Jasper Bernes: The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization (2017)

24 April 2018, dusan

“A novel account of the relationship between postindustrial capitalism and postmodern culture, this book looks at American poetry and art of the last fifty years in light of the massive changes in people’s working lives. Over the last few decades, we have seen the shift from an economy based on the production of goods to one based on the provision of services, the entry of large numbers of women into the workforce, and the emergence of new digital technologies that have transformed the way people work. The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization argues that art and literature not only reflected the transformation of the workplace but anticipated and may have contributed to it as well, providing some of the terms through which resistance to labor was expressed. As firms continue to tout creativity and to reorganize in response to this resistance, they increasingly rely on models of labor that derive from values and ideas found in the experimental poetry and conceptual art of decades past.”

Publisher Stanford University Press, 2017
Post ’45 series
ISBN 9780804796415, 0804796416
viii+231 pages

Reviews: Stevphen Shukaitis (Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, 2017), Julian Murphet (Affirmations, 2017), Vince Carducci (Public Seminar, 2017).

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Boris Groys (ed.): Russian Cosmism (2018)

19 March 2018, dusan

“Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space. This volume collects crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism.

Cosmism was developed by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late nineteenth century; he believed that humans had an ethical obligation not only to care for the sick but to cure death using science and technology; outer space was the territory of both immortal life and infinite resources. After the revolution, a new generation pursued Fedorov’s vision. Cosmist ideas inspired visual artists, poets, filmmakers, theater directors, novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky read Fedorov’s writings), architects, and composers, and influenced Soviet politics and technology. In the 1930s, Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement. Today, when the philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant.”

With texts by Alexander Bogdanov, Alexander Chizhevsky, Nikolai Fedorov, Boris Groys, Valerian Muravyev, Alexander Svyatogor, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Anton Vidokle, and Brian Kuan Wood.

Publisher e-flux, New York, and MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2018
ISBN 9780262037433, 0262037432
ix+249 pages

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RoseLee Goldberg: Laurie Anderson (2000)

16 July 2017, dusan

“Laurie Anderson is one of the most acclaimed and innovative performance artists and musicians working today. The entire scope of her career is celebrated in this volume, from her early art works and performances in the 1970s, to her rise to prominence in the 1980s with her single O Superman, her portrait of the United States, and her breakthrough album Strange Angels; to her interactive Web site called The Green Room, a CD-ROM titled Puppet Motel, and her production Songs and Stories from Moby Dick, an electronic opera that is based on Herman Melville’s epic novel and includes new inventions, such as the Talking Stick.

With insightful text and more than 300 illustrations, author RoseLee Goldberg, a leading authority on performance art, explores aspects of Anderson’s work of the past three decades, illuminating Anderson’s creative process; her enduring interests in storytelling and in technology; her collaborations with such avant-garde figures as author William Burroughs, monologist Spalding Gray, and rock star Lou Reed; the social and political contexts that have shaped her art; and the critical and popular response it has received. In addition to surveying Anderson’s work chronologically, Goldberg devotes special sections of the book to Anderson’s inventions and body instruments, such as her Headlight Glasses and Screen Dress; her stage sets; her many violins, including the Tape Bow Violin and the Viophonograph; her scores; and her videos. The lyrics to many of Anderson’s songs are included, as are lengthy excerpts from many of her performances, stories, and other writings.”

Publisher Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2000
ISBN 0810935821
204 pages

Review: Eric P. Nash (NYT Books, 2000).

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