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

Arturo Escobar: Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes (2008)

19 April 2020, dusan

“In Territories of Difference, Arturo Escobar, author of the widely debated book Encountering Development, analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. His analysis is based on his many years of engagement with a group of Afro-Colombian activists of Colombia’s Pacific rainforest region, the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN). Escobar offers a detailed ethnographic account of PCN’s visions, strategies, and practices, and he chronicles and analyzes the movement’s struggles for autonomy, territory, justice, and cultural recognition. Yet he also does much more. Consistently emphasizing the value of local activist knowledge for both understanding and social action and drawing on multiple strands of critical scholarship, Escobar proposes new ways for scholars and activists to examine and apprehend the momentous, complex processes engulfing regions such as the Colombian Pacific today.

Escobar illuminates many interrelated dynamics, including the Colombian government’s policies of development and pluralism that created conditions for the emergence of black and indigenous social movements and those movements’ efforts to steer the region in particular directions. He examines attempts by capitalists to appropriate the rainforest and extract resources, by developers to set the region on the path of modernist progress, and by biologists and others to defend this incredibly rich biodiversity “hot-spot” from the most predatory activities of capitalists and developers. He also looks at the attempts of academics, activists, and intellectuals to understand all of these complicated processes. Territories of Difference is Escobar’s effort to think with Afro-Colombian intellectual-activists who aim to move beyond the limits of Eurocentric paradigms as they confront the ravages of neoliberal globalization and seek to defend their place-based cultures and territories.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2008
New Ecologies for the Twenty-first Century series, 1
ISBN 9780822343271, 0822343274
xvi+435 pages

Reviews: Laura Fano Morrissey (Development, 2009), Christopher L. Chiappari (Latin American Politics & Society, 2010), Pierre Hamel (American Journal of Sociology, 2010), Lilly U. Nguyen (Interactions, 2010), Rodrigo A. Lima de Medeiros & Guilherme F. W. Radomsky (Sociedade e Estado, 2010, BR-PT), Manuel J. Prieto (Revista de geografía Norte Grande, 2010, ES), Jeffrey S. Juris (American Anthropologist, 2011), Cornelia Butler Flora (J Agric Environ Ethics, 2011), Claudia Steiner (Americas, 2011), Paul Routledge, Juanita Sundberg, Marcus Power, & Arturo Escobar (Progress in Human Geography, 2012).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (5 MB)

Georgina Born: Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avantgarde (1995)

16 December 2019, dusan

“Anthropologist Georgina Born presents an ethnography of the renowned Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. As a year-long participant-observer, Born studied the social and cultural economy of an institution for research and production of avant-garde and computer music. She gives a unique portrait of IRCAM’s composers, computer scientists, technicians, and secretaries, interrogating the effects of the cultural philosophy of the controversial avant-garde composer, Pierre Boulez, who directed the institute until 1992.

Born depicts a major artistic institution trying to maintain its status and legitimacy in an era increasingly dominated by market forces, and in a volatile political and cultural climate. She illuminates the erosion of the legitimacy of art and science in the face of growing commercial and political pressures. By tracing how IRCAM has tried to accomodate these pressures while preserving its autonomy, Born reveals the contradictory effects of institutionalizing an avant-garde.”

Publisher University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1995
ISBN 0520202163, 9780520202160
xvi+390 pages

Reviews: Tia DeNora (Am J of Sociology, 1996), Eduardo de la Fuente (Culture and Policy, 1996), Simon Emmerson (Review: J Royal Musical Association, 1997), Timothy Dowd (Contemporary Sociology, 1997), Paul D. Lopes (American Ethnologist, 1998), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (Computer Music J, 1999).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (17 MB)