Matthew Fuller, Olga Goriunova: Bleak Joys: Aesthetics of Ecology and Impossibility (2019)

21 April 2020, dusan

Bleak Joys develops an understanding of complex entities and processes—from plant roots to forests to ecological damage and its calculation—as aesthetic. It is also a book about “bad” things, such as anguish and devastation, which relate to the ecological and technical but are also constitutive of politics, the ethical, and the formation of subjects.

Avidly interdisciplinary, Bleak Joys draws on scientific work in plant sciences, computing, and cybernetics, as well as mathematics, literature, and art in ways that are not merely illustrative of but foundational to our understanding of ecological aesthetics and the condition in which the posthumanities are being forged. It places the sensory world of plants next to the generalized and nonlinear infrastructure of irresolvability—the economics of indifference up against the question of how to make a home on Planet Earth in a condition of damaged ecologies. Crosscutting chapters on devastation, anguish, irresolvability, luck, plant, and home create a vivid and multifaceted approach that is as remarkable for its humor as for its scholarly complexity.

Engaging with Deleuze, Guattari, and Bakhtin, among others, Bleak Joys captures the modes of crises that constitute our present ecological and political condition, and reckons with the means by which they are not simply aesthetically known but aesthetically manifest.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2019
Posthumanities series, 53
ISBN 9781517905521, 1517905524
xxviii+192 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (6 MB)

R. Bruce Elder: Dada, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect (2013)

15 October 2016, dusan

“This book deals with the early intellectual reception of the cinema and the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and especially artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to its advent. While the idea persists that early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s lowly form, this work proposes that there was another, largely unrecognized, strain in the reception of it. Far from anxious about film’s provenance in popular entertainment, some writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was the most important art for the moderns, as it exemplified the vibrancy of contemporary life.

This view of the cinema was especially common among those whose commitments were to advanced artistic practices. Their notions about how to recast the art media (or the forms forged from those media’s materials) and the urgency of doing so formed the principal part of the conceptual core of the artistic programs advanced by the vanguard art movements of the first half of the twentieth century. This book, a companion to the author’s previous, Harmony & Dissent, examines the Dada and Surrealist movements as responses to the advent of the cinema.”

Publisher Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, 2013
Film and Media Studies series
ISBN 9781554586257, 1554586259
x+765 pages

Reviews: John W. Locke (Canadian J of Film Studies 2014), Robin Walz (Canadian J of History 2014), Bart Testa (U Toronto Quarterly 2015).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (8 MB, updated on 2019-12-14)
EPUB (added on 2019-12-14)

Jacques Monod: Chance and Necessity (1970–) [FR, EN, DE, RO, IT]

8 March 2015, dusan

In this classic book, Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod interprets the processes of evolution to show that life is only the result of natural processes by “pure chance”. The basic tenet of this book is that systems in nature with molecular biology, such as enzymatic biofeedback loops can be explained without having to invoke final causality. (from Wikipedia)

Publisher Seuil, Paris, 1970
197 pages

English edition
Translated by Austryn Wainhouse
Publisher Vintage, 1971
199 pages

Reviews and commentaries: Bernard Strauss & Erica Aronson (Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 1972), R.J. Hernstein (Commentary, 1972), F. Eugene Yates & Arthur S. Iberall (Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 1973), Danny Yee (1994), Oren Harman (LA Review of Books, 2014).

Le Hasard et la Nécessité (French, 1970, 7 MB)
Chance and Necessity (English, trans. Austryn Wainhouse, 1971, 29 MB, no OCR)
Zufall und Notwendigkeit (German, trans. Friedrich Griese, 1977)
Hazard si necesitate (Romanian, trans. Sergiu Sararu, 1991, 15 MB)
Il caso e la necessità (Italian, 1997, 7 MB)