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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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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