Ravi Sundaram: Pirate Modernity: Delhi’s Media Urbanism (2009)

25 September 2019, dusan

“Using Delhi’s contemporary history as a site for reflection, Pirate Modernity moves from a detailed discussion of the technocratic design of the city by US planners in the 1950s, to the massive expansions after 1977, culminating in the urban crisis of the 1990s.

As a practice, pirate modernity is an illicit form of urban globalization. Poorer urban populations increasingly inhabit non-legal spheres: unauthorized neighborhoods, squatter camps and bypass legal technological infrastructures (media, electricity). This pirate culture produces a significant enabling resource for subaltern populations unable to enter the legal city. Equally, this is an unstable world, bringing subaltern populations into the harsh glare of permanent technological visibility, and attacks by urban elites, courts and visceral media industries. The book examines contemporary Delhi from some of these sites: the unmaking of the citys modernist planning design, new technological urban networks that bypass states and corporations, and the tragic experience of the road accident terrifyingly enhanced by technological culture. Pirate Modernity moves between past and present, along with debates in Asia, Africa and Latin America on urbanism, media culture, and everyday life.
 
This pioneering book suggests cities have to be revisited afresh after proliferating media culture. Pirate Modernity boldly draws from urban and cultural theory to open a new agenda for a world after media urbanism.”

Publisher Routledge, Oxford & New York, 2009
Asia’s Transformations series
ISBN 9780415409667, 0415409667
xix+224 pages
HT Geraldine

Reviews: Diya Mehra (SAMAJ, 2011), Fei An Tjan (Masters of Media, 2010).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (10 MB)

Martin Kohlrausch: Brokers of Modernity: East Central Europe and the Rise of Modernist Architects, 1910-1950 (2019)

8 May 2019, dusan

“The first half of the twentieth century witnessed the rise of modernist architects. Brokers of Modernity reveals how East Central Europe turned into one of the pre-eminent testing grounds of the new belief system of modernism. By combining the internationalism of the CIAM organization and the modernising aspirations of the new states built after 1918, the reach of modernist architects extended far beyond their established fields. Yet, these architects paid a price when Europe’s age of extremes intensified.

Mainly drawing on Polish, but also wider Central and Eastern European cases, this book delivers a pioneering study of the dynamics of modernist architects as a group, including how they became qualified, how they organized, communicated and attempted to live the modernist lifestyle themselves. In doing so, Brokers of Modernity raises questions concerning collective work in general and also invites us to examine the social role of architects today.”

Publisher Leuven University Press, 2019
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License
ISBN 9462701725, 9789462701724
400 pages

Publisher
OAPEN
WorldCat

PDF, PDF

Anselm Franke, Tom Holert (eds.): Neolithic Childhood: Art in a False Present, c. 1930 (2018)

12 August 2018, dusan

“Resonating at the heart of Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present, c. 1930 is the question whether art has present, past, and future functions. The modernist assertion of the autonomy of art was intended to render superfluous art’s social and religious functions. But what if the functionlessness of art comes under suspicion of being instrumentalized by bourgeois capitalism? This was an accusation that informed the anti-modernist critique of the avant-garde, and particularly of Surrealism. The objective throughout the crisis-ridden present of the 1920s to the 1940s was to reaffirm a once ubiquitous, but long-lost functionality—not only of art.

The publication accompanying the exhibition examines the strategies deployed in this reaffirmation. These include the surrealist Primitivism of an “Ethnology of the White Man” together with the excavation of the deep time of humanity—into the “Neolithic Childhood” mapped out by the notoriously anti-modernist Carl Einstein (1885-1940) as a hallucinatory retro-utopia. The volume brings together essays by the curators and academics involved in the project, primary texts by Carl Einstein and a comprehensive documentation of the exhibition including lists of works, texts on as well as images of numerous exhibits and finally installation views. At the center of the volume, a glossary discusses Carl Einstein’s own theoretical vocabulary as well as further associated terms, such as Autonomy, Formalism, Function, Gesture, Hallucination, Art, Metamorphosis, Primitivisms, Totality.”

With contributions by: Irene Albers, Philipp Albers, Joyce S. Cheng, Rosa Eidelpes, Carl Einstein, Anselm Franke, Charles W. Haxthausen, Tom Holert, Sven Lütticken, Ulrike Müller, Jenny Nachtigall, David Quigley, Cornelius Reiber, Erhard Schüttpelz, Kerstin Stakemeier, Maria Stavrinaki, Elena Vogman, Zairong Xiang, Sebastian Zeidler.

Publisher Diaphanes, Berlin, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, 2018
ISBN 9783035801064, 3035801061
460 pages

Exhibition and conference
Publisher
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (removed on 2018-9-12 upon request from publisher, see a preview of the first 32 pages)