Amelia Jones: Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada (2004)

28 February 2011, dusan

In Irrational Modernism, Amelia Jones gives us a history of New York Dada, reinterpreted in relation to the life and works of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Jones enlarges our conception of New York Dada beyond the male avant-garde heroics of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia to include the rebellious body of the Baroness. If they practiced Dada, she lived it, with her unorthodox personal life, wild assemblage objects, radical poetry and prose, and the flamboyant self-displays by which she became her own work of art. Through this reinterpretation, Jones not only provides a revisionist history of an art movement but also suggests a new method of art history.

Jones argues that the accepted idea of New York Dada as epitomized by Duchamp’s readymades and their implicit cultural critique does not take into consideration the contradictions within the movement—its misogyny, for example—or the social turmoil of the period caused by industrialization, urbanization, and the upheaval of World War I and its aftermath, which coincided with the Baroness’s time in New York (1913-1923). Baroness Elsa, whose appearances in Jones’s narrative of New York Dada mirror her volcanic intrusions into the artistic circles of the time, can be seen to embody a new way to understand the history of avant-gardism—one that embraces the irrational and marginal rather than promoting the canonical.

Acknowledging her identification with the Baroness (as a “fellow neurasthenic”), and interrupting her own objective passages of art historical argument with what she describes in her introduction as “bursts of irrationality,” Jones explores the interestedness of all art history, and proposes a new “immersive” understanding of history (reflecting the historian’s own history) that parallels the irrational immersive trajectory of avant-gardism as practiced by Baroness Elsa.

Publisher MIT Press, 2004
ISBN 0262101025, 9780262101028
344 pages

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PDF (updated on 2012-11-19)

After The Fall: Communiqués from Occupied California (2010)

27 February 2011, dusan

On March 4, 2010, while representatives of the K-12 schools, community colleges, CSU and UC systems gathered in Sacramento to act out Dr. Seuss and sing “This Little Light of Mine,” students at their respective campuses walked out of classes, occupied buildings and even shut down the Interstate 880/Interstate 980 freeways in Oakland. The students moving from their campuses into buildings and onto the city streets see education as one interconnected piece of the perpetual crises called capitalism. After the Fall: Communiqués From Occupied California collects the major statements of the campus occupations in California in 2009/2010, grounding them in post-World War II U.S. government policy and the growing history of international worker and student occupations.

Publisher:, February 2010
44 pages

Painting the Glass House Black (Evan Calder Williams, Mute)


First Monday journal, Vol. 1-16 (1996-2011)

26 February 2011, dusan

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. Since its start in May 1996, First Monday has published 1,097 papers in 175 issues, written by 1,399 different authors. In addition, nine special issues have appeared.

Chief editor: Edward J Valauskas
ISSN: 1396-0466.

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Culture Machine journal 12: The Digital Humanities: Beyond Computing (2011)

26 February 2011, dusan

The field of the digital humanities embraces various scholarly activities in the humanities that involve writing about digital media and technology as well as being engaged in digital media production. Perhaps most notably, in what some are describing as a ‘computational turn’, it has seen techniques and methods drawn from computer science being used to produce new ways of understanding and approaching humanities texts. But just as interesting as what computer science has to offer the humanities is the question of what the humanities have to offer computer science. Do the humanities really need to draw so heavily on computer science to develop their sense of what the digital humanities might be? These are just some of the issues that are explored in this special issue of Culture Machine.

Edited by Federica Frabetti
Part of Open Humanities Press
ISSN 1465-4121

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Back issues

Lucas D. Introna, Helen Nissenbaum: Facial Recognition Technology. A Survey of Policy and Implementation Issues (2009)

21 February 2011, dusan

Facial recognition technology (FRT) has emerged as an attractive solution to address many contemporary needs for identification and the verification of identity claims. It brings together the promise of other biometric systems, which attempt to tie identity to individually distinctive features of the body, and the more familiar functionality of visual surveillance systems. This report develops a socio-political analysis that bridges the technical and social-scientific literatures on FRT and addresses the unique challenges and concerns that attend its development, evaluation, and specific operational uses, contexts, and goals. It highlights the potential and limitations of the technology, noting those tasks for which it seems ready for deployment, those areas where performance obstacles may be overcome by future technological developments or sound operating procedures, and still other issues which appear intractable. Its concern with efficacy extends to ethical considerations.

Report of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response, New York University
April 2009
60 pages



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