Tristan Garcia: Form and Object: A Treatise on Things (2011–)

19 February 2015, dusan

“What is a thing? What is an object? Tristan Garcia aims to overturn 100 years of Heideggerian orthodoxy about the supposedly derivative nature of objects to put forward a new theory of ontology that gives us new insights into the world and our place in it.

Garcia’s original and systematic formal ontology of things strips them of any determination, intensity or depth. From this radical ontological poverty, he develops encyclopaedic regional ontologies of objects. By covering topics as diverse as the universe, events, time, the living, animals, human beings, representation, arts and rules, culture, history, political economy, values, classes, genders, ages of life and death, he shows that speculative metaphysics and ontology are alive and well.”

First published as Forme et objet. Un traité des choses, PUF, Paris, 2011.

Translated by Jon Cogburn and Mark Allan Ohm
Publisher Edinburgh University Press, 2014
ISBN 0748681493, 9780748681495
462 pages

On Graham Harman’s System and My Own by Garcia (2013), Harman’s response.
Interviews with Garcia: by Liam Jones (Figure/Ground, 2014), Philosophical Readings (2014).
Reviews and commentaries: Jean-Clet Martin (2012, FR, ES), Harman (Continent, 2012), Nathan Brown (Radical Philosophy, 2014).

Wikipedia (FR)
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF

Hubert Damisch: The Origin of Perspective (1987/1994)

24 January 2015, dusan

“In part a response to Panofsky’s Perspective as Symbolic Form, The Origin of Perspective is much more. In France it is considered one of the most important works of art history to have appeared in the last twenty years. With the exception of Michel Foucault’s analysis of Las Meninas, it is perhaps the first time a structuralist method such as the one developed by Claude Lévi-Strauss in The Way of the Masks has been thoroughly and convincingly applied to Western art.

The task Damisch has set for himself is to refute both the positivist critics, whose approach makes up the bulk of perspective studies and is based on a complete repression of Panofsky’s early work, and the current pseudo-avant-gardist position (whether in the field of cinema studies or in literary criticism), which tends to disregard facts and theoretical analysis. Damisch argues that if a theoretical analysis of perspective is possible, using all the tools of structuralist semiotics, it is only possible in the context of a close look at its appearance in history, beginning with the details of the ‘invention’ of perspective.”

Originally published in French as L’Origine de la perspective, Flammarion, Paris, 1987.

Translated by John Goodman
Publisher MIT Press, 1994
ISBN 0262041391, 9780262041393
477 pages

Review: Wood (The Art Bulletin, 1995).
Commentary: Iversen (Oxford Art Journal, 2005).

WorldCat

PDF (chapter 14 missing, 24 MB, no OCR)
ARG

Adrian Frutiger: Type Sign Symbol (1980) [EN/DE/FR]

11 January 2015, dusan

A comprehensive and important monograph on Swiss graphic designer and typographer, Adrian Frutiger’s lettering and type methods. With contributions by Maurice Besset, Emil Ruder and Hans Rudolf Schneebeli.

Publisher Editions ABC, Zurich, 1980
ISBN 3855040605, 9783855040605
147 pages

WorldCat

PDF (57 MB, no OCR)

Mark Rothko: The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art (2004)

29 November 2014, dusan

“One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Mark Rothko (1903–1970) created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting over the course of his career. Rothko also wrote a number of essays and critical reviews during his lifetime. Although the artist never published a book of his views, his heirs indicate that he occasionally spoke of the existence of such a manuscript to friends and colleagues. Stored in a New York City warehouse since the artist’s death more than thirty years ago, this manuscript, titled The Artist’s Reality, is now being published for the first time.

Probably written around 1940–41, this book discusses Rothko’s ideas on the modern art world, art history, myth, beauty, the challenges of being an artist in society, the true nature of “American art,” and much more. The Artist’s Reality also includes an introduction by Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son, who describes the discovery of the manuscript and the process of bringing it to publication. The introduction is illustrated with a small selection of relevant examples of the artist’s own work as well as with reproductions of pages from the actual manuscript.”

Edited and with an Introduction by Christopher Rothko
Publisher Yale University Press, 2004
ISBN 0300115857, 9780300115857
136 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF

Alfred Gell: Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (1998)

14 September 2014, dusan

Alfred Gell puts forward an anthropological theory of visual art seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions-European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian.

With a Foreword by Nicholas Thomas
Publisher Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998
ISBN 0198280149, 9780198280149
272 pages
via mrcds

Commentary (Robert Layton, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2003)
Review (Michèle Coquet, L’Homme, 2001, in French)
Review (Ross Bowden, Oceania, 2004)

Publisher

PDF (64 MB, no OCR)
EPUB (4 MB, added on 2014-9-14 via Marcell)

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