Ackers, Arns, Hunger, Lillemose (eds.): The Hartware Guide to Irational.org (2006) [English/German]

31 October 2011, dusan

Published on the occasion of the exhibition “The Wonderful World of Irational.org. Tools, Techniques and Events 1996-2006″ in the PHOENIX Halle Dortmund from 30. 08. till 29. 10. 2006, curated by Inke Arns and Jacob Lillemose.

“Irational is a loose grouping of six international net and media artists who came together around the server irational.org, founded by the British net artist Heath Bunting in 1996, going on to make decisive contribution to early net art from the mid-1990s onward. With dry humor and minimal aesthetics, irational commented the Internet hype of the mid-to-late 1990s, competing with the commercialization-euphoria of the new market by developing its own pseudo-ventures. Net art was immediate during this period, neither needing nor enjoying the safety of a mediating space or instance. This is why irational often hit upon humorless trademark attorneys, who wanted to keep irational from using brand names such as 7-11, American Express, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. These encounters, which the exhibition documents extensively, were little more than a prelude to more recent developments in the field of copyright, intellectual property, and brand protection. Heath Bunting was the first net artist to retire in 1997, putting an end to his exclusive work on the net and turning back to more intensive work in public space, which the Internet has become such an important part of today. If the activities of irational during its “net phase” were dedicated to calling virtual boundaries into question, its members now experiment with interrogating and overcoming economic, political, and social boundaries in real space, producing a great deal of comic relief, among other things.” (from the press release for the exhibition)

With texts by Susanne Ackers, Inke Arns, Matthew Fuller, Francis Hunger, Jacob Lillemose, Darija Šimunović

Editors Susanne Ackers, Inke Arns, Francis Hunger, Jacob Lillemose
Publisher Revolver – Archiv fuer aktuelle Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, October 2006
ISBN 3865882994, 978-3865882998
136 pages

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Hausmann, Hidalgo et al.: The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity (2011)

30 October 2011, dusan

The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity measures the diversity of productive knowledge of 128 countries and demonstrates remarkable predictive value in forecasting how fast countries will grow. Its authors argue that it is 10 times more accurate at predicting growth over a decade than the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. The framework is used to project growth to 2020.

China (1), India (2) and Thailand (3) top the rankings for per capita growth potential followed by Belarus (4), Moldova (5), Zimbabwe (6), Ukraine (7), Bosnia and Herzegovina (8), Panama (9), and Mexico (10). For these countries, the current level of productive knowledge is unusually high for their level of income which should allow them to catch up faster than other nations. Seven Eastern European countries rank in the top 20 in terms of expected growth in income per capita while only two Latin American countries (Panama and Mexico) are in that group.

The Atlas identifies eight Sub-Saharan African countries among the Top Ten for expected GDP growth: Uganda (1), Kenya (2), Tanzania (3), Zimbabwe (4), Madagascar (5), Senegal (6), Malawi (7), and Zambia (10). The other Top Ten nations are India (8) and Guatemala (9). Unfortunately, Sub-Saharan African countries also dominate the bottom 10 countries in terms of expected growth per capita.

Meanwhile, several Eastern European countries rank surprisingly high in their Economic Complexity, which is a gauge to measure their productive knowledge. The Atlas ranks the Czech Republic eighth and Slovenia tenth while Hungary and the Slovak Republic appear in the top 20. Other Top Ten ranked countries in economic complexity include Japan (1), Germany (2), Switzerland (3), Sweden (4), Austria (5), Finland (6), Singapore (7), and the United Kingdom (9).

The United States, at position 13, is not listed among the Top Ten ranking for economic complexity and is ranked 85th for expected GDP growth.

“A country’s competitiveness is driven by the amount of productive knowledge that its people and organizations hold and it is expressed in the variety and complexity of the products it is able to successfully export. Productive knowledge does a remarkable job at explaining why countries are rich or poor and why some catch up and others do not,” says Ricardo Hausmann, report co-author and director of CID.

“In the short run, countries with natural resource wealth can be rich without much productive knowledge and get access to the world’s knowledge through imports. In the long run, however, wells run dry and mines get depleted, and income sooner or later will reflect the productive knowledge of the economy,” says César Hidalgo, report co-author and director of the Macro Connections group at the MIT Media Lab. (from press release)

Authors: Ricardo Hausmann, Cesar A. Hidalgo, Sebastian Bustos, Michele Coscia, Sarah Chung, Juan Jimenez, Alexander Simoes, Muhammed A. Yildirim.
Published in October 2011
A collaboration between Center for International Development at Harvard University and Macro Connections group at the MIT Media Lab.
ISBN 0615546625, 9780615546629
362 pages
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Minglu Gao: Total Modernity and the Avant-Garde in Twentieth-Century Chinese Art (2011)

30 October 2011, dusan

“To the extent that Chinese contemporary art has become a global phenomenon, it is largely through the groundbreaking exhibitions curated by Gao Minglu: ‘China/Avant-Garde’ (Beijing, 1989), ‘Inside Out: New Chinese Art’ (Asia Society, New York, 1998), and ‘The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art’ (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2005) among them. As the first Chinese writer to articulate a distinctively Chinese avant-gardism and modernity—one not defined by Western chronology or formalism—Gao Minglu is largely responsible for the visibility of Chinese art in the global art scene today.

Contemporary Chinese artists tend to navigate between extremes, either embracing or rejecting a rich classical tradition. Indeed, for Chinese artists, the term “modernity” refers not to a new epoch or aesthetic but to a new nation—modernity inextricably connects politics to art. It is this notion of “total modernity” that forms the foundation of the Chinese avant-garde aesthetic, and of this book.

Gao examines the many ways Chinese artists engaged with this intrinsic total modernity, including the ’85 Movement, political pop, cynical realism, apartment art, maximalism, and the museum age, encompassing the emergence of local art museums and organizations as well as such major events as the Shanghai Biennial. He describes the inner logic of the Chinese context while locating the art within the framework of a worldwide avant-garde. He vividly describes the Chinese avant-garde’s embrace of a modernity that unifies politics, aesthetics, and social life, blurring the boundaries between abstraction, conception, and representation. Lavishly illustrated with color images throughout, this book will be a touchstone for all considerations of Chinese contemporary art.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2011
ISBN 0262014947, 9780262014946
409 pages

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Mary Bittner Wiseman, Liu Yuedi (eds.): Subversive Strategies in Contemporary Chinese Art (2011)

30 October 2011, dusan

What is art and what is its role in a China that is changing at a dizzying speed? These questions lie at the heart of Chinese contemporary art. Subversive Strategies paves the way for the rebirth of a Chinese aesthetics adequate to the art whose sheer energy and imaginative power is subverting the ideas through which western and Chinese critics think about art. The first collection of essays by American and Chinese philosophers and art historians, Subversive Strategies begins by showing how the art reflects current crises and is working them out through bodies gendered and political. The essays raise the question of Chinese identity in a global world and note a blurring of the boundary between art and everyday life.

Publisher Brill Academic Pub, 2011
Volume 31 of Philosophy of History and Culture
ISBN 9004187952, 9789004187955
417 pages

Publisher
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Sabine Seymour: Functional Aesthetics: Visions in Fashionable Technology (2010)

30 October 2011, dusan

Functional Aesthetics is a sequel to Seymour’s highly acclaimed book “Fashionable Technology” (Springer 2008) and contains new state-of-the-art and revealing artistic and design examples focusing on the aesthetic and functional aspects. Chapters like Contextual Prerequisite, Body Sculpture, or Transparent Sustainability provide in-depth studies of often visionary projects seen as stimulation for new developments in the matured field of “Fashionable Technology“. The book presents inspiring projects between the poles of fashion, design, technology, and sciences. It includes a list of relevant information on DIY resources, publications, inspirations, etc.

Publisher Springer, 2010
ISBN 3709103118, 9783709103111
232 pages

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