Filed under book | Tags: · art, life, poethics
In these highly inventive essays, Joan Retallack, acclaimed poet and essayist, conveys her unique post-utopian vision as she explores the relationship between art and life in today’s chaotic world. In the tradition of the essay as complex humanist exploration, she engages ideas from across history: Aristotle’s definition of happiness, Epicurus’s swerve into unpredictable possibility, Montaigne’s essays as an instrument of self-invention, John Cage’s redefinition of Silence. Within her unifying rubric of poethics, Retallack gives the reader plenty of surprises with a wonderful range of examples, situations, and texts through which she conducts her exploration. A computer glitch, a passage from Gertrude Stein’s favorite detective novelist, the idea of the experimental feminine, a John Cage performance—all serve as occasions for inquiry and speculation on the way to her poethics of a “complex realism.”
Publisher University of California Press, 2003
ISBN 0520218418, 9780520218413
Filed under journal | Tags: · capitalism, consumerism, everyday, life, mass media, situationists, spectacle
L’Internationale situationniste produit ses travaux théoriques dans sa revue Internationale situationniste. La revue fut également rédigée par Guy Debord, Mohamed Dahou, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Maurice Wyckaert, Constant, Asger Jorn, Helmut Sturm, Attila Kotanyi, Jørgen Nash, Uwe Lausen, Raoul Vaneigem, Michèle Bernstein, Jeppesen Victor Martin, Jan Stijbosch, Alexander Trocchi, Théo Frey, Mustapha Khayati, Donald Nicholson-Smith, René Riesel, René Viénet, etc. 12 numéros furent publiés entre 1958 et 1969. Cette revue était un terrain d’expérimentation discursif et également un moyen de propagande.
Bulletin central édité par les sections de l’international situationniste
Director: G.-E. Debord
via La Bibliotheque Fantastique
Numéro 1, Juin 1958, 32 pp.
Numéro 2, Décembre 1958, 36 pp.
Numéro 3, Décembre 1959, 40 pp.
Numéro 4, Juin 1960, 40 pp.
Numéro 5, Décembre 1960, 52 pp.
Numéro 6, Août 1961, 44 pp.
Numéro 7, Avril 1962, 56 pp.
Numéro 8, Janvier 1963, 68 pp.
Numéro 9, Août 1964, 48 pp.
Numéro 10, Mars 1966, 84 pp.
Numéro 11, Octobre 1967, 72 pp.
Numéro 12, Septembre 1969, 116 pp.
View online (museumjorn.dk)
Filed under book | Tags: · art, happening, life, performance art
As the creator of “Happenings” and “Environments,” Allan Kaprow is the prince and prophet of all we call performance art today. He is also known for having written some of the most thoughtful, provocative, and influential essays of his generation. From “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock” in 1958 to “The Meaning of Life” in 1990, Kaprow has conducted a sustained philosophical inquiry into the paradoxical relationship of art to life, and thus into the nature of meaning itself. With the publication of this book, twenty-three of Kaprow’s most significant essays are brought together in one volume for the first time.
Kaprow charts his own evolution as an artist and also comments on contemporaneous developments in the arts. From the modernist avant-garde of the fifties to the current postmodern fin de sicle, Kaprow has written about–and from within–the shifting, blurring boundaries of genre, media, culture, and experience. Edited and introduced by critic Jeff Kelley, these essays bring into crisp focus the thinking of one of the most influential figures in the varied landscape of American art since the late 1950s.
Edited by Jeff Kelley
Publisher University of California Press, 1993
ISBN 0520070666, 9780520070660
Download (quality varies wildly)
(three essays are missing: “Impurity”, pp 28-45, “Experimental Art”, pp 66-79, “The Meaning of Life”, pp 232-247″)
Filed under book | Tags: · biology, biotechnology, diy, diy biology, genetics, hacking, life, science
Bill Gates recently told Wired that if he were a teenager today, he would be hacking biology. “If you want to change the world in some big way,” he says, “that’s where you should start-biological molecules.”
The most disruptive force on the planet resides in DNA. Biotech companies and academic researchers are just beginning to unlock the potential of piecing together life from scratch. Champions of synthetic biology believe that turning genetic code into Lego-like blocks to build never-before-seen organisms could solve the thorniest challenges in medicine, energy, and environmental protection. But as the hackers who cracked open the potential of the personal computer and the Internet proved, the most revolutionary discoveries often emerge from out-of-the-way places, forged by brilliant outsiders with few resources besides boundless energy and great ideas.
In Biopunk, Marcus Wohlsen chronicles a growing community of DIY scientists working outside the walls of corporations and universities who are committed to democratizing DNA the way the Internet did information. The “biohacking” movement, now in its early, heady days, aims to unleash an outbreak of genetically modified innovation by making the tools and techniques of biotechnology accessible to everyone. Borrowing their idealism from the worlds of open-source software, artisinal food, Internet startups, and the Peace Corps, biopunks are devoted advocates for open-sourcing the basic code of life. They believe in the power of individuals with access to DNA to solve the world’s biggest problems.
You’ll meet a new breed of hackers who aren’t afraid to get their hands wet, from entrepreneurs who aim to bring DNA-based medical tools to the poorest of the poor to a curious tinkerer who believes a tub of yogurt and a jellyfish gene could protect the world’s food supply. These biohackers include:
- A duo who started a cancer drug company in their kitchen
- A team who built an open-source DNA copy machine
- A woman who developed a genetic test in her apartment for a deadly disease that had stricken her family
Along with the potential of citizen science to bring about disruptive change, Wohlsen explores the risks of DIY bioterrorism, the possibility of genetic engineering experiments gone awry, and whether the ability to design life from scratch on a laptop might come sooner than we think.
Publisher Current, a member of Penguin Group, 2011
ISBN 1101476354, 9781101476352
review (Bart Penders, Nature)
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Patricia Ticineto Clough, Craig Willse (eds.): Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · assemblage, biopolitics, governance, life, neoliberalism, politics, terrorism
Under the auspices of neoliberalism, technical systems of compliance and efficiency have come to underwrite the relations among the state, the economy, and a biopolitics of war, terror, and surveillance. In Beyond Biopolitics, prominent theorists seek to account for and critically engage the tendencies that have informed neoliberal governance in the past and are expressed in its reformulation today. As studies of military occupation, the policing of migration, blood trades, financial markets, the war on terror, media ecologies, and consumer branding, the essays explore the governance of life and death in a near-future, a present emptied of future potentialities. The contributors delve into political and theoretical matters central to projects of neoliberal governance, including states of exception that are not exceptional but foundational; risk analysis applied to the adjudication of “ethical” forms of war, terror, and occupation; racism and the management of the life capacities of populations; the production and circulation of death as political and economic currency; and the potential for critical and aesthetic response. Together, the essays offer ways to conceptualize biopolitics as the ground for today’s reformulation of governance.
Contributors: Ann Anagnost, Una Chung, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Steve Goodman, Sora Y. Han, Stefano Harney, May Joseph, Randy Martin, Brian Massumi, Luciana Parisi, Jasbir Puar, Amit S. Rai, Eugene Thacker, Çağatay Topal, and Craig Willse.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2011
ISBN 0822350173, 9780822350170
Filed under book | Tags: · animal, anthropology, biology, biopolitics, life, nazism, personhood, philosophy, politics, subjectivity
All discourses aimed at asserting the value of human life as such–whether philosophical, ethical, or political–assume the notion of personhood as their indispensable point of departure. This is all the more true today. In bioethics, for example, Catholic and secular thinkers may disagree on what constitutes a person and its genesis, but they certainly agree on its decisive importance: human life is considered to be untouchable only when based on personhood. In the legal sphere as well the enjoyment of subjective rights continues to be increasingly linked to the qualification of personhood, which appears to be the only one capable of bridging the gap between human being and citizen, right and life, and soul and body opened up at the very origins of Western civilization.
The radical and alarming thesis put forward in this book is that the notion of person is unable to bridge this gap because it is precisely what creates this breach. Its primary effect is to create a separation in both the human race and the individual between a rational, voluntary part endowed with particular value and another, purely biological part that is thrust by the first into the inferior dimension of the animal or the thing. In opposition to the performative power of the person, whose dual origins can be traced back to ancient Rome and Christianity, Esposito pursues his strikingly original and innovative philosophical inquiry by inviting reflection on the category of the impersonal: the third person, in removing itself from the exclusionary mechanism of the person, points toward the orginary unity of the living being.
First published in Italian as Terza Persona, Giulio Einaudi, 2007
Translated by Zakiya Hanafi
Publisher Polity, 2012
ISBN 0745643981, 9780745643984
Filed under book | Tags: · artificial life, history of science, knowledge, life, modernity, philosophy, philosophy of science, physics, politics, quantum mechanics, science, theory, time
From Einstein’s quest for a unified field theory to Stephen Hawking’s belief that we ‘would know the mind of God’ through such a theory, contemporary science—and physics in particular—has claimed that it alone possesses absolute knowledge of the universe. In a sweeping work of philosophical inquiry, originally published in French in seven volumes, Isabelle Stengers builds on her previous intellectual accomplishments to explore the role and authority of science in modern societies and to challenge its pretensions to objectivity, rationality, and truth.
For Stengers, science is a constructive enterprise, a diverse, interdependent, and highly contingent system that does not simply discover preexisting truths but, through specific practices and processes, helps shape them. She addresses conceptual themes crucial for modern science, such as the formation of physical-mathematical intelligibility, from Galilean mechanics and the origin of dynamics to quantum theory, the question of biological reductionism, and the power relations at work in the social and behavioral sciences. Focusing on the polemical and creative aspects of such themes, she argues for an ecology of practices that takes into account how scientific knowledge evolves, the constraints and obligations such practices impose, and the impact they have on the sciences and beyond.
This perspective, which demands that competing practices and interests be taken seriously rather than merely (and often condescendingly) tolerated, poses a profound political and ethical challenge. In place of both absolutism and tolerance, she proposes a cosmopolitics—modeled on the ideal scientific method that considers all assumptions and facts as being open to question—that reintegrates the natural and the social, the modern and the archaic, the scientific and the irrational.
Cosmopolitics I includes the first three volumes of the original work: The Science Wars; The Invention of Mechanics; and Thermodynamics.
Arguing for an “ecology of practices” in the sciences, Isabelle Stengers explores the discordant landscape of knowledge derived from modern science, seeking intellectual consistency among contradictory, confrontational, and mutually exclusive philosophical ambitions and approaches. For Stengers, science is a constructive enterprise, a diverse, interdependent, and highly contingent system that does not simply discover preexisting truths but, through specific practices and processes, helps shape them.
Stengers concludes this philosophical inquiry with a forceful critique of tolerance; it is a fundamentally condescending attitude, she contends, that prevents those worldviews that challenge dominant explanatory systems from being taken seriously. Instead of tolerance, she proposes a “cosmopolitics” that rejects politics as a universal category and allows modern scientific practices to peacefully coexist with other forms of knowledge.
Cosmopolitics II includes the first English-language translations of the last four books: Quantum Mechanics: The End of the Dream; In the Name of the Arrow of Time: Prigogine’s Challenge; Life and Artifice: The Faces of Emergence; and The Curse of Tolerance.
Publisher La Découverte; Le Plessis-Robinson (Essonne): Synthélabo, Paris, 1996, 1997
Translated by Robert Bononno
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2010, 2011
ISBN 0816656878, 9780816656875 (Vol. I)
ISBN 0816656894, 9780816656899 (Vol. II)
312 and 472 pages
Cosmopolitics I (1-3) (English)
Cosmopolitics II (4-7) (English)
Cosmopolitiques I: La Guerre des sciences (French, Nov 1996)
Cosmopolitiques III: Thermodynamique: la réalité physique en crise (French, Jan 1997)
Cosmopolitiques VI: La Vie et l’Artifice: visages de l ‘émergence (French, Apr 1997)
Cosmopolitiques VII: Pour en finir avec la tolérance (French, May 1997)