André Malraux: The Voices of Silence (1951/1974)

30 April 2014, dusan

“This is not a history of art, but a work on the sculptor’s and painter’s arts of the world by a passionate art lover. The organization is by ideas; the illustrations are drawn from all peoples, countries, and times. Each picture is placed within a page or two of its discussion in the text. As an idea develops, the places and periods of its illustrations wander. The coherence is an inward one, not one of objective order.

Malraux starts from the premise that with the broadening of our knowledge of the world, and especially by the aid of archeology and photography, the many visual arts developed by the human race in its history are now mainly known and accessible. They are as it were in one grand museum without walls–the museum of our cognizance.

Further, they are known to many creative artists, and will be known to more, and will influence them. In other words, the situation no longer exists which has characterized the appearance of most arts heretofore, namely of growing up insulated, in regional solitude and self-sufficiency. From now on, the history of human visual art will be of a new order.

Another idea Malraux develops is that while painting and sculpture do represent objects, the artist, contrary to legend and public opinion, develops his work out of his ability to see–not nature, but his predecessors, and to transcend them. Style is thus a social phenomenon, an interrelation of men through their works.” (from a review by A.L. Kroeber, American Anthropologist, 1957)

Originally published in 3 volumes as Psychologie de l’art, 1947-49, the work had been thoroughly rewritten and published as Les Voix du silence, Gallimard, 1951.

Translated by Stuart Gilbert
First published in English by Doubleday, 1953
Publisher Paladin, UK, 1974
679 pages

Reviews: Maurice Blanchot (1950/1997), William Barrett (Saturday Review, 1953).

PDF (81 MB, no OCR)

Sigfried Giedion: Space, Time and Architecture, 3rd ed (1941/1954)

28 April 2014, dusan

A milestone in modern thought, Space, Time and Architecture has been reissued many times since its first publication in 1941 and translated into half a dozen languages. It is a pioneering and influential standard history giving in integrated synthesis the background and cultural context of modern architecture and urban planning, set in their manifold cultural relationships “with other human activities and the similarity of methods that are in use today in architecture, construction, painting, city planning and science.”

The book had its genesis in the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University in the spring of 1938, and it was recognized from the outset as a series of related essays on seminal topics in the organization of human spaces, obtaining fresh insights, not from a panoramic survey, “but by isolating and examining certain specific events intensively, penetrating and exploring them in the manner of the close-up” as Giedion outlined his method. (from Wikipedia)

First published in 1941
Third edition, Enlarged, 1954
Publisher Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
Third printing of the Third edition, 1959
778 pages

Reviews: Ben Ray Redman (The Saturday Review, 1954), Arthur P. Molella (Technology and Culture, 2002), Sarah Bay Williams (The Art Book Review, 2013).

Publisher (5th ed.)

PDF (173 MB, updated on 2017-1-2)

October 46: Alexander Kluge: Theoretical Writings, Stories and an Interview (1988)

27 April 2014, dusan

“This special issue of October, which serves as the catalogue of the retrospective exhibition of Kluge’s films I have organized for Anthology Film Archives and Goethe House, New York, has been prepared with the conviction that Kluge’s “cinematic variety show”–tied as it is to a much larger project encompassing his fiction, social theory, film theory, television programs, and political action on various cultural fronts–constitutes a unique venture in the annals of postwar German culture. Kluge’s is a radical cinéma impur, situated at the farthest possible remove from that conception of an autonomous, “pure” cinema which defines itself in opposition both to mass cultural film practices and to the terms and strategies of other modernist art forms developed since the 1920s. The motives, themes, and formal strategies of Kluge’s project raise questions in diverse areas of concern to us: about representation and gender, about history and memory, about theory in its relation to practice, about the ongoing vitality of one of his great modernism. Moreover, the work of Kluge is formulated–as one of his great precursors Walter Benjamin would have hoped–with an acute awareness of the most advanced “technical” means of production available as well as of the social circumstances in which production takes place in advanced industrial societies today.” (Stuart Liebman in the introductory essay)

Contains Liebman’s interview with Kluge conducted in 1986-87, selections from Oskar Negt and Kluge’s The Public Sphere and Experience (published in German in 1972), the essay “Word and Film” by Edgar Reitz, Kluge, and Wilfried Reinke (1965), “Why Should Film and Television Cooperate?” (1987), selections from New Stories, Notebooks 1-18 (1977), and the essays by Andreas Huyssen, Heide Schlüpmann, Fredric Jameson, Miriam Hansen, Stuart Liebman, filmography, videography, and bibliography.

Edited by Stuart Liebman
Publisher MIT Press, Fall 1988
ISSN 0162-2870
ISBN 0262751968
218 pages

PDF (13 MB, updated 2015-5-10)

See also New German Critique 49: Special Issue on Alexander Kluge, 1990.
Kluge at Monoskop wiki

James R. Beniger: The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society (1986)

26 April 2014, dusan

“James Beniger traces the origin of the Information Society to major economic and business crises of the past century. In the United States, applications of steam power in the early 1800s brought a dramatic rise in the speed, volume, and complexity of industrial processes, making them difficult to control. Scores of problems arose: fatal train wrecks, misplacement of freight cars for months at a time, loss of shipments, inability to maintain high rates of inventory turnover. Inevitably the Industrial Revolution, with its ballooning use of energy to drive material processes, required a corresponding growth in the exploitation of information: the Control Revolution.

Between the 1840s and the 1920s came most of the important information-processing and communication technologies still in use today: telegraphy, modern bureaucracy, rotary power printing, the postage stamp, paper money, typewriter, telephone, punch-card processing, motion pictures, radio, and television. Beniger shows that more recent developments in microprocessors, computers, and telecommunications are only a smooth continuation of this Control Revolution. Along the way he touches on many fascinating topics: why breakfast was invented, how trademarks came to be worth more than the companies that own them, why some employees wear uniforms, and whether time zones will always be necessary.”

Publisher Harvard University Press, 1986
ISBN 0674020766, 9780674020764
493 pages
via babyalanturing

Review (JoAnne Yates, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1988)
Review (Krishan Kumar, Journal of American Studies, 1988)
Review (Kirkus Reviews)

Book-inspired website

PDF (16 MB, updated on 2016-6-16)

René König, Miriam Rasch (eds.): Society of the Query Reader: Reflections on Web Search (2014)

23 April 2014, dusan

Looking up something online is one of the most common applications of the web. Whether with a laptop or smartphone, we search the web from wherever we are, at any given moment. ‘Googling’ has become so entwined in our daily routines that we rarely question it. However, search engines such as Google or Bing determine what part of the web we get to see, shaping our knowledge and perceptions of the world. But there is a world beyond Google – geographically, culturally, and technologically.

The Society of the Query network was founded in 2009 to delve into the larger societal and cultural consequences that are triggered by search technology. In this Reader, which is published after two conferences held in Amsterdam in 2009 and 2013, twenty authors – new media scholars, historians, computer scientists, and artists – try to answer a number of pressing questions about online search. What are the foundations of web search? What ideologies and assumptions are inscribed in search engine algorithms? What solution can be formulated to deal with Google’s monopoly in the future? Are alternatives to Google even thinkable? What influence does online search have on education practices? How do artists use the abundance of data that search engines provide in their creative work? By bringing researchers together from a variety of relevant disciplines, we aim at opening up new perspectives on the Society of the Query.

Contributors: Aharon Amir, Vito Campanelli, Dave Crusoe, Angela Daly, Vicențiu Dîngă, Martin Feuz, Ulrich Gehmann, Olivier Glassey, Richard Graham, Mél Hogan, Ippolita, Kylie Jarrett, Min Jiang, Anna Jobin, Phil Jones, Simon Knight, Dirk Lewandowski, M.E. Luka, Astrid Mager, Martina Mahnke, Andrea Miconi, Jacob Ørmen, Martin Reiche, Amanda Scardamaglia, Anton Tanter, and Emma Uprichard.

Publisher Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2014
INC Reader, 9
Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
ISBN 9789081857581
292 pages

Website of the network


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