dusan

Against Ambience diagnoses – in order to cure – the art world’s recent turn toward ambience. Over the course of three short months – June to September, 2013 – the four most prestigious museums in New York indulged the ambience of sound and light: James Turrell at the Guggenheim, Soundings at MoMA, Robert Irwin at the Whitney, and Janet Cardiff at the Met. In addition, two notable shows at smaller galleries indicate that this is not simply a major-donor movement. Collectively, these shows constitute a proposal about what we want from art in 2013.

It’s impossible to play possum. While we’re in the soft embrace of light, the NSA and Facebook are still collecting our data, the money in our bank accounts is still being used to fund who-knows-what without our knowledge or consent, the government we elected is still imprisoning and targeting people with whom we have no beef. We deserve an art that is the equal of our information age. Not one that parrots the age’s self-assertions or modes of dissemination, but an art that is hyper-aware, vigilant, active, engaged, and informed.

We are now one hundred years clear of Duchamp’s first readymades. So why should we find ourselves so thoroughly in thrall to ambience? Against Ambience argues for an art that acknowledges its own methods and intentions; its own position in the structures of cultural power and persuasion. Rather than the warm glow of light or the soothing wash of sound, Against Ambience proposes an art that cracks the surface of our prevailing patterns of encounter, initiating productive disruptions and deconstructions.”

Publisher Bloomsbury, 2013
ISBN 9781628921366

Interview about the book (EarRoom, 2013)
Review: Joseph Nechvatal (On Verge, 2014).

Author’s blog

EPUB, EPUB

See also sound art page on Monoskop

Stamatia Portanova: Moving without a Body: Digital Philosophy and Choreographic Thoughts (2013)

26 February 2015, dusan

“Digital technologies offer the possibility of capturing, storing, and manipulating movement, abstracting it from the body and transforming it into numerical information. In Moving without a Body, Stamatia Portanova considers what really happens when the physicality of movement is translated into a numerical code by a technological system. Drawing on the radical empiricism of Gilles Deleuze and Alfred North Whitehead, she argues that this does not amount to a technical assessment of software’s capacity to record motion but requires a philosophical rethinking of what movement itself is, or can become.

Discussing the development of different audiovisual tools and the shift from analog to digital, she focuses on some choreographic realizations of this evolution, including works by Loie Fuller and Merce Cunningham. Throughout, Portanova considers these technologies and dances as ways to think—rather than just perform or perceive—movement. She distinguishes the choreographic thought from the performance: a body performs a movement, and a mind thinks or choreographs a dance. Similarly, she sees the move from analog to digital as a shift in conception rather than simply in technical realization. Analyzing choreographic technologies for their capacity to redesign the way movement is thought, Moving without a Body offers an ambitiously conceived reflection on the ontological implications of the encounter between movement and technological systems.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
Technologies of Lived Abstraction series
ISBN 0262018926, 9780262018920
200 pages

Reviews: Donnarumma (Mute, 2014), Murphy (Afterimage, 2014), Thain (Digicult).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (11 MB)

Bernadette Hince: The Antarctic Dictionary: A Complete Guide to Antarctic English (2000)

25 February 2015, dusan

In the space of a century, a remarkable vocabulary has evolved to deal with the environment and living organisms of the Antarctic and subantarctic. The Antarctic Dictionary is a guide to the origin and definitions of its words, containing more than 15 000 quotations from about 1000 different sources. It is aimed both at those curious about this continent and those fascinated by the development of language.

Publisher CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood/AU, and Museum Victoria, 2000
ISBN 095774711X, 9780957747111
404 pages

Review: Quilty (Polar Record, 2002).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (39 MB, no OCR)

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