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


PDF (6 MB)

Alan Sonfist (ed.): Art in the Land: A Critical Anthology of Environmental Art (1983)

26 February 2020, dusan

Seminal collection of texts on land art and environmental art.

“A growing concern for nature has appeared worldwide over the last two decades. Art has always reflected the questioning of a society by itself and often takes an active role in the search for the answers to those questions.

A group of artists whose work makes a statement about man’s relation to nature has appeared over the last decade. These artists have at one time or another used natural substances such as earth, rocks, and plants in much of their work and have frequently constructed the work outside on natural sites. Although these artworks refer to nature, the artists’ methods, styles, and even intentions vary widely. They really cannot be said to form distinct groups but to occupy places on a broad spectrum.

At one end of the spectrum the idea of monumentality, of earth moving, is made possible by industrial tools: bulldozers, dump trucks, and so forth. These artworks were built to speak of themselves, not the land they occupy. At the other end of the spectrum there are artists pursuing the relatively new idea of cooperation with the environment, which they see as necessary because of the threat of its destruction. These artists respond sensitively to the work’s site, changing it as little as possible. This group is especially interested in stimulating an awareness of nature and the Earth.”

Texts by Joshua C. Taylor, Mark Rosenthal, Elizabeth C. Baker, Jeffrey Deitch, Michael Auping, Jack Burnham, Lawrence Alloway, Jonathan Carpenter, Pierre Restany, Donald B. Kuspit, Diana Shaffer, Grace Glueck, Kate Linker, Harold Rosenberg, Charles Traub,
Robert Rosenblum, Michael McDonough, Kenneth S. Friedman, and Jeffrey Wechsler.

Publisher Dutton, New York, 1983
ISBN 0525477020, 9780525477020
xii+274 pages
via rumblebee


PDF (21 MB)

Holly Jean Buck: After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration (2019)

3 December 2019, dusan

“What if the people seized the means of climate production?

The window for action on climate change is closing rapidly. We are hurtling ever faster towards climate catastrophe—the destruction of a habitable world for many species, perhaps the near-extinction of our own. As anxieties about global temperatures soar, demands for urgent action grow louder. What can be done? Can this process be reversed? Once temperatures rise, is there any going back? Some are thinking about releasing aerosols into the stratosphere in order to reflect sunlight back into space and cool the earth. And this may be necessary, if it actually works. But it would only be the beginning; it’s what comes after that counts.

In this groundbreaking book, Holly Jean Buck charts a possible course to a liveable future. Climate restoration will require not just innovative technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but social and economic transformation. The steps we must take are enormous, and they must be taken soon. Looking at industrial-scale seaweed farms, the grinding of rocks to sequester carbon at the bottom of the sea, the restoration of wetlands, and reforestation, Buck examines possible methods for such transformations and meets the people developing them.

Both critical and utopian, speculative and realistic, After Geoengineering presents a series of possible futures. Rejecting the idea that technological solutions are some kind of easy workaround, Holly Jean Buck outlines the kind of social transformation that will be necessary to repair our relationship to the earth if we are to continue living here.”

Publisher Verso Books, London and New York
ISBN 9781788730365, 1788730364
vi+281 pages