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


See also sound art page on Monoskop

Max Neuhaus: Sound Works, 3 vols. (1994)

1 January 2015, dusan

“Neuhaus’s oeuvre is diverse, ranging from works in the plastic arts, drawings, music, sound walks, communal sound signals, aural spaces composed of communication networks, sound topographies in water, to inventions of sound-producing and dispersing systems and sound applied to problems of urban and personal design. The structure of separate volumes was chosen to clarify: to encompass the oeuvre, while allowing each of its diverse parts to remain distinct on its own ground.

The first volume projects an overview with many voices, including his own. The second articulates some of the issues surrounding his drawings which are unusual partly because of their invisible subject: sound. The third volume contains the works which use sound to transform space into place.” (from the Preface, edited)

Volume I contains texts by Calvin Tomkins, Jean-Christophe Ammann, Carter Ratcliff, John Rockwell, Joan La Barbara, Tom Johnson, Arthur Danto, Wulf Herzogenrath, Harald Szeemann, Alain Cueff, Franz Kaiser, Susanne Weingarten, Denys Zacharopoulos, Doris van Drathen, Germano Celant, interviews with Neuhaus by William Duckworth and Ulrich Loock, and texts and lectures by Neuhaus.

Publisher Cantz, Ostfildern, 1994
ISBN 3893225323
144 & 55 & 79 pages
via Charles

Volume I: Inscriptions (29 MB)
Volume II: Drawings (8 MB)
Volume III: Place (6 MB)

See also Max Neuhaus, Evocare l’udibile / Évoquer l’auditif, 1995.

Calvin Tomkins: The Bride and the Bachelors: Five Masters of the Avant-Garde (1965/1976)

29 July 2014, dusan

A classic work of art criticism. The chapters on Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Jean Tinguely, Robert Rauschenberg, and Merce Cunningham by an author also known for his work for Radio Free Europe, Newsweek, and The New Yorker.

First published by Viking Press, 1965
Viking Compass Edition with a new Introduction and expanded text published 1968
This edition by Penguin, 1976
ISBN 0140043136
306 pages

Download (36 MB, no OCR)

Sigmund Freud: Writings on Art and Literature (1997)

13 June 2014, dusan

For Freud, interpreting a work of art was less the task of assigning meanings to it than accounting for why the reader or reviewer is so powerfully affected by it.

These fourteen essays cover the entire range of his work on these subjects, in chronological order beginning with his first published analysis of a work of literature, the 1907 “Delusion and Dreams in Jensen’s Gradiva” and concluding with the 1940 posthumous publication of “Medusa’s Head.” Many of the essays included in this collection have been crucial in contemporary literary and art criticism and theory.

Among the subjects Freud engages are Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth, Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit, Michelangelo’s Moses, E. T. A. Hoffman’s “The Sand Man,” Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, fairy tales, the effect of and the meaning of beauty, mythology, and the games of aestheticization. All texts are drawn from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, edited by James Strachey. The volume includes the notes prepared for that edition by the editor.

With a Foreword by Neil Hertz
Publisher Stanford University Press, 1997
Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics series
ISBN 0804729735, 9780804729734
290 pages
via tenderage

Review (Richard D. Chessick, The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1998)


Download (updated on 2014-6-15 to an OCR’d version via Marcell Mars, 8 MB)

Richard Kostelanetz: Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (1993)

6 April 2014, dusan

“This book elucidates, celebrates, enumerates, and sometimes obliterates achievers and achievements in the avant-garde arts. Although it runs from A to Z, it could as easily have been written from Z to A (or in any other order you might imagine) and may be read from front to back, back to front, or point to point. It is opinionated, as all good dictionaries should be, but it is also inclusive, because there can never be just one avant-garde.

Blake • Rimbaud • Apollinaire • Stein • Cage • Lichtenstein • Tatlin • Keaton • Captain Beefheart • Hologram • Text-Sound Texts • Strobe Light • Grotowski • Soho • Micropress • Electronic Music • Reinhardt • Pound • Performance • Postmodern • Duchamp • Fuller • Oldenberg • Paik • Armory Show • Reich • Cunningham • Copy Culture • Pattern Poetry • Bread and Puppet Theatre” (from the back cover)

With contributions by Richard Carlin, Geof Huth, Gerald Janecek, Katy Matheson, H.R. Brittain, John Robert Colombo, Ulrike Michal Dorda, Charles Doria, and Robert Haller.

Publisher A Capella Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, 1993
ISBN 1556522029
246 pages

New additions (2011) selected for Soanyway by Derek Horton (HTML)

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