McKenzie Wark: Sensoria: Thinkers for the Twenty-first Century (2020)

8 December 2020, dusan

“A survey of the key thinkers and ideas that are rebuilding the world in the shadow of the Anthropocene

As we face the compounded crises of late capitalism, environmental catastrophe and technological transformation, who are the thinkers and the ideas who will allow us to understand the world we live in? McKenzie Wark surveys three areas at the cutting edge of current critical thinking: media ecologies, post-colonial ethnographies, and the design of technology, and introduces us to the thinking of seventeen major writers who, combined, contribute to the common task of knowing the world. Each chapter is a concise account of an individual thinker, providing useful context and connections to the work of the others.

The authors include: Sianne Ngai, Kodwo Eshun, Lisa Nakamura, Hito Steyerl, Yves Citton, Randy Martin, Jackie Wang, Wang Hui, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Achille Mbembe, Eyal Weizman, Cory Doctorow, Benjamin Bratton, Tiziana Terranova, Keller Easterling, Jussi Parikka, Deborah Danowich and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.

Wark argues that we are too often told that expertise is obtained by specialisation. Sensoria connects the themes and arguments across intellectual silos. The book is a vital and timely introduction to the future both as a warning but also as a roadmap for how we might find our way out of the current crisis.”

Publisher Verso Books, London, July 2020
ISBN 9781788735063, 1788735064
296 pages

Reviews: J.J. Charlesworth (ArtReview, 2020), Lindsay Lerman (Entropy, 2020), Travis Diehl (LA Review of Books, 2020), Jessica Caroline and Emily Colucci (Filthy Dreams, 2020).

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

Cymene Howe, Anand Pandian (eds.): Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon (2020)

1 December 2020, dusan

“The idea of the Anthropocene often generates an overwhelming sense of abjection or apathy. It occupies the imagination as a set of circumstances that counterpose individual human actors against ungraspable scales and impossible odds. There is much at stake in how we understand the implications of this planetary imagination, and how to plot paths from this present to other less troubling futures. With Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon, the editors aim at a resource helpful for this task: a catalog of ways to pluralize and radicalize our picture of the Anthropocene, to make it speak more effectively to a wider range of contemporary human societies and circumstances. Organized as a lexicon for troubled times, each entry in this book recognizes the gravity of the global forecasts that invest the present with its widespread air of crisis, urgency, and apocalyptic possibility. Each also finds value in smaller scales of analysis, capturing the magnitude of an epoch in the unique resonances afforded by a single word.

The Holocene may have been the age in which we learned our letters, but we are faced now with circumstances that demand more experimental plasticity. Alternative ways of perceiving a moment can bring a halt to habitual action, opening a space for slantwise movements through the shock of the unexpected. Each small essay in this lexicon is meant to do just this, drawing from anthropology, literary studies, artistic practice, and other humanistic endeavors to open up the range of possible action by contributing some other concrete way of seeing the present. Each entry proposes a different way of conceiving this Earth from some grounded place, always in a manner that aims to provoke a different imagination of the Anthropocene as a whole.

The Anthropocene is a world-engulfing concept, drawing every thing and being imaginable into its purview, both in terms of geographic scale and temporal duration. Pronouncing an epoch in our own name may seem the ultimate act of apex species self-aggrandizement, a picture of the world as dominated by ourselves. Can we learn new ways of being in the face of this challenge, approaching the transmogrification of the ecosphere in a spirit of experimentation rather than catastrophic risk and existential dismay? This lexicon is meant as a site to imagine and explore what human beings can do differently with this time, and with its sense of peril.”

Publisher Punctum Books, February 2020
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License
ISBN 9781950192557
540 pages

Publisher
OAPEN
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (218 MB)
Earlier online edition (2016-2017)

Danny Snelson: Apocalypse Reliquary, 1984-2000 (2018)

22 May 2020, dusan

“Inhabiting an Earth continuously subjected to catastrophic events, Apocalypse Reliquary presents a survey of artifacts left behind by every recorded global cataclysm from 1984 to the present. Objects on display range from the circuit boards of Y2K to ejecta from the collision with Halley’s Comet. The exhibition includes spaceships from the Pleiades photon belt, the radioactive remains of countless nuclear armageddons, relics from the Zeta Reticuli star system, and a wide array of artifacts delivered by dozens of religious raptures.

Each entry in the Apocalypse Reliquary is inscribed within the ongoing disaster of the present. Organized chronologically, the catalogue begins in 1984, immediately following the collapse of the planet under the strain of the population bomb. The reliquary will continue to annotate the ruins of global annihilation until a final apocalyptic event renders all recording impossible.”

The book was produced on the occasion of Exhibition Library and first presented at an exhibition at the Seoul Museum of Art.

Publisher Monoskop, Amsterdam, and Mediabus, Seoul, 2018
[133] pages

PDF (82 MB)

See also follow-up to the project: Full Bleed: A Mourning Letter for the Printed Page (2019).