Albert Glinsky: Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage (2000)

15 November 2017, dusan

“Leon Theremin led a life of flamboyant musical invention laced with daring electronic stealth. A creative genius and prolific inventor, Theremin launched the field of electronic music virtually singlehandedly in 1920 with the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin-–the only instrument that is played without being touched-–created a sensation worldwide and paved the way for the modern synthesizer. Its otherworldly sound became familiar in sci-fi films and even in rock music. This magical instrument that charmed millions, however, is only the beginning of the story.

As a Soviet scientist, Theremin surrendered his life and work to the service of State espionage. On assignment in Depression-era America, he became the toast of New York society and worked the engines of capitalist commerce while passing data on U.S. industrial technology to the Soviet apparat. Following his sudden disappearance from New York in 1938, Theremin was exiled to a Siberian labor camp and subsequently vanished into the top-secret Soviet intelligence machine, presumed dead for nearly thirty years. Using the same technology that lay behind the theremin, he designed bugging devices that eavesdropped on U.S. diplomatic offices and stood at the center of a pivotal cold war confrontation. Throughout his life, Theremin developed many other electronic wonders, including one of the earliest televisions and multimedia devices that anticipated performance art and virtual reality by decades.

In this first full biography of Leon Theremin, Albert Glinsky depicts the inventor’s nearly one hundred-year life span as a microcosm of the twentieth century. Theremin is seen at the epicenter of most of the major events of the century: the Russian Revolution, two world wars, America’s Great Depression, Stalin’s purges, the cold war, and perestroika. His life emerges as no less than a metaphor for the divergence of communism and capitalism.”

Foreword by Robert Moog
Publisher University of Illinois Press, 2000
ISBN 0252025822, 9780252025822
xvi+403+[30] pages

Reviews: Irina L.Vanechkina (Leonardo, 2001), Hans-Joachim Braun (Tech Cult, 2001), Mark Polishook (Notes, 2001), Ann Warde (Comp Music J, 2002), Kyle Gann (Am Music, 2003).

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (138 MB, no OCR)

John Elderfield: Kurt Schwitters (1985)

26 September 2017, dusan

“Designed to accompany the Schwitters exhibitions in New York, London and Hanover, John Elderfield’s masterly study of Schwitters fulfils all the promise of his articles on that artist from the years 1969 to 1977 and surpasses any other academic work on the same subject in five major respects: first, in its attention to all phases of Schwitters’s work (the pre-1917 and post-1937 phases as well as the classically Merz period); second, in its judicious and balanced attention to all aspects of Schwitters’s multi-media work; third, in its refusal to reduce Schwitters’s artistic and theoretical work to one simple set of ideas or to privilege one mode of expression over another; fourth, in its generous sense of the rich artistic background (Cubism, Sturm, Dada, Constructivism) out of which Schwitters’s variegated work arose; and fifth, in its prodigious familiarity with the vast secondary literature dealing with the Modernist avant-gardes. The extent of Elderfield’s research is immensely impressive and the result of this is an authoritative, clearly-written book which combines a sure grasp of factual detail, a shrewd analytical sense vis-a-vis individual works, a complex understanding of the theoretical problems posed by Schwitters’s cpuvre and a fluid empathy with all of its levels. Quite apart from the 355 high-quality illustrations, the uniform excellence of Elderfield’s text makes the book indispensable for any serious student of German and European Modernism and effortlessly accessible to the non-specialist as well.” (Richard Sheppard’s 1986 review)

Publisher Thames and Hudson, London, 1985
ISBN 0500234264
424 pages
via MoMA

Reviews: Richard Sheppard (J Eur Studies, 1986), Dawn Ades (Burlington Mag, 1986).

Exhibition
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (106 MB)

Jennifer McColl Crozier: Carmen Beuchat: modernismo y vanguardia (2010) [Spanish]

26 September 2017, dusan

A book on the life of Carmen Beuchat (1941) as a postmodern dancer and choreographer, from Santiago to Valparaíso, with an important passage through New York from the late 1960s through the 1980s.

“‘Monja, salvaje, barroca, gozadora y penitente, ávida de conocimiento, rupturista consuetudinaria, deseosa de libertad, atada a los seres queridos vivos y muertos’. Tal es la complejidad de Carmen Beuchat, ícono nacional de la danza contemporánea posmoderna. La descripción es de Paula Tapia, profesora de danza que prologa Carmen Beuchat. Modernismo y vanguardia. El libro cuenta la vida de Beuchat como bailarina y coreógrafa, de Santiago a Valparaíso, con un importante paso por Nueva York. Leerlo es recorrer las alegrías y los sinsabores de quienes hacían arte de vanguardia en Estados Unidos y en Chile.”

Publisher Cuarto Propio, Providencia, Chile, 2010
ISBN 9789562605090
130 pages
via author

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (4 MB)
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