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Welcome to Monoskop, a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.

This page shows a selection of the latest additions to the website. For more detailed overview see the Recent, Contents, Index and Media library sections. Updates are also being posted on Twitter and Facebook.

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Joshua Shannon: The Recording Machine: Art and Fact during the Cold War (2017)

“A revealing look at the irrevocable change in art during the 1960s and its relationship to the modern culture of fact.

This book offers a new understanding of the transformation of photography and the visual arts around 1968. Author Joshua Shannon reveals an oddly stringent realism in the period, tracing artists’ rejection of essential truths in favor of surface appearances. Dubbing this tendency factualism, Shannon illuminates not only the Cold War’s preoccupation with data but also the rise of a pervasive culture of fact.

Focusing on the United States and West Germany, where photodocumentary traditions intersected with 1960s politics, Shannon investigates a broad variety of art, ranging from conceptual photography and earthworks to photorealist painting and abstraction. He looks closely at art by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Bechtle, Vija Celmins, Douglas Huebler, Gerhard Richter, and others. These artists explored fact’s role as a modern paradigm for talking, thinking, and knowing. Their art, Shannon concludes, helps to explain both the ambivalent anti-humanism of today’s avant-garde art and our own culture of fact.”

Publisher Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2017
ISBN 9780300187274, 0300187270
ix+230 pages

Review: Ina Blom (The Sixties, 2018).



Rosi Braidotti, Maria Hlavajova (eds.): Posthuman Glossary (2018)

“If art, science, and the humanities have shared one thing, it was their common engagement with constructions and representations of the human. Under the pressure of new contemporary concerns, however, we are experiencing a “posthuman condition”; the combination of new developments–such as the neoliberal economics of global capitalism, migration, technological advances, environmental destruction on a mass scale, the perpetual war on terror and extensive security systems–with a troublesome reiteration of old, unresolved problems that mean the concept of the human as we had previously known it has undergone dramatic transformations.

The Posthuman Glossary> is a volume providing an outline of the critical terms of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. It builds on the broad thematic topics of Anthropocene/Capitalocene, eco-sophies, digital activism, algorithmic cultures and security and the inhuman. It outlines potential artistic, intellectual, and activist itineraries of working through the complex reality of the ‘posthuman condition’, and creates an understanding of the altered meanings of art vis-à-vis critical present-day developments. It bridges missing links across disciplines, terminologies, constituencies and critical communities. This original work will unlock the terms of the posthuman for students and researchers alike.”

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
Theory series
ISBN 1350030252, 9781350030251
xxxii+538 pages



Technosphere Magazine: Materials (2018)

“Stuff matters. In much of history, the real protagonists were the precious metals, burning hydrocarbons, superior aerogels, collapsing concrete, rare minerals, and toxic liquids. This goes for all chemical compounds, whether raw, processed, or newly designed, geogenic, biogenic, or anthropogenic. It is the inventory and also the political, ecologic, and economic criticality of the material world within which humans will always have to situate themselves. Inert matter constitutes the raw materials of life, while organic matter changes the chemical composition of other spheres, such as the atmosphere or the lithosphere. This is what Vladimir Vernadsky and others have taught us. Yet this eons-old circulation of matter has been perturbed, on a grand scale, by the intervention of a new sphere: the technosphere.

Perhaps the largest achievement in modern science is the studying of the properties of materials. In doing so, humans have discovered tools that have reshaped the world to the extent that the Earth has intractably reformulated itself in marked contrast from its prehuman trajectories. The whole technosphere rests on the mobilization and organization of (energetic) matter: its extraction, cracking, transformation, manipulation, and finally, dispersion. As a result, the entire material world has been turned into a resource to be manipulated, consumed, or reordered. It is the industrialization of this relationship between humankind and all matter that has contributed decisively to creating the technosphere.

This dossier discusses the criticality of the material world as the spatiotemporal backbone of the technosphere and, eventually, ourselves. It presents stories of stuff, from mining to discarding, by dwelling on the pure substances themselves as well as their endless variety, but also by bringing the logistics and transversal interrelations between them into focus. It asks about the relationship of artifacts and craft, the blurring lines between naturalness and artificiality, and even what defines the line between living and dead material.”

With contributions by Annapurna Mamidipudi, Sophia Roosth, Nicole Koltick, Sander van der Leeuw & Daniel Niles, Elaine Gan, and Esther Leslie.

Publisher Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, March 2018
Open access


Media-N, 12(3): Uncovering News: Reporting and Forms of New Media Art (2017)

“As the highly contested term “fake news” has become omnipresent in our media sphere and as the hacking of private networks for political gain have dominated the global news cycle, Media-N’s new issue is well positioned to uncover the complex relationship between media art and the multifarious forms of news reportage. We find in this wide-ranging journal issue, new media artists, writers, and theoreticians attempting to reveal, expose, and protest the production, rhetoric, and dissemination of news. Exploiting or subverting the existing network or creating alternative technologies, codes, or platforms, new media artists has probed the hegemonic grip of tradition forms of media production. Employing the raw material of journalism or intervening in the distribution and transmission of news information, artists have effectively critiqued or reimagined the unstable and fluid spaces of the contemporary news sphere. The nature of news information and its relationship to concepts of reality, truth, aesthetics, and the public and private are all at play in this issue.” (from Introduction)

With contributions by Erica Levin, Randall Packer, Kris Paulsen, Erin McElroy, Lisa Moren, Brandon Bauer, Rick Valentin, Francesca Franco, Yasuhito Abe, Vincent Cellucci, Jesse Allison, Derick Ostrenko, and Mina Cheon.

Guest editors: Abigail Susik and Grant Taylor
Publisher New Media Caucus, 2017
Open Access
ISSN 1942-017X


Processed World, 1-33 + 2.001 + 2.005 (1981-2005)

Processed World is an anarchist magazine about the absurdity of modern office work. The magazine was founded in 1981. No new issues have been produced since 2005.

The magazine is about the absurdity and futility of modern employment practices in which a large number of college-educated people are often forced to seek temporary work with no worker benefits. The magazine details the subversive attitudes and sense of humor required for workers to be able to get through the day when forced to perform dull, degrading and boring work as wage slaves doing modern office work such as working as a computer programmer, word processor, call center operator, data entry operator, telemarketer or file clerk.

The print magazine was widely distributed to and read by office workers in Downtown San Francisco during the years the print magazine was published from 1981 to 1992.

Writers that have had work published by the magazine include Chris Carlsson, Fred Rinne, Adam Cornford, John Norton, Jesse Drew, and Donna Kossy. The magazine featured cartoons by artists such as Tom Tomorrow, Jay Kinney, and Paul Mavrides. (Wikipedia)

Publisher Processed World, San Francisco, 35 numbers, 1981-2005
via fcr

Commentary: Jacob Silverman (Baffler, 2014)

PDF and other formats (Internet Archive)