Technosphere Magazine: Materials (2018)

7 March 2018, dusan

“Stuff matters. In much of history, the real protagonists were the precious metals, burning hydrocarbons, superior aerogels, collapsing concrete, rare minerals, and toxic liquids. This goes for all chemical compounds, whether raw, processed, or newly designed, geogenic, biogenic, or anthropogenic. It is the inventory and also the political, ecologic, and economic criticality of the material world within which humans will always have to situate themselves. Inert matter constitutes the raw materials of life, while organic matter changes the chemical composition of other spheres, such as the atmosphere or the lithosphere. This is what Vladimir Vernadsky and others have taught us. Yet this eons-old circulation of matter has been perturbed, on a grand scale, by the intervention of a new sphere: the technosphere.

Perhaps the largest achievement in modern science is the studying of the properties of materials. In doing so, humans have discovered tools that have reshaped the world to the extent that the Earth has intractably reformulated itself in marked contrast from its prehuman trajectories. The whole technosphere rests on the mobilization and organization of (energetic) matter: its extraction, cracking, transformation, manipulation, and finally, dispersion. As a result, the entire material world has been turned into a resource to be manipulated, consumed, or reordered. It is the industrialization of this relationship between humankind and all matter that has contributed decisively to creating the technosphere.

This dossier discusses the criticality of the material world as the spatiotemporal backbone of the technosphere and, eventually, ourselves. It presents stories of stuff, from mining to discarding, by dwelling on the pure substances themselves as well as their endless variety, but also by bringing the logistics and transversal interrelations between them into focus. It asks about the relationship of artifacts and craft, the blurring lines between naturalness and artificiality, and even what defines the line between living and dead material.”

With contributions by Annapurna Mamidipudi, Sophia Roosth, Nicole Koltick, Sander van der Leeuw & Daniel Niles, Elaine Gan, and Esther Leslie.

Publisher Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, March 2018
Open access

HTML

Christoph Cox, Jenny Jaskey, Suhail Malik (eds.): Realism Materialism Art (2015)

16 June 2017, dusan

Realism Materialism Art (RMA) introduces a diverse selection of new realist and materialist philosophies and examines their ramifications on the arts. Encompassing neo-materialist theories, object-oriented ontologies, and neo-rationalist philosophies, RMA serves as a primer on ‘speculative realism,’ considering its conceptual innovations as spurs to artistic thinking and practice and beyond. Despite their differences, these philosophical positions propose that thought can and does think outside itself, and that reality can be known without its being shaped by and for human comprehension. Today’s realisms and materialisms explicitly challenge many of the dominant assumptions of cultural practice and theoretical inquiry, opening up new domains of research and artistic inquiry.”

Contributions by Armen Avanessian, Elie Ayache, Amanda Beech, Ray Brassier, Mikko Canini, Diana Coole, Christoph Cox, Manuel DeLanda, Diedrich Diederichsen, Tristan Garcia, Iain Hamilton Grant, Elizabeth Grosz, Boris Groys, Graham Harman, Terry Horgan, Jenny Jaskey, Katerina Kolozova, James Ladyman, François Laruelle, Nathan Lee, Suhail Malik, Quentin Meillassoux, Reza Negarestani, John Ó Maoilearca, Trevor Paglen, Luciana Parisi, Matthew Poole, Matjaž Potrč, João Ribas, Matthew Ritchie, Alicia Ritson, Susan Schuppli, Steven Shaviro, Nick Srnicek, Achim Szepanski, Eugene Thacker, McKenzie Wark, Andy Weir.

Publisher Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, NY, and Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015
ISBN 9783956791260, 3956791266
403 pages

Reviews: Ilse van Rijn (Open, 2015), Hatty Nestor (Review31, n.d.).

Publisher
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (14 MB)

Sean Cubitt: Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies (2016)

27 January 2017, dusan

“While digital media give us the ability to communicate with and know the world, their use comes at the expense of an immense ecological footprint and environmental degradation. In Finite Media Sean Cubitt offers a large-scale rethinking of theories of mediation by examining the environmental and human toll exacted by mining and the manufacture, use, and disposal of millions of phones, computers, and other devices. The way out is through an eco-political media aesthetics, in which people use media to shift their relationship to the environment and where public goods and spaces are available to all. Cubitt demonstrates this through case studies ranging from the 1906 film The Story of the Kelly Gang to an image of Saturn taken during NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission, suggesting that affective responses to images may generate a populist environmental politics that demands better ways of living and being. Only by reorienting our use of media, Cubitt contends, can we overcome the failures of political elites and the ravages of capital.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2016
Cultural Politics Books series
ISBN 9780822362920. 0822362929
256 pages
via wX

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (2 MB)